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Favorable Verdict for Retail Business Owner in Erie County

Attorney Decker recently secured a favorable jury verdict in the Erie County Court of Common Pleas for a retail business owner who was sued when the plaintiff, a patron sitting on the store’s sidewalk, was struck by an errant vehicle driven by an elderly motorist.  The Plaintiff alleged that the store was negligent for not having barriers in place to protect the perimeter of the building and customers from this type of accident.  The plaintiff argued that the business owner was on notice of this purportedly dangerous condition, pointing to prior, similar accidents at the store.

Attorney Decker presented the dual argument that the driver was the cause of the accident, and that barriers were not required under Pennsylvania law and all relevant building codes, introducing expert testimony in this regard.  In addition, the defense presented evidence of the plaintiff’s activities -- as posted on social media – in mitigation of the injuries allegedly suffered as a result of the accident.

The jury found the driver to be the major cause of the accident with only minor liability assigned to the retail business, with the ultimate award against the business substantially lower than the plaintiff’s pretrial settlement demand.