Defense Verdict in Slappy Sutton v. Speedway

RTJG firm news
On February 13, 2020, Speedway LLC, a valued client of the firm, received a defense verdict after a four-day trial in the United States District Court of Eastern District of Pennsylvania before the Honorable Jan E. DuBois. Mike Droogan, a member of the firm, tried the case for Speedway. Plaintiff alleged that Speedway was negligent because after an upgrade to the underground telecommunication lines that led from the store to the underground storage tanks, the contractor had covered a trench it dug with concrete instead of asphalt. The trench was cut in the ground along the sidewalk in the front of the store. Plaintiff alleged that as he exited the store on the evening of January 19, 2016, he was unable to detect a difference in the concrete sidewalk from the one-foot wide swath of concrete in front of it, causing him to misstep. As a result of mis-stepping, plaintiff tore both his patella tendons, a fact that was not in dispute at trial. The jury concluded Speedway was not negligent. Importantly, Judge DuBois had previously granted summary judgment to Speedway. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Judge DuBois and remanded the case for trial. Eight jurors unanimously agreed with both Speedway and Judge DuBois that the condition of the sidewalk/area immediately adjacent to it was not dangerous.