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Wal-Mart Stores v. Londagin
Arkansas Supreme Court
37 S.W.3d 620 (2001)
Laura Perkins (defendant) had Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Wal-Mart) (defendant) rotate her truck’s tires. Later that same day, one of the truck’s tires came off while Perkins was driving. The tire struck another vehicle and injured the driver, Johnny Londagin (plaintiff). Perkins called Wal-Mart from the accident site, upset that her tire had come off right after Wal-Mart’s rotation. Wal-Mart confirmed that it had just worked on the truck, apologized to Perkins, and assured her that Wal-Mart would take care of everything. Wal-Mart got a rental car for Perkins, went to the accident scene, towed the truck away, and repaired the truck, all at no charge to Perkins. Londagin sued Wal-Mart and Perkins. At trial, Londagin introduced evidence of everything that Wal-Mart had done for Perkins after the accident to prove that Wal-Mart had admitted liability for the accident. The trial court dismissed Perkins from the case, but the jury found that Wal-Mart owed Londagin and his wife $135,000 in damages. Wal-Mart appealed, arguing that evidence of the ways Wal-Mart had helped Perkins after the accident should have been excluded under Rule of Evidence 408 as inadmissible claim-settlement conduct.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Thornton, J.)
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