Rodriguez v The Kroger Company and J & I Maintenance

Rodriguez appealed the district court judgment which did not require Kroger and J & I to pay damages in this slip and fall case for negligence of J & I’s independent contractor. The Court affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. It reversed as to Kroger holding Kroger’s liability here is solely vicarious under the non-delegable duty to maintain a reasonably safe premises for invitees, that Court precedent found similar repondeat superior liability to be outside the fault apportionment regime of Utah Code 78B-5-813 and 819 and that same result applies here as liability is not based on fault by landowner, this is consistent with out of state precedent and the case relied upon by Kroger dealt with the effect of immunity on distribution of fault which is not at issue here. It affirmed as to J & I as the jury was not instructed that it assumed the non-delegable duty to keep the store here reasonably safe and there is no other evidence it assumed the duty. It finally vacated the cost order which capped Rodriguez’s costs tot eh fault of Kroger as the capon damages in 78B-5-820(1) does not apply to costs which are incurred regardless of fault and remanded the cost issue as Kroger now bears all of its fault and all the fault of the independent contractor.

State v Stewart

The State sought interlocutory review of the district court ruling that acts which are outside the limitations period cannot be used to prove racketeering. The court reversed. It held that under Utah’s racketeering statute, Utah Code 76-10-1601 to 1619, the only temporal requirement is that the penultimate act alleged to be one of the three required criminal acts take place less than five years before the most recent act alleged, that the legislature did not include a requirement that the acts alleged be within the limitations period for the act, reading the racketeering statute to only apply to acts within a limitations period would effectively read out the five year lookback provision, a limitations statue does not make illegal activity legal and the cases relied upon by the district court did not address let alone decide the issue.