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$1.65 Million Settlement for Injured Food Service Worker

Amount: $1,650,000
Plaintiff’s Counsel: David M. Paris & Dana M. Paris

A bar/restaurant was established as an LLC with John Doe as it’s CEO. John Doe was also the CEO of another LLC that owned the land and was landlord to the bar/restaurant. The property on which the bar sat was at the corner of 2 state routes. The ODOT right of way extended beyond the paved portion of one of the state routes up to the edge of the building of the bar. ODOT required the bar to post “no parking” signs in the right of way. There was some evidence that the manager of the bar had been designated by John Doe to act as agent for the landlord in all matters of compliance with ODOT’s rules and regulations.

Our client was employed by the bar/restaurant as a server. The bar manager and the chef decided to move its Food Truck into the ODOT right of way to be cleaned using the water spigot and hose attached to the bar. Our client was instructed to participate in cleaning the truck. He was standing at the rear of the Food Truck when a pick-up truck failed to see stopped traffic ahead and veered into the ODOT right of way. Plaintiff was pinned between both bumpers severing his right leg, fracturing his left lower leg and right humerus. A second vehicle also swerved off the road into the rear of the pick-up causing second collision.

The primary dispute involved 1) whether the landlord had exercised sufficient control over the premises and activity which led to plaintiff’s injury to be liable – or whether it was truly a landlord out of possession who had signed an arms length “net-net lease”, and 2) whether, as a matter of law, the errant vehicles were an intervening superseding cause of plaintiff’s injuries. The court overruled the landlord’s motion for summary judgment holding that these were questions of fact for the jury. The parties settled the matter with the court’s assistance after an unsuccessful mediation.

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