Derosia v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co

In Derosia v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. (155 Vt. 178, 583 A.2d 881 [1990]), the parties conducted a trial on claims arising from a workplace accident. Plaintiff's liability theory was that defendant was negligent in the manner in which it conducted safety inspections at the premises of plaintiff's employer. Following the return of a plaintiff's verdict, the trial court denied defendant's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict or a new trial. On appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court, defendant's "central argument" was that "plaintiff failed to introduce any evidence at trial that defendant had undertaken or promised to provide safety inspection services" for either plaintiff or his employer ( Derosia v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., supra, 155 Vt., at 182, 583 A.2d, at 883). After reviewing the law governing such claims and the proof offered at trial, that Court stated that it "disagreed with defendant that there was no evidence from which the jury could reasonably have concluded that defendant undertook an obligation to provide a safe workplace" (id., 155 Vt., at 186, 583 A.2d, at 885).