Garth Jones has a reputation as the firm’s master of appellate court brief writing and research. He also authors briefs at the trial level and has been instrumental in developing the Washington Pattern Jury Instructions.
Before joining the firm, Garth served as legal analyst with the Office of the Administrator for the Courts in Olympia. His work greatly contributed to the creation of the Washington Supreme Court Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions.
- Brigham Young University, J.D., 1984
- Brigham Young University, B.S., 1979
Outside the Office
Garth and his three children spend time together in water activities, hiking and traveling. Garth is also an accomplished guitarist who enjoys playing music with friends and at social gatherings.
- Grays Harbor County Bar Association
- Washington State Bar Association Washington State Trial Lawyers Association Trial Lawyers for Public Justice
- Washington Motor Vehicle Accident Litigation Deskbook © WSBA 2009, chapter author, “Post-Trial Motions”
- Washington Motor Vehicle Accident Deskbook © WSBA 2001, chapter author, ” Highway Design, Abutting Landowners and Public Utilities”
Some of Garth's Cases
- Wuthrich v. King County
The 2016 Wuthrich v. King County decision makes roadways in our state safer for everyone. In a unanimous decision handed down on Wuthrich, the Washington State Supreme Court held that a municipality has a duty to take reasonable steps to address overgrown roadside vegetation that makes the roadway unsafe for drivers approaching an intersection.
Wuthrich advances roadway safety for anyone who travels the roads in Washington State. As our state’s highest court maintains: A municipality has the overarching duty to provide reasonably safe roads and must be held to the same standards as that applied to private parties.
Our state’s supreme court now explicitly rejects old law that held that a municipality’s duty is limited to mere compliance with applicable law. Moreover, an “inherently dangerous condition” does not exclusively depend on a condition that “exists in the roadway itself.” A hazard may exist as a situation along a highway, such as overgrown bushes that obstruct drivers’ view of oncoming traffic.
The Wuthrich decision stems from a June 2011 lawsuit that Guy Wuthrich filed against Christa Gilland and King County. Guy was riding a motorcycle on Avondale Road NE in King County, approaching an intersection with NE 159th Street on June 20, 2008 at about 5:15 PM. Drivers on 159th St. have a stop sign at the intersection, but drivers on Avondale Road do not. Christa Gilland was driver a car on 159th Street. When she reached the intersection with Avondale Rd., she stopped to wait for passing traffic. She did not see Guy approaching from her left. She turned left onto Avondale Road and collided into Guy’s motorcycle, resulting in serious injuries to Guy. The lawsuit alleged that the County was liable for Guy’s injuries because the wall of overgrown blackberry bushes on County property obstructed Ms. Gilland’s view of traffic at the intersection. The trial court dismissed the action against the County on summary judgment. The Court of Appeals affirmed in a split decision.
Ray Kahler argued before the Supreme Court and you may watch his oral argument here.
- Lee v. Willis Enterprises, 194 Wn.App. 394 (2016)
The Court of Appeals affirmed a summary judgment ruling finding the defendant negligent for sticking a screwdriver into an energized high voltage electrical device. Rejecting the defense argument that the foreseeability of an arc blast and injury to a bystander were questions of fact for the jury, the court held that “it is foreseeable as a matter of law that serious injury could result from careless behavior while working in and around energized high-voltage electrical equipment.”
The Court also rejected the defendant’s claim that he reasonably relied upon the plaintiff’s alleged silence as an implied assurance that it was safe to stick the screwdriver into the energized drive. The Court found that there was no authority holding that silence and inaction can give rise to an implied assurance of safety, and that an implied assurance of safety would not absolve a defendant’s own negligence.
- McCallum v. Allstate Property and Cas. Ins. Co.
(2009) The plaintiff filed a bad faith action against her insurer, Allstate, alleging violations of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) based on Allstate’s handling of her uninsured motorist claim. During the course of the lawsuit, the plaintiff filed a motion to compel production of certain documents from Allstate. Allstate filed a motion for a protective order to prevent the plaintiff from disclosing the documents. The trial judge initially granted a conditional protective order but later vacated the protective order. Allstate then requested review by the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals held that: (1) Allstate failed to show that its claim manuals, claim bulletins, and training manual were trade secrets subject to protective sealing by the court; and (2) the trial court’s decision to vacate the protective order was justified.
- Lee v. Willis Enterprises
- A $3,876.139 verdict for an electronics technician injured when defendant’s employee stuck a screwdriver into a variable frequency drive causing an electrical explosion. Lee suffered permanent damage to his hearing system including severe tinnitus.
- Holden v. Farmers Insurance Company of Washington
(January 2012) A consumer class action settled on behalf of over 7,000 insureds who were improperly denied applicable Washington State sales tax on personal property losses. The case settled following the Washington State Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision upholding the trial court’s ruling in favor of the plaintiff/insured. The settlement called for Farmers to pay sales tax plus 12% interest per annum to every insured who submits a valid claim form, plus $500,000 in attorney fees and costs.