Verdict means young quadriplegic can have a much better life

thumbnailA record $46 M verdict against Denny’s Restaurants was handed down today by a King County Jury.

The restaurant had a terrible history of gang violence.  Late at night, after the nightclubs would close, intoxicated often violent gang bangers would go to Denny’s in Kent.  Denny’s had no security and simply let them in.  Time and time again.

In 2007, shots were fired and three people were injured.  The most seriously injured was Steve Tolenoa, who is now 31.  Steve was a bible-college graduate, eating a grand slam breakfast with his brother when he was shot twice in the back.  His group was completely innocent and had no relationship to the shooter.  Steve was rendered a quadriplegic and has been residing in an Auburn assisted-living facility, confined to a wheelchair and a bed.  The average age of residents in the home is 68.

A jury verdict of this size means that the evidence must have been overwhelming.  Denny’s actions were inexcusable.  “Their failure was a managerial failure in providing protection to customers at the Kent Denny’s, when they knew there was violence going on almost every weekend,” according to their excellent attorney Ron Perey.

The shooter is serving a 62 year jail sentence.  Civil actions can be brought in cases like this under the legal doctrine known as: inadequate security.



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About Karen
Karen Koehler, partner at the nationally recognized law firm of SKW, blogs about all things related to spinal cord injuries...More
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