For 5 years, Starbucks denied any knowledge of the dangerous condition and denied responsibility for the trip and fall accident. During trial, a health inspector for the City of Pasadena testified that she cited Starbucks for that dangerous condition just one hour before Mrs. Rodgers fell. A witness for Starbucks' contractor testified that he warned Starbucks seven months earlier that the flooring needed to be replaced but Starbucks chose to ignore the warning.
Mr. & Mrs. Rodgers, who have been married over 50 years, were represented by John Denove, a personal injury lawyer with Cheong, Denove, Rowell & Bennett, and Randolph Gille. Judge Czuleger had ruled that there was sufficient evidence to allow the jury to decide if Starbucks acted with a conscious disregard of the safety of its customers. This ruling allowed the jury to determine if punitive damages should be awarded against the Seattle, Washington corporation.
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