Lori O’Tool and Michael Slater, Jr. successfully obtained the complete dismissal of claims brought against their client on summary judgment. Our client, one of the largest producers of concrete, aggregates, and asphalt in the Northwest was sued in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington as a result of personal injuries sustained in a 2017 bicycle accident on a road in a national forest.

The plaintiff initially filed claims against the United States in Federal Court under the Federal Tort Claims Act in June 12, 2020, and also brought negligence claims against unidentified “John Doe” entities. The plaintiff also filed claims against King County, Washington State and the “John Doe” entities in superior court on August 20, 2020, based on the same accident. Those suits were eventually consolidated into one action in Federal Court. On May 20, 2021, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint asserting claims against our client as one of the “John Doe” entities based on its involvement in a substantial improvement project on the roadway where the accident occurred in 2014. Our client was served on June 7, 2021, which was the first notice our client received that an accident had occurred on the roadway or that a suit had been filed as a result of the accident.

We argued that the applicable 3-year statute of limitations barred the claims against our client, that service on the earlier other defendants did not toll the statute of limitations against the “John Doe” entities, and further, that our client would be substantially prejudiced if forced to participate in a lawsuit so long after the 2017 accident. The Court agreed with our arguments and dismissed the claims against our client, with prejudice.

Great work team POG and in particular to Lori and Michael for providing exceptional service to our clients and kicking off 2022 with a nice win.