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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jun 30, 2015

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Tonya Newcomb, Linden, Tennessee, Pro se.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter, Andrée S. Blumstein, Solicitor General, and Joseph Ahillen, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): CLEMENT

Plaintiff fell down a set of steps while entering a building owned and operated by the State of Tennessee. She filed a claim with the Claims Commission alleging that the stairs were a dangerous condition because the handrail was too low and the steps were not covered with non-skid material. At trial, Plaintiff and her daughter testified about Plaintiff?s fall and the resulting injuries. Plaintiff also introduced into evidence photographs of repairs made to the stairs after her fall. The State called two witnesses, the head facilities administrator and a member of her staff, who testified that they were responsible for the maintenance of the steps. Both testified that they did not know of any prior incidents involving the steps. In his written order, the Commissioner found that both Plaintiff and the State?s witnesses were credible; however, he dismissed Plaintiff?s case because she failed to prove that a dangerous condition existed or that, if such condition existed, the State had notice of a dangerous condition. The Commissioner also concluded that Rule 407 of the Tennessee Rules of Evidence prohibited him from considering Plaintiff?s photographs as evidence of the State?s liability. Plaintiff appealed. We affirm.