Class-action lawsuit filed against City of Seattle for letting CHOP happen

June 28, 2020 in News by RBN Staff


Today a group of Capitol Hill residents, property owners and businesses filed a class-action lawsuit against the City of Seattle for its role in allowing the CHOP to get established and for ongoing support of it as CHOP participants allegedly blocked access to the area, threatened and assaulted people, and inflicted widespread property damage.

The plaintiffs in the case include:

  • Northwest Wine and Liquor;
  • Car Tender, which suffered a widely-reported break-in and assault;
  • Sage Physical Therapy;
  • the owner of Tattoos and Fortune;
  • Bergman’s Lock and Key Services;
  • several local residents;
  • Onyx Homeowners Association;
  • real estate companies owning and/or managing companies in or near the CHOP.

But beyond the named plaintiffs, the lawsuit attempts to establish a class of plaintiffs that it believes could number “in the thousands.” That class would include “All persons or entities who own property in, have a business in, or reside in the area in the City of Seattle bounded by the following streets: Denny Way, Union Street, Thirteenth Avenue, and East Broadway.” There are strict rules for certification of a class of plaintiffs: it must be possible to identify and notify all potential class members of the lawsuit; the definition of the class must be unambiguous; the number of class members must make individual lawsuits impractical, and the factual and legal issues central to the case must be common among the class members. The city will likely fight the class certification on technical grounds, but at first blush there seems to be a good argument in favor of it.