Frank D’Oro and the defense team triumph in trial when the jury rules in favor of a historic family-run restaurant.
In June 2012 at approximately 11:30 a.m., plaintiff and her friends entered defendants’ restaurant for lunch. After being told there was a wait to be seated, the plaintiff and her friends proceeded outside to the parking lot to smoke a cigarette. While waiting outside, the plaintiff leaned against a section of fence along the right side of the parking lot in front of the restaurant. Approximately two minutes later, the top rail of the fence fell out of the post, sending the plaintiff backwards down an embankment.
Claims for negligence were brought by plaintiff against defendants (the owners of the restaurant). Plaintiff alleged that the owners of the restaurant (the defendants) were negligent in the repair and maintenance of the fence. As a result of their negligence, plaintiff suffered a back injury that required surgery. Mr. D’Oro argued the fence was in an obviously deteriorated state and was designed to be used as a visual barrier for cars in the parking lot only. Due to the condition of the fence, Mr. D’Oro argued that leaning or sitting on the fence was negligent by the plaintiff.
Following a short deliberation, the jury ruled in favor of the defense. The jury found no negligence by the owners. The verdict was the first of back to back jury verdicts in Mr. D’Oro’s favor at years end.