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Plaintiff Dismisses Realty Management Company

October 1, 2007

Plaintiff and defendant, Sasha King, were both tenants at a “pet friendly” complex managed by Pinnacle Realty. Defendant King was also employed by Pinnacle Realty, and received benefits related to her tenancy at the complex. King’s Akita allegedly bit plaintiff on her hand, and shook her by the sleeve for a prolonged period. Plaintiff claimed that she required medical treatment for neck and back injuries and exacerbated pre-existing Multiple Sclerosis.

Plaintiff initially filed suit solely against King, but later retained counsel who amended the Complaint to name Pinnacle Realty as a defendant when she learned that King did not have renters insurance. Plaintiff alleged the managers were negligent in not following their own pet policies regarding the weight limitations for dogs, and for not requiring King to obtain renters insurance due to her employment with Pinnacle. On behalf of Pinnacle Realty, Scott J. Loeding and Robert M. Scherk argued that, pursuant to California Supreme Court and Court of Appeals authority, there can be no liability for a property owner or manager unless there is previous actual knowledge of the dog’s vicious propensities. There was no evidence that King’s dog had ever bitten anyone else.

Plaintiff settled with King shortly before trial, but rejected Pinnacle’s initial settlement offer and the decreased amount offered after the Settlement Conference. Before trial, we advised plaintiff’s counsel that he had two days to accept our final offer of a waiver of costs in exchange for a Dismissal, that no money would be paid on behalf of Pinnacle, and that if Pinnacle was not dismissed, after we prevailed at trial, we would pursue our costs and plaintiff’s settlement obtained from King would be exhausted. One day after making this demand, plaintiff’s counsel agreed to the offer.