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Paul W. Whelan

Paul W. Whelan
It is justice, not charity, that is wanting in the world. Mary Wollstonecraft

Paul Whelan successfully blends his knowledge of engineering and medicine with compassion for clients. The result is a long list of victories for people who have experienced life-changing events.

In his decades of handling complex cases, Paul also has established relationships with experts in many areas. These deep resources help Paul build thorough, convincing arguments on behalf of his clients.

Paul is a frequent speaker to legal and medical groups on product liability, toxic torts, structured settlements, occupational and environmental disease, patient rights and physician responsibilities.


  • University of Washington, J.D., 1967
  • University of Washington, B.A., 1962

Outside the Office

Paul is a boater who spends time on land watching his kids play sports.

Awards & Achievements

  • 2013 “Lawyer of the Year” for Seattle Product Liability Litigation as a plaintiffs attorney
  • Listed in “The Best Lawyers in America, 2001 to present
  • 10 out of 10 AVVO rating
  • Trial Lawyer of the Year, American Board of Trial Advocates, Washington Chapter, 2004
  • Super Lawyer, Washington Law & Politics
  • Law Clerk to Chief Justice Robert C.Finley, Washington State Supreme Court,1967-68
  • Rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell



  • Washington State Bar Association
  • Washington State Association for Justice (formerly WA State Trial Lawyers Association)
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • American Association for Justice (formerly Association of Trial Lawyers of America)
  • Attorneys Information Exchange Group
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Public Justice (formerly Trial Lawyers for Public Justice)


  • Closing Arguments, CLE Boot Camp, December 2003
  • “Product Liability/Crashworthiness/Causation”, WSBA, November 2003
  • Expert Witnesses, WSTLA, February 2003
  • Closing Arguments, CLE Boot Camp, December 2002
  • Masters in Trial, ABOTA, October 2002
  • Crashworthiness, AIEG/WSTLA , Barcelona, September 2002
  • Fuel Systems, AIEG, September 2002
  • Damages, WSTLA, March 2002
  • Closing Arguments, CLE Boot Camp, January 2002
  • Expert Witness Presentation, UW Law School Mock Trial, January 2000
  • Useful Safe Life, WSTLA Luvera Seminar, July 1999
  • “Product Liability , Contributory fault in crashworthiness cases”, May 1999
  • Pretrial Investigation,WSTLA,September 1998
  • “Discovery in Occupant Restraint Cases”, AIEG – San Francisco, September 1998

Some of Paul's Cases

Ruiz-Guzman v. Amvac Chemical Corp

(2008) Established the right, under the Washington Product Liability Act, to rely on an alternative product to show that the challenged product’s risks outweigh the beneficial effects of using an alternative design.

Jaramillo v. Ford Motor Co.

(2004) The surviving husband and children of a mother and daughter who died when the Ford Explorer the mother was driving rolled when she swerved to avoid a deer sued the vehicle manufacturer for design defects. A jury found in favor of the defendant. The Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded for a new trial because the trial court allowed the vehicle manufacturer to admit evidence of comparative accident statistics that were not limited to rollovers on smooth, dry pavement.

Davis v. Northwest Permanente, PC; Kaiser Foundation Hospital and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest dba Kaiser Permanente

(March 2012) Confidential settlement for failure to timely diagnose Merkel cell carcinoma in a 50 year-old woman. The physician discarded the tissue excised at biopsy rather than sending it to pathology. The cancer metastasized from her buttock to her inguinal lymph node.

Weller v. Confidential HMO and its family practice physician

(May 11, 2007), $1,000,000 settlement for failure to inform plaintiff of continual rise in PSA levels over 9 years in setting of HMO prostate cancer policies known as the “PSA project.” When ultimately referred to an urologist, the prostate cancer had metastasized to plaintiff’s bones. Plaintiff ultimately succumbed to the prostate cancer.

Ratigan v. Central Building, LLC

(September 2004) $1,575,000 settlement for client who suffered a brain injury in a fall from a window.