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Evidence Keyed to Sklansky
Abernathy v. Superior Hardwoods, Inc.
Citation:704 F.2d 963 (7th Cir. 1983)
The plaintiff and drove a flatbed truck loaded with logs to a sawmill in Indiana owned by the defendant. The logs were fastened to the bed of the truck with four chains. The plaintiff released each chain but before he could stow them all in the cab of the truck, the defendant’s forklift began unloading the logs and one tumbled off and hit the plaintiff in the back. The plaintiff sued the defendant for negligence.
At trial, the president of the defendant presented a videotape made from his home videotape system that showed a forklift unloading logs from a truck in an attempt to depict the method in which log trucks are routinely unloaded at its sawmill. The district court admitted the tape, but required the audio to be turned off. The defendant protested, arguing that the sound proved that the plaintiff was contributorily negligent. The argument as that the plaintiff should have heard the forklift beginning to unload the logs and gotten out of the way.
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