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Recent Injury Law Blog Posts

Class actions empower consumers

Posted on 20 July 2014

A widespread fallacy is that class action lawsuits only help to line lawyers’  pockets.  This is what corporations wa... Read more


Healthy Aging After a Catastrophic Accident

Posted on 12 July 2014

My parents are in their early 70′s. They hike up mountains, golf daily, walk for hours, garden, and travel constantly. ... Read more


SKW Karen Koehler Listed as a 2014 Washington Top 10 Super Lawyer

Posted on 25 June 2014

  I wasn’t surprised when I learned that our very own Karen Koehler was listed as one of the Top 10 Super Lawyers ... Read more


High Profile Cases

Munich v. Skagit County and Skagit County 911

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 was received a $2.3 million settlement.

Magana v. Hyundai Motor Corp

$8 million default judgment rendered by the Washington State Supreme Court. The Supreme Court upheld the lower court's decision: "Trial courts need not tolerate deliberate and willful discovery abuse. Given the unique facts and circumstances of this case, we hold that the trial court appropriately diagnosed Hyundai's willful efforts to frustrate and undermine truthful pretrial discovery efforts..." (emphasis added)

Monster Truck Case

SKW represented the family of the young boy, who was killed at a Monster Truck show at the Tacoma Dome.  Sebastian’s family all witnessed  Sebastian’s horrific death. In August 2009, SKW helped Sebastian’s family and his Estate reach a confidential settlement with the owner/manufacturer of the Monster Truck and the promoter who put on the event.

Kime v. City of Seattle

Wrongful death settlement

One of the worst decisions the City of Seattle ever made was to allow Pioneer Square to erupt into riots during Mardi Gras 2001. Kristopher Kime was bending over to help a young woman who had been beaten and knocked to the ground, when he was violently attacked. His friends ran to the perimeter of the riot zone and begged police to help. They were told that the officers had been instructed not to render assistance. Kris was lifted off the street and carried to the police by friends and off-duty firefighters. But it was too late. He died of massive brain injuries.

Sanderson v. Evergreen Rehabilitation Bremerton

$851,000 judgment awarded to a 36-year-old, highly dependent brain injury patient, who suffered repeated neglect and abuse over the course of a one-year stay at a skilled nursing facility.

Schneider v. Major Car Manufacturer

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.

Forestier v. City of Vancouver

Government Liability

$6,050,000 settlement for a French foreign exchange student who was a pedestrian hit by a vehicle while crossing Fort Vancouver Way on her way to school. The City failed to provide proper lighting for the crossing.

Dussault v. Midcentury Insurance Co.

($2.825 million settlement)  In one of the largest insurance bad faith cases in Washington state, our legal team facilitated a settlement arising from an auto collision that resulted in a severe closed-head injury.

Ethel Adams v. Farmers Insurance Co.

Insurance Bad Faith

Michael Testa rammed his girlfriend’s truck as he chased her down Aurora Avenue. The truck crossed the centerline where it flipped upside down ontop of and head on into Ethel Adams almost killing her. Ethel’s insurance company, Farmers decided not to pay the claim because road rage was not an "accident".

The public became outraged as media covered the lawsuit. The Insurance Commissioner threatened to shut Farmers down in Washington at which point it changed its mind and paid on the policy. Ethel then sued Farmers for bad faith. One year after Ethel was hurt, the Governor signed the Ethel Adams bill into law – when an innocent person is injured in a car accident, the insurance company can no longer play the same word games.

How the case of Ethel Adams changed the law

McCallum v. Allstate

A bad faith insurance case against Allstate received support from Court of Appeals Div. II, which upheld the trial judge's ruling that reversed entry of a protective order for Allstate's CCPR and other claim manuals. Allstate was ordered to produce the documents without a protective order--an important ruling for consumers.

Stanton v. LeMay

$2.7 million settlement for the deaths of two minor children who were passengers in a vehicle that rear-ended a recycling truck without proper under-ride protection guard that had stopped in the roadway.

Clauson v. Ashland, Inc.

Confidential settlement for a diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma for a housewife as a result of being contaminated by asbestos fibers at home because of the work exposure of her ex-husband.