Seattle Jury Awards $750,000 to Woman Severely Injured When Falling Through Apartment Guardrail
On January 22, 2020, a King County jury awarded just over $750,000 to Bergman Draper Oslund Udo’s client, Diana Linde, who was injured when she fell rear-first through a 20-inch gap in the guardrail at the top of an entryway landing at her apartment building, the Paramount Apartments in Capital Hill. On January 8, 2017, Diana had been out celebrating following a Seahawks playoff game and walked back home from the bar where she worked with a friend around 4:00 a.m. She climbed the stairs to her entryway, used the callbox, and then leaned back against the guard rail. She bent forward and ultimately slid backwards through the gap, landing ten feet to the concrete below. Diana suffered a spine injury along with four rib fractures, a shoulder fracture, a skull fracture, and a moderate traumatic brain injury. Diana had no memory of the day. Over the course of two years of treatment, Diana made fantastic progress and was close to fully recovered at the time of trial.
The apartment owner defended the case by arguing that Diana was over 51% at fault and that she was contributorily negligent due to her alcohol intoxication. The jury rejected the defendant’s argument that Diana was more than 51% at fault and ultimately found Paramount Apartments 65% at fault and Diana 35% at fault. Bergman Draper Oslund Udo trial attorneys Chandler Udo and Justin Olson successfully argued that a guardrail needed to be safe, even for people who may be intoxicated, and that the guardrail at the Paramount Apartments was decades out of step with best minimum safety practices. BDOU was able to utilize its extensive trial experience in asbestos cases to secure the verdict in this personal injury case. This victory is especially gratifying because Diana is a former longtime paralegal of Bergman Draper Oslund Udo.