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Target Corp. v. Prestige Maintenance USA, Ltd.

Court of Appeals of Colorado, Seventh Division

January 31, 2013

Target Corporation, a Minnesota corporation, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Prestige Maintenance USA, Ltd., Defendant-Appellant

Page 494

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 495

Jefferson County District Court, No. 11CV1417. Honorable Philip J. McNulty, Judge.

JUDGMENT AFFIRMED.

Montgomery, Kolodny, Amatuzio & Dusbabek, LLP, John R. Chase, Krista Maher, Denver, Colorado, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

White and Steele, P.C., John Lebsack, Denver, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellant.

Opinion by JUDGE HAWTHORNE, Romá n and Furman, JJ., concur.

OPINION

HAWTHORNE, Judge

Page 496

[¶1] Defendant, Prestige Maintenance USA, Ltd. (Prestige), appeals the trial court's judgment awarding future damages to plaintiff, Target Corporation (Target). We affirm.

[¶2] We publish this opinion because we conclude that, as matters of first impression in Colorado, for choice of law purposes: (1) the sufficiency of evidence supporting a damages award is a substantive issue; and (2) whether an issue is preserved for appeal is an issue of judicial administration.

I. Facts and Procedural History

[¶3] Prestige had contracted with Target to provide cleaning services at Target stores. The contract provided that Prestige would indemnify Target for, among other things, all injuries or damages relating to or arising out of Prestige's performance of its services.

[¶4] While using a vacuum cleaner, a Prestige employee caused Johanna Cleveland, a Target employee, to fall and injure her right knee while working in a Colorado Target store.

[¶5] A doctor recommended that Cleveland undergo total knee replacement surgery. She filed a workers' compensation claim against Target to cover the costs stemming from the injury. An administrative law judge found that Target was liable for the injury and directed Target to pay for the surgery.

[¶6] Following the surgery, Cleveland continued to have stability problems. Her knee later buckled, causing her to fall and tear her left rotator cuff. She then underwent a partial knee replacement, which was also unsuccessful. Doctors recommended that she undergo shoulder surgery and another knee surgery.

[¶7] Target filed a breach of contract action against Prestige, seeking, pursuant to their contract, indemnification for Cleveland's injuries and damages. Prestige denied that the contract required it to indemnify Target.

[¶8] After a bench trial, the trial court ruled in Target's favor. The court made numerous findings, including:

o the Prestige employee, acting in the scope of her employment, caused Cleveland's injuries;
o the Prestige employee was negligent in causing Cleveland's injuries;
o Cleveland and Target were not negligent in any respect; and
o Prestige was contractually required to indemnify Target for its past and future damages.

[¶9] The court awarded Target damages for the costs it had already incurred and for the costs it would continue to incur in compensating Cleveland. However, the court declined to award Target the full amount of damages it sought. Specifically, the court did not award damages for further independent medical examinations because it found that the need for such examinations was speculative. It also reduced the total award by ...


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