May13

FAVORABLE SETTLEMENT – PREMISES LIABILITY

Paul Elkort and Dennis Newitt obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of their client in a premises liability claim in the case of Michael King v. DOE, Inc.

Plaintiff was a patron at defendant's hotel sports bar. While purchasing drinks for he and his party, he was struck in the face with an object, believed to be a shot glass thrown by another patron, sustaining a significant laceration. Video surveillance did not clearly show the sequence of events, nor who threw the glass. Plaintiff brought an action against the hotel for negligence, and also pressed a punitive damages claim.

Plaintiff alleged that the sports bar and hotel property were the site of numerous fights, assaults and other serious crimes, and that hotel security was inadequate. A motion for summary adjudication was filed on the punitive damages claim, based on lack of admissible evidence showing a pattern of criminal activity at the hotel premises, and that security policies and procedures were in place, and hotel management was proactive in preventing incidents. The filing of the motion provided sufficient leverage so that the firm was able to settle the case for a fraction of what the plaintiff was demanding.