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Featured Cases

The law firm of Stritmatter Kessler Whelan Koehler Moore Kahler has worked on behalf of those suffering from wrongful death and catastrophic injuries for over 30 years. These cases are just a few that provide a glimpse at how our attorneys have brought justice to those fighting corporations, the government, insurance companies, and negligent employers. Please also review our Disclaimer.


Ride the Ducks Cases
The firm of Stritmatter Kessler represents the largest number of victims from the September 2015 Ride the Ducks crash on Aurora Bridge in Seattle. At last count*, our attorneys represent 20 Ride the Ducks victims. The cases involve claims of driver negligence, corporate negligence, product liability, vehicle crashworthiness, negligent highway design, and insurance coverage. It is complicated and will take years to litigate. The defendants include Ride the Ducks (RTD) Seattle, Ride the Ducks International, and T.H.E., their insurance company. The City of Seattle and the State of Washington are also defendants. These entities were legally responsible to maintain the Aurora Bridge in a reasonably safe condition. But they failed to adopt their own safety recommendations. *Last updated June 15, 2016.
Aurora Bridge victims vs State of WA & City of Seattle
SKW clients sustained serious injuries as the result of a Metro bus crashing into oncoming traffic on the Aurora Bridge. A Metro bus driver was shot, and the bus traveled across the Aurora Bridge and through the railing -- plunging to the ground. We deposed SDOT employees. From those depositions, we learned that the State and City has talked about installing a barrier for many years. At that time, we reviewed plans for adding a pedestrian walkway at a level just below the bridge, enabling the City to remove the sidewalk, and move the lanes over to accommodate the median barrier.
Cooper v. Ralph’s Concrete Pumping & Miles Sand & Gravel
Wrongful death of 30 year old worker, where compressed air hose tore loose and whipped Allan Cooper in the head. Tragedy left widow Teresa Cooper traumatized and in a deep depression.
Rocky Spencer v. Northwest Helicopters
(September, 2007) Rocky Spencer, a highly regarded wildlife biologist for Washington State, was killed when a main rotor disc blade on a Northwest Helicopters Hughes 500 struck him in the head and decapitated him.
Hemmer v. [Confidential] Airline
Mike Hemmer, a Boeing engineer, was on a business trip when he was flying back to Seattle from Istanbul. Little did he know that the trip he had made many times before would claim the life one of his colleagues. On February 24, 2009, Mike remembers taking a taxi to the airport to catch a flight to Amsterdam that would transfer him to a flight destined to Seattle. The next thing Mike knew, he woke up in a hospital in Amsterdam. He has no recollection of boarding the plane that ultimately crashed just under a mile away from Schipol Airport in Amsterdam. The fatalities included his Boeing coworker.

