7/21/2021- Partner Anthony Martine Obtains Defense Verdict
Partner, Anthony Martine, obtained a defense verdict on the issue of liability in King County Supreme Court before Justice Baily-Schiffman in the case of Boston v. Sheradel Associates, et al., index number 502818/2018. Mr. Martine represented all of the defendants who were the property owner and a tenant of a Starrett City strip mall. The plaintiff alleged that she was taking a shortcut through the parking lot to get to her home when she tripped and fell due to a patch of cement that had formed and dried in a parking space. The plaintiff claims that the defect was approximately 2 inches in height and obscured due to poor exterior lighting throughout the lot. The plaintiff admitted into evidence pictures taken on the night in question as well as ones taken 2 weeks later identifying the clear defect.
The plaintiff claims that she sustained meniscal and ACL tears in both knees that would require total knee replacements. The plaintiff's attorney, Seth Harris of Burn and Harris, demanded $1.5 million dollars and would not negotiate despite an initial offer of $75,000 with clear indications that defendants had significantly more authority should plaintiff respond to the offer by reducing the demand.
the plaintiff argued that by its appearance, the dried cement had been there for a significant period of time. Plaintiff also argued that the cement likely originated from one of the many construction vehicles that had been stored on the defendant's property approximately 50 feet from the location of the accident.
Mr. Martine challenged actual notice and argued that the contention that the cement originated from a construction vehicle was speculation. He contended that the property manager acted reasonably by performing bi-monthly inspections of the parking lot and hiring sweepers and security personnel to maintain and patrol the parking lot. Mr. Martine also argued that the plaintiff's version of events had to be called into question based on some inconsistent testimony regarding her route in relation to the location of the defect and the respective pictures admitted by plaintiff.
After six days of trial over 2.5 weeks on the issue of liability, the jury by unanimous decision found that the property owner and tenant were not negligent.