• Federal Way agrees to pay out $125,000 for pickle ball accident

    By: David Ham


    The Federal Way City Council agreed to pay a $125,000 settlement to a woman who said she slipped and fell playing pickle ball at the community center in 2013.
    Sabrina Martin claimed that she slipped on a sticky spot on a pickle ball court and fell to the ground sustaining serious injuries.

    What is pickleball? We leave it to a national pickleball champ to explain in this video.   
    Her attorney, Amanda Searle said that it was likely a dried patch of soda that wasn't cleaned up.
    "Our investigation revealed they weren't doing proper maintenance checks," Searle added, "They were arbitrarily doing 20 minute checks but not during the time period she was there, so they weren't even following their own policy same procedures to make sure that Sabrina was safe."
    Searle said she suffered a fracture to her femur and had to have emergency surgery after the accident.
    Martin originally sued for $450,000. She said she had about $69,000 in medical bills.
    On Tuesday evening, the City Council approved the settlement of $125,000. A city attorney advised paying the settlement instead of risking a trial and continuing on with litigation.
    "Nowadays, everybody goes after everybody," said Jerry Waters who uses the community center.
    He said the gym floor that's used as a pickle ball court is always maintained.
    "They do a really nice job of keeping this place clean," said Waters.
    The city wouldn't comment on the settlement but did say that maintenance procedures at the center have not changed since the accident.
    Pickle ball games are still played at the center at least three times a week.
    "I think there's an assumed risk playing sports but that risk does not include encountering foreign substances on a floor that aren't supposed to be there," said Searle.
    The city also said that by paying out the settlement it still does not assume liability for the fall.

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