SKW airplane crash attorneys fought against incredible odds-- against the wealthy corporate opponents. After months of investigation, research, depositions, mediation, and trial-- SKW obtained justice for Mike Hemmer and his family.
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.
Benton v. Kaiser Permanente
A $4 million settlement of a class action for the reckless violation of patient rights in testing for HIV without patient knowledge or consent. Between April 11, 2013 and May 6, 2013, Kaiser Permanent illegally tested thousands without their knowledge and consent.
Ethel Adams v. Farmers Insurance Co.
(2005) Ethel Adams was happily delivering dentures for her employer on March 23, 2005, when her life forever changed. A crazed man named Michael Testa was chasing his girlfriend Elizabeth Campo down Aurora Avenue. He bashed her with his truck until she lost control and flipped up and over the center line. Her truck crashed head-on into and on top of Ethel’s little Hyundai, smashing it backwards into oncoming following traffic. Ethel was almost crushed to death. What makes this case special is that a new law was enacted, called the Ethel's law. It was unanimously passed: SHB 2415.
Van Lear v. State of Washington, et al.
Keith and Lisa Van Lear suffered life threatening injuries, when a Jeep made a left turn into a dangerous intersection. After case moved to the State Supreme Court, the State of WA paid our clients a $3.75 million settlement.
Lan Remme v. City of Seattle and State of Washington
Fit cyclists, Lan Remme, hit a dangerous section on the Montlake Bridge. ($4,000,000) WSDOT Bridge Inspectors photo-documented and reported a 2-inch vertical change between concrete sidewalk panels, calling it a Priority One “tripping hazard”. After assigning it a repair number, WSDOT did nothing else. One year later, on April 2, 2011, Lan Remme rode his bicycle onto this Montlake Bridge sidewalk, traveling at 5 mph. According to an eyewitness, at the very point of the 2-inch “tripping hazard”, his front wheel abruptly stopped, pitching him over the handlebars. His helmeted head struck the sidewalk, and he was left motionless. Lan is now an incomplete quadriplegia and suffered serious injuries including right sinus and orbital facial fractures.
Owen v. State of Washington
State settles with Owen family for Hwy 2 tree fall for $10 million.
Bryan v. [Confidential] Hotel
(2012) Because of a hotel’s negligence, Zula Bryan has sustained serious and permanent injuries that have rendered her virtually blind in her right eye and caused chronic head and facial pain. Zula has only peripheral vision in her right eye since her surgery. She describes what she sees when she looks straight ahead as smoky crackled glass.
Kime v. City of Seattle
(2002) The Kime case is well known by Seattle residents who were around in the early 2000's. Young Kris Kime was trying to help an innocent victim, who was being attacked during the Mardi Gras riots of 2001, when he himself was then beaten to death. Despite Kris' friends pleas to the police, who stood nearby the beating, the officers complied with the Mayor's orders to do nothing. Suing the City was a way to hold it accountable for decisions that led to avoidable death and injuries.
Pattison v. City of Chelan
$4.5 million settlement for a spinal cord injury that resulted in the client being a tetraplegic. Client dove into Lake Chelan in a city park and hit his head on submerged rocks. No warnings of the danger was posted.
Glantz v. City of Lynnwood
Ms. Glantz was seriously injured when attempting to cross a pedestrian walkway. With the help of SKW governmental liability attorneys, she sued the City of Lynnwood for neglecting to correct a defective warning lights that it had knowledge about, and settled for $2.25 million.
Petersen v. Finazzo
(2008) Mr. Petersen, an active young man was seriously hurt on the job but found justice through SKW attorneys.Ultimately, the jury rendered verdict for $1,033,000.00. After the verdict was read, the jury members embraced Ken Petersen.
Schneider v. Major Car Manufacturer
(2007) A young woman suffered profound injuries as the result of a car crash. The other driver testified that Ms. Schneider did nothing wrong. SKW brought justice against the car manufacturer of Marissa's car, for faulty design. A confidential settlement was obtained for Marissa and her family.
Sanderson v. Evergreen Rehabilitation
(2008) Because of nursing home abuse, Mr. Sanderson suffers lifelong injuries.
John LaMacchia v. Confidential
(2012) John LaMacchia thought it was a perfect day for for a bicycle ride. He rode his bicycle southbound on 25th Ave. NE in Seattle. A man, driving a Mercedes Benz sedan, suddenly and unexpectedly made a left-hand turn directly in front of John. John did not have a chance. Though his bicycle was only traveling about 20 mph, John could not stop before colliding with the passenger’s side of Ralph’s vehicle. John violently struck Ralph’s vehicle head first before being thrown to the pavement. The driver of the Benz was cited for turning left without yielding to oncoming traffic.
Magana v. Hyundai Motor America
After years of fighting with Hyundai and appearing before the state Supreme Court, Jesse Magana received a large settlement from Hyundai.
Perez v. THG Construction
SKW fought for Mr. Perez, against a construction company for allowing workers to work under treacherous conditions.
Lacey Hicks v. State of Washington Department of Transportation, City of Aberdeen
Due to lack of maintenance of the light poles on the Chehalis River Bridge, one of them smashed through Lacey's car. Lacey sustained serious injuries, including a spinal cord injury. In Spring 2012, the State finally indicated readiness to fund a project for a proper lighting system.
Munich v. Skagit Emergency Communications Center, et al.
After Bill Munich called 911 twice, a successful entrepreneur, was gunned down by his drunken neighbor. The 911 dispatch operator had miscategorized Bill's call as Priority 2, so that the responding officer did not turn his sirens on or speed to Bill's rescue. His family received a $2.3 million settlement.
Heather Spriggs v. Grays Harbor Community Hospital et. al.
Twenty-seven year old Heather Spriggs had a complete body when she arrived at Grays Harbor Community Hospital on October 27, 2011. A day and one-half later, she was flown out almost dead. Surgeons at the UW Hospital had to cut off her cadaverous legs to save her life.
Sofie v. Fibreboard
Even after 25 years, Sofie remains one of the most important cases for personal injury and wrongful death plaintiffs. Cited by courts throughout the country, the decision has since abolished the "cap" on damages contained in RCW 4.56.250.
Hesse, et al. v. Sprint PCS
(2014) SKW obtained a $20 million settlement in a class action lawsuit against Sprint PCS.
Santos v. [Confidential] Bar
David Santos lost his young son, when a drunk driver hit him on a well lit road. Terrance Oleson and James Nichols started celebrating another friend's 25th birthday by drinking about a dozen screwdrivers and smoking pot at Nichols' house. After getting served a series of beers and shots at the defendant bar, the drunk duo went on a small trek that resulted in hitting young Shane. Shane was on a bike, headed to the 7-11 with his friends (who survived but were seriously injured). He died at the scene.