Ray Kahler has been with SKW since 1996. Ray has represented clients in a wide variety of personal injury and insurance claims, including product liability, toxic exposure, highway safety, medical malpractice, premises liability, workplace injuries, over-service of alcohol, consumer class actions, and motor vehicle collisions.
In 2014, Ray tried a case, Lee v. Willis Enterprises and Fletcher, on behalf of a man who suffered severe tinnitus and hyperacusis as a result of an electrical explosion. Lee garnered attention from the press, when a jury awarded Verl and Marsha Lee a $3.8 million verdict. Other cases Ray has handled include a product liability case against the manufacturer of a machine that made glass bottles, a $1,500,000 wrongful death settlement on behalf of the family of a firefighter who died during a surf rescue training exercise, and a $2,900,000 settlement for a man who suffered a moderate traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle crash.
Ray also has extensive experience handling appeals. He has handled appeals in the Washington Court of Appeals, Washington Supreme Court, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Some of the appeals he has handled include Munich v. Skagit 911, 175 Wn.2d 871 (2012), Unruh v. Cacchiotti, 172 Wn.2d 98 (2011), and McCallum v. Allstate, 149 Wn. App. 412 (2009).
Ray has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” since 2011 and received the Hoquiam Business Association’s Next Generation award (2011). He has presented at numerous legal education seminars and has written several articles and chapters in legal publications.
Ray graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1996, where he was a member of the Law Review. He received his undergraduate degree magna cum laude from the University of Puget Sound.
The most rewarding aspect of his work is building relationships with clients.
In his spare time, Ray has been the president of the 7th Street Theatre Association, which owns and operates a historic theater in Hoquiam, since 2004. He was also president of the Evergreen Counseling Center board of directors and was on the Grays Harbor Economic Development Council board.
- Harvard Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 1996 (Harvard Law Review)
- University of Puget Sound, B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1993
Outside the Office
In his spare time, Ray plays the clarinet. He also serves on the board of directors for the local 7th Street Theatre and was president of the board of directors of Evergreen Counseling Center.
- Grays Harbor County Bar Association (president, 1999-2001)
- Grays Harbor Roundtable,Washington State Trial Lawyers Association(chair,1997-2002) Washington State Bar Association Washington State Trial Lawyers Association Trial Lawyers for Public Justice
- Product Liability CLE, Strategies for attacking common defenses made by product manufacturers, December 2011
- ERISA 2009, WSAJ Insurance Law Seminar, 2009
- Go Beyond — “Know Your Deponent,” NBI Depositions seminar, 2008
- Why PIP and Medical Liens Should Not Be Disclosed to the Defense, WSAJ Obtaining Fair Settlements seminar, 2008
- Forming the Damages Case — Identification: Determining the Extent of Loss, WSAJ Damages Essentials seminar, 2005
- Enforcing the Limits of CR 35: Preventing “Examinations” by Defense Vocational Experts, WSAJ Defense Medical Exam seminar, 2005
- Overview of Washington’s Wrongful Death and Survival Statutes, WSAJ Wrongful Death seminar, 2005
- “Enforcing the Limits of CR 35”, WSTLA Brain Injury seminar, May 2003
- “Tort Liability Arising Out of Mold Exposure” Buildex Conference, Sept. 2000
Some of Ray's Cases
- Leroy v. State
(2004) The estate of a driver who died in a collision on an icy bridge sued the State, alleging negligence in failing to de-ice a highway bridge. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the State. The Court of Appeals agreed that the State had no duty to de-ice the bridge and that the evidence failed to show that the State had notice of, and time to correct, ice on the bridge.
- 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.
- Confidential v. Insurance Company and Law Firm
(January 2014) Confidential settlement for $1.9 million, for an insurance company’s bad faith refusal to settle a claim, forcing its insured through a public jury trial resulting in a huge excess verdict against him and significant negative publicity that essentially ended his oral surgery practice.
- 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.
- Gamper v. State of Washington
(December 2013) $1.1 million settlement. Long, deep and wide rut in road on SR 12 caused Plaintiff’s motorcycle to crash resulting in multiple internal injuries and fractures.