After a seven day jury trial in King County Superior Court, Founding Member Mark O’Donnell, with assistance from Associate Amber Gundlach and Paralegal Ray Cooper, won a defense victory for their client on a defamation claim.
The plaintiff, a school district employee, initially filed suit against the school district and a fellow employee with claims of defamation, outrage, civil conspiracy, retaliation and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Preg O’Donnell initially obtained summary judgment on the defamation claims against the fellow employee. The case against the school district proceeded to a jury trial several years ago and resulted in a $500,000 verdict for the plaintiff. However, following post verdict motions the verdict was overturned by the trial court. The plaintiff appealed. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court overturning of the verdict against the school district, but determined that an issue of fact existed as to the defamation claim remanding the case for trial on the defamation claim only. The defamation claim was tried this past week and the jury found that the alleged defamation was not the proximate cause of any damages to the plaintiff. Consequently, no damages were awarded.