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Attorneys at Law

Washington Court of Appeals clarifies UIM Statute in Ochoa

A case was recently decided by the Washington Court of Appeal (Division I in Seattle), called Ochoa v. Progressive, whereby the court clarified certain points of law pertaining to Washington state’s underinsured motorist (UIM) statute. In Ochoa, a plaintiff was injured while driving her motor vehicle by another driver who was delivering pizzas for a pizza restaurant.  It was determined in the trial court that the plaintiff was not at fault in the collision.  With


Interplay Between Informed Consent and Failure to Diagnose Case Theories

In December of 2012, the Washington Court of Appeals issued a case containing further guidance with regard to how lack of informed consent cases interplay with medical negligence cases involving a failure to diagnose.  The case was Gomez v. Sauerwein (289 P.3d 755). Medical negligence can take many forms, one of which is failure to diagnose.  The basis of such a theory is that medical providers have many sets of standards that must be followed


Another case on Proximate Cause

A recent case from Division I Court of Appeals of Washington contains yet another interesting discussion of proximate cause.  Causation is a necessary element in all tort actions, and so this concept is central to our practice. In the case Department of Labor and Industries v. Shirley (288 P.3d 390), the dispute arose over the spouse of a deceased man, who claimed survivor benefits under a worker’s compensation policy. In this case, the worker was


Dealing with Subsequent Remedial Measures in Litigation

A recent case in Division II of the Court of Appeals of Washington, called Pupo v. Albertson’s, Inc., reminded us of the importance of properly litigating in the context of a defendant’s subsequent remedial measures after slip-and-fall injuries or really any type of personal injury. When a plaintiff is injured and then later brings a lawsuit; frequently, at some point in that interim, the defendant will take steps to fix or “remedy” whatever may have


Proximate Cause in Tort Cases

A recent opinion by the Washington Court of Appeals, although unpublished, sheds some light on the doctrine of proximate cause in tort cases.  Any doctrine frequently litigated in tort cases is of importance to our practice, so the post today will outline that opinion. The case is entitled Kress v. State (case number 66352-6-I), and it involves an auto accident where two drivers collided in a head-on collision near a section of highway that was


Federal Tort Claims Act & Sovereign Immunity

It’s hard to really gauge what the lay person on the street thinks about sovereign immunity. To clarify, that term applies to a type of immunity from litigation that the United States enjoys simply by virtue of being the nation that it is. The concept comes from British common law, where, many years ago, the king enjoyed complete immunity from lawsuits. Of course it’s a good thing that our country has modernized quite a bit,