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Perry v. Frederick Investment Corp.

September 12, 2007

SAKELIA PERRY, A MINOR, BY HER MOTHER, LASHON PERRY, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
FREDERICK INVESTMENT CORP., ET AL. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Louis F. Oberdorfer United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

In this lead-paint poisoning tort case, George Frederick Marshall and Jenny Petri, two of the three defendants, seek summary judgment.*fn1 For the reasons stated herein, this motion will be DENIED.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Facts

Viewing the record in the light most favorable to the plaintiffs, the following material facts are either undisputed or must be assumed to be true for purposes of evaluating the pending motion for summary judgment:

1. From December 1993 to March 1995, Sakelia Perry, then an infant, lived with her mother, Lashon Perry, in an apartment at 1150 Clifton Street, N.W., in Washington, D.C. (the "Clifton Street Apartment").

2. While living at the Clifton Street Apartment, Sakelia was exposed to lead paint.

3. In 1995, after a visit to Children's Hospital, Lashon learned that Sakelia was suffering from lead paint poisoning. Subsequent tests showed that the paint on the windowsills of the Clifton Street Apartment contained excessive levels of lead.

4. At all relevant times, defendant Frederick Investment Corporation was the general, and controlling, partner of Clifton Terrace Associates, Ltd. ("Associates"), a general partnership that held legal title to the Clifton Street Apartments

5. Defendant George Frederick Marshall was the President and owned all of the stock of Frederick Investment Corporation. He exercised total control over its operations; indeed, he was the only "real" person behind it.

6. Defendant Jenny Petri was the Vice-President of Frederick Investment Corporation, but her responsibilities there were "extremely minimal." Marshall Aff. ¶ 3.

7. In his capacity as the President of Frederick Investment Corporation, Marshall hired One Management Corporation to manage the Clifton Street Apartment Building.

8. Marshall was the President of One Management and held 60% of its stock.

9. Petri was the Vice-President and General Manager of One Management; she owned 40% of its stock.

10. Marshall was not involved in the daily operations of One Management. He "delegated" all of his responsibilities to Petri. Marshall Dep. at 20. Petri "ran the company." Petri Dep. at 29.

11. Marshall did not monitor Petri's day-to-day activities because "he had great confidence in her and . . . upon her ability to handle her job. Marshall Dep. Tr. at 21.

12. Marshall believed that One Management had a policy of inspecting for peeling or chipped paint. However, he did not know whether that ever occurred.

13. Marshall did not know what the District of Columbia Housing Code required or whether those ...


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