Tag: Washington Supreme Court

Washington Supreme Court Affirms Firefighter’s $12.75 Million Verdict Against City of Seattle

Last week, the State Supreme Court affirmed a $12.75 million verdict (including $2,422,006 for future care and $10 million in noneconomic damages) against the City of Seattle in favor of former Seattle firefighter, Mark Jones, who was injured when he fell 15 feet down the “pole hole” in a fire station at 3 a.m. on … Continue Reading

Washington Supreme Court Breaks New Ground with Independent Duty Doctrine

Donatelli v. D.R. Strong Consulting Engineers, Inc. [Wash. Sup. Ct. No. 86590-6] A five justice majority in this case continued to develop the “independent duty doctrine” in Washington. That doctrine has superseded the “economic loss rule,” which previously limited recovery of economic damages to contract claims and recovery of non-economic damages to tort claims. According … Continue Reading

Summary of Cases Granted Review at Washington Supreme Court’s October Conference

At its October 1, 2013 conference, the Washington Supreme granted review to four cases. We provide a summary of the issues presented in each case below. State v. Owens Supreme Court No. 88905-8 Court of Appeals No. 67867–1–I PFR & Answer Issue: Whether the Court of Appeals properly reversed a conviction for First Degree Trafficking … Continue Reading

Anxious Trial Witness Permitted to Testify in Presence of Comfort Dog

At issue in State v. Dye (PDF) was whether a criminal defendant is denied a fair trial by allowing a developmentally disabled victim to testify with the assistance of a comfort dog.  Such trial management decisions are reviewed for abuse of discretion.  Based on the evidence presented to the trial court at a hearing on the … Continue Reading

Washington Supreme Court Holds Alford Plea Will Support a Death Penalty Verdict

In re Cross [Wash. Sup. Ct. No. 79761-7] The Washington Supreme Court unanimously held in this opinion that a capital sentence can be predicated on an Alford plea.  The court explained that the “advantage” of entering an Alford plea in a capital case is to preserve the ability to argue in the penalty phase that … Continue Reading

No Prejudice Where Jury Received Charging Instructions Not Included in Original Charging Information

In the Matter of the Personal Restraint of Benjamin B. Brockie, No. 86241-9 (Sept. 26, 2013) (en banc) Benjamin Brockie was charged by information for, among other things, first degree robbery.  Brockie’s charging information indicated that “in the commission of an immediate flight therefrom, the defendant displayed what appeared to be a firearm or other … Continue Reading

Wash. S. Ct.: A Rural Public Hospital District May Not Operate Within the Boundaries of Another Rural Public Hospital District Without Permission

Authored by Marcus Skeem and Hunter Ferguson of Stoel Rives LLP In Skagit County Pub. Hosp. Dist. No. 304 v. Skagit County Pub. Hosp. Dist. No. 1, the Washington Supreme Court addressed whether a rural Public Hospital District (PHD) may provide healthcare services within the boundaries of another rural PHD without the second district’s permission.  Although RCW … Continue Reading
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