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Butts v. Weisz

410 F. App’x 470 (2010)

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Butts v. Weisz

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

410 F. App’x 470 (2010)

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Facts

Glen and Levone Butts (plaintiff) were visiting their good friends Lloyd and Georgia Weisz (defendants) when 84-year-old Glen took a deadly fall down a basement stairwell. No one saw him fall. The stairwell was dimly lit and had a single dangerous step. Although it was the first time the Buttses had ever visited the house, they had been there for several hours, and Glen had navigated the dangerous step successfully numerous times before he fell. Levone sued the Weiszes for negligence and retained an expert prepared to testify that the dim lighting and dangerous step caused Glen’s fall. The court excluded that testimony as lacking the necessary basis for expert opinions under Federal Rule of Evidence 702 and allowed the expert to opine only that a single dangerous step might cause a person to trip and fall. The Weiszes requested summary judgment, arguing no evidence showed the single step or dim lighting caused Glen’s fall. The trial court granted summary judgment for the Weiszes and dismissed the case for lack of causation. Levone appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sloviter, J.)

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