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Davenport v. Cotton Hope Plantation Horizontal Property Regime

(1998)

Supreme Court of South Carolina - 333 S.C. 71

tl;dr:

Plaintiff took the stairs in Defendant's building despite knowing they were badly lit and was injured in a fall; Court holds that Plaintiff's assumption of risk does not completely bar his recovery.

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Facts & HoldingDavenport v. Cotton Hope Plantation Horizontal Property Regime case brief facts & holding

Facts:Plaintiff rented a condo unit in Defendant's apartment. There were...

Holding:The South Carolina Supreme Court affirmed and remanded for a...

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The case involves Alvin Davenport, who fell down a stairway near his apartment due to a shadow caused by broken floodlights. He sued Cotton Hope for his injuries, and Cotton Hope brought a third-party claim against Carson for indemnification. The trial court erred in directing a verdict against Davenport and in favor of Carson. The Court of Appeals held that assumption of risk was no longer a complete defense to a negligence claim, and the relative negligence of the parties should have been submitted to the jury. The Supreme Court is considering whether assumption of risk should maintain a separate identity from contributory negligence and whether Davenport's assumption of risk could be compared with Cotton Hope's negligence under South Carolina's comparative negligence scheme. The court is also examining whether Davenport established a duty breached by Cotton Hope, whether Davenport's negligence exceeded that of Cotton Hope, and whether a trial court can direct a verdict for the defendant under comparative negligence. Additionally, the court is examining whether the broken light was the proximate cause of Davenport's injury and whether a ruling on assumption of risk should be applied prospectively only.

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