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Therrien v. Target Corp., No. 09-5047

By FindLaw Staff on August 11, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Therrien v. Target Corp., No. 09-5047, involved an action claiming that plaintiff was stabbed when he tried to help apprehend a shoplifter at a Target store.  The court affirmed judgment for plaintiff on the grounds that 1) the jury could rationally find that a customer's decision to enter the fray was not an intervening cause because it was "reasonably foreseeable"; 2) the district court properly refused to instruct the jury that defendant had no duty to warn or protect plaintiff from apparent dangers and that it is not liable if there was no time to warn or protect him; and 3) the district court properly excluded evidence of plaintiff's psychological history and prior bad acts.

As the court wrote:  "Timothy Therrien was stabbed when he tried to help apprehend a shoplifter at a Target store. He sued Target Corporation for negligently causing his injuries. After trial in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, the jury awarded Mr. Therrien $500,000 in damages.

Target appeals, contending that (1) there was insufficient evidence to support the verdict, (2) the district court gave incorrect jury instructions, (3) the court erred in ruling on the admissibility of certain evidence, and (4) the court should have granted remittitur or a new trial. Mr. Therrien cross-appeals the court's refusal to submit punitive damages to the jury. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291 and affirm."

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