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  • 4.

    Whether defendants are entitled to a new trial because:

    • (a)

      the trial court erred in failing to give effect to Choate’s binding judicial

admission that he appreciated that jumping on a moving train was dangerous, while at the

same time permitting Choate to suggest that his idiosyncratic vulnerabilities (e.g., his

allegedly below-average intelligence) prevented him from appreciating that danger;

(b)

the

trial

court

erred

in

excluding

the

testimony

of

Choate’s

companions that they recognized that jumping onto a moving train was dangerous, while

at the same time allowing Choate to introduce evidence that other people—with whom he

never had any contact—had attempted to jump on moving trains; and/or

(c)

the trial court erred in allowing Choate’s expert witness, a civil

engineer, to offer conclusions that lacked a factual foundation and to opine on issues

outside the scope of his expertise, such as adolescent behavior and law enforcement.

(d)

the trial court erred in allowing Choate to cross-examine defendants’

engineering expert using a photograph for which no foundation was ever established.

5. Whether defendants are entitled to a new trial because the verdict was against

the manifest weight of the evidence.

JURISDICTION

This Court has jurisdiction under Supreme Court Rules 301 and 303. The trial

court entered judgment on the jury verdict on July 14, 2009. A1. Defendants filed timely

post-trial motions, which the trial court denied on December 18, 2009. A3. Defendants

filed a timely notice of appeal on January 15, 2010. A34.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

Choate lost a portion of his left leg when he slipped when trying to jump aboard a

moving train in order to “impress Alisa Van Witzenburg,” his girlfriend at the time. Tr.

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