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Premises Liability

In Belo v. Bally Hallinan Properties LLC (S.F.Sup.Ct. CGC-16-552777) Conor M. Kelly teamed with outside counsel to obtain a $3,000,000 jury verdict for the wrongful death of a 55-year-old woman. The decedent, Lorraine Belo, died from complications of smoke inhalation after a fire started in her San Francisco apartment in June of 2014. The decedent’s 29-year-old daughter who lived in Arizona, sued the decedent’s landlord alleging that the unit in which her mother lived contained a faulty electrical outlet which started the fire. The defendant denied liability and refused to engage in any reasonable settlement discussions. Conor was associated on the case for trial the week before jury selection. At trial, the defendant disputed that the fire had started in an electrical outlet and suggested that the decedent had herself started the fire. The defendant also argued that the surviving daughter had not suffered any damages because she and her mother were in a dispute at the time of the fire and had not seen each other for more than a year. After a three week trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff and awarded $3,000,000 in non-economic damages.