On September 2, 2016, two juries in different venues returned defense verdicts to POG clients. In the first, Seattle Founding Member Eric Gillett and Portland Member Alex Wylie joined efforts to defend Waste Management and its driver in a personal injury case in Multnomah County Circuit Court, in Portland, Oregon. The plaintiff alleged that Waste Management’s driver negligently backed out of a narrow apartment complex driveway, leaving her insufficient time to stop before colliding with the rear of the garbage truck. She claimed a host of permanent physical and psychological injuries including a traumatic brain injury, and asked the jury for over $3.4 million in economic and non-economic damages. After a 9-day trial, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict in favor of Waste Management and its driver! The POG trial team included paralegal Cathi Hultz, and the team received outstanding support from several others in the Seattle and Portland offices.
In a second trial, Molly Kosten, Of Counsel with the firm, won a defense verdict for her client, an international hamburger restaurant, after a jury trial in Pierce County Superior Court. The plaintiff claimed various injuries after allegedly finding a string in her food. The jury returned a verdict for the defense, finding that the plaintiff had failed to establish negligence against the firm’s clients.
The results of these two trials illustrate several factors. First, POG lawyers try cases in various venues. Second, the firm has the depth of resources to try cases in different venues at the same time. Of note, there is currently a case in trial in Spokane, and next week POG lawyers begin a transportation/fuel spill case in Alaska. Third, the firm has a broad scope of practice which includes hospitality, transportation, school law, environmental, construction, and premises. This year’s trials have included construction defect, asbestos, hospitality, transportation and admiralty cases. Finally, these two trials involved self-insured direct retention clients, and the firm has developed a niche practice in providing service and excellence to corporate counsel and risk managers in a wide variety of industries. Congratulations to our trial teams for delivering service and excellence to our clients!