Federal Way Council approves $125,000 settlement with woman who fell

By RAECHEL DAWSON |Federal Way Mirror Reporter 

The Federal Way City Council unanimously approved a $125,000 lawsuit settlement on Tuesday night after a woman alleged the city was responsible for her fall at the Federal Way Community Center in February 2013.

Sabrina Martin filed the lawsuit in March 2014 before requesting the city pay $450,000 in October 2014. Her medical bills totaled about $69,000.

According to city documents, the City Council approved mediation in January and the two parties met on Feb. 23 to discuss a $125,000 settlement agreement. 

Martin alleged employees at the Federal Way Community Center, a city facility, were negligent when they failed to properly clean and maintain the pickle ball court, which resulted in her injury. 

Martin stated she was playing pickle ball at the court on Feb. 8, 2013 when she slipped on a “sticky spot.” She fell to the ground, sustaining a broken hip, and was transported to St. Francis Hospital.

She alleged the city failed to follow proper safety measures, failed to use proper judgement in maintaining the pickle ball courts, and failed to exercise reasonable care in proper inspection and ongoing inspection of the courts. 

She sought special damages for her broken hip as well as emotional and economic distress. 

In the city’s answer to Martin’s complaint, filed on April 3, 2014, city officials admit Martin fell and hurt herself but deny it was caused by city employees’ negligence. 

“[The] plaintiff’s injuries and/or damages, if any, were caused in whole or in part by the plaintiff’s own negligence and should be reduced in proportion thereto,” the city’s court documents state.

City officials also alleged Martin failed to state her claim, and that Martin’s injuries or damages were the result of pre-existing injuries, physical conditions and/or psychological conditions. 

Although the council approved the settlement, city officials noted that approval of the settlement “does not admit liability on the part of the city and requires Martin to release the city from all claims.”

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