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McGill v. DIA Airport Parking, LLC

Court of Appeals of Colorado, Second Division

November 17, 2016

Trina McGill, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
DIA Airport Parking, LLC, d/b/a Wally Park, Defendant-Appellee.

          City and County of Denver District Court No. 13CV32470 Honorable Morris B. Hoffman, Judge

          James T. Reed, Denver, Colorado, for Plaintiff-Appellant

          Hall & Evans, LLC, Ryan L. Winter, Bryan Gogarty, Conor P. Boyle, Denver, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellee

          OPINION

          ASHBY, JUDGE

          ¶ 1 Plaintiff, Trina McGill, appeals the trial court's judgment entered on jury verdicts in favor of defendant, DIA Airport Parking LLC (DIA). McGill challenges the trial court's admission of evidence of her character for truthfulness. We conclude that neither invited error nor waiver precludes our review of her argument, but she is not entitled to relief. We therefore affirm.

         I. Background

         ¶ 2 McGill filed a negligence claim against DIA based on her allegation that the side-view mirror of a DIA shuttle bus struck her in the head.

         ¶ 3 Approximately twenty years before trial, McGill was convicted of bank fraud for check kiting.[1] Before trial in her negligence case, she moved to exclude evidence of her conviction and the underlying conduct. She argued that the underlying conduct was inadmissible under both CRE 608(b) and CRE 403. The trial court denied McGill's motion and ruled that the underlying conduct was admissible under CRE 608(b). Despite its ruling that the evidence was admissible, the court did not explicitly conduct a CRE 403 analysis in its written order.

         ¶ 4 At trial, anticipating that the evidence would be elicited by DIA on cross-examination, McGill's counsel questioned her about the conduct underlying her conviction on direct examination. DIA also briefly questioned McGill about it on cross-examination.

         ¶ 5 The jury returned a verdict in favor of DIA, and the trial court entered judgment accordingly.

         ¶ 6 On appeal, McGill argues that the trial court erred by admitting the check fraud evidence under both CRE 608(b) and 403. DIA argues that McGill may not challenge the admissibility of that evidence on appeal because by first introducing it herself, she invited any error in admitting the evidence.

         ¶ 7 We conclude that neither invited error nor waiver precludes McGill from challenging the admission of the evidence on appeal. But, addressing the merits of her argument, we conclude that the trial court properly admitted the check fraud evidence.

          II. McGill May Challenge the Court's Pretrial Ruling on Appeal

         ¶ 8 DIA argues that because McGill, not DIA, first introduced the check fraud evidence at trial, she invited any error and is precluded from appealing the trial court's order admitting this evidence. We disagree.

         ¶ 9 Invited error rests on the principle that "a party may not complain on appeal of an error that he has invited or injected into the case; he must abide the consequences of his acts." People v. Rediger, 2015 COA 26, ¶ 52 (quoting People v. Zapata, 779 P.2d 1307, 1309 (Colo. 1989)) (cert. granted Feb. 16, 2016). The doctrine "prevents a party from inducing an inappropriate or erroneous [ruling] and then later seeking to profit ...


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