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Appeals

SKW's lawyers have handled dozens of appeals over the past 40 years. Our appellate work has advanced and clarified the law in the areas of personal injury, wrongful death, product liability, consumer class actions, insurance, and civil procedure. While most of the firm’s appellate work has been in the Washington Court of Appeals and the Washington Supreme Court, the firm has also handled several appeals in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The following are examples of some of the appellate cases in which the firm has been involved.

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… Read More

Detwiler v. Gall, Landau & Young Construction Co.

(1986) The defendant in a negligence action served interrogatories on the plaintiff requesting identifying information about consulting experts. Plaintiff objected to providing information about nonwitness consulting experts, and the defendants successfully sought an order from the trial court compelling answers to the interrogatories. Plaintiff was granted expedited discretionary review before the Court of Appeals, which… Read More

Connor v. Universal Utilities

(1986) Established that due process does not require notice of a hearing to determine the amount of a default judgment in a personal injury case.

Norris v. State

(1987) A motorcyclist, whose motorcycle had struck the end of an unmarked curb immediately adjacent to a freeway on-ramp, brought a lawsuit against the State claiming negligent design and maintenance of the on-ramp. A jury found in favor of the plaintiff. The plaintiff appealed the trial court’s refusal to award him prejudgment interest on portions of… Read More

Viking Ins. Co. of Wisconsin v. Hill

(1990) An automobile insurance company sought a declaratory judgment as to its duty to defend. The trial court granted summary judgment against the insurer. The Court of Appeals held that the insurance company’s duty to defend was terminated upon its tender of policy limits and release from duty to defend signed by the insured, pursuant… Read More

Stephens v. City of Seattle

(1991) A motorcyclist who struck a negligently designed curb sued the City of Seattle for injuries sustained. The trial court entered summary judgment in favor of the city, finding no proximate cause as a matter of law based upon the facts that the motorcyclist had been drinking and speeding on his motorcycle before he struck the… Read More

McCluskey v. Handorff-Sherrman

(1994) The widow of a driver killed in a two-automobile collision brought survival and wrongful death actions against the State and the driver of the other automobile. A jury found in favor of the plaintiff, and the State appealed. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court held that: (1) statute providing procedure for allocating resources to highway… Read More

Rice v. Dow Chemical Co.

(1994) A worker brought suit against an herbicide manufacturer, alleging that his exposure to herbicides caused him to develop leukemia. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the manufacturer. The Supreme Court accepted certification from the Court of Appeals and held that: (1) the manufacturer gave proper notice of reliance on Oregon law, and… Read More

Allyn v. Boe

(1997) A landowner brought an action against an adjoining landowner for timber trespass and emotional distress. After a jury awarded damages to the plaintiff, the trial judge ordered a new trial. The Court of Appeals held that: (1) a juror committed misconduct by failing to disclose, during jury selection, her negative opinion about the defendant’s… Read More

Soproni v. Polygon Apartment Partners

(1999) The mother of a 20-month-old child who fell out of a bedroom window in an apartment complex brought a products liability action against the window manufacturer for failing to warn and provide guards on the window to prevent children from opening it. The trial court granted summary judgment for the manufacturer. The Court of Appeals… Read More

British Columbia Ministry of Health v. Homewood

(1999) Re-established under the doctrine of equitable subrogation that an insurer is not entitled to be paid from the third party recovery of a tort victim who does not obtain full compensation.

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.

Sitton v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co.

(2003) Insureds of State Farm brought a class action against State Farm to recover for breach of contract and fiduciary duty, bad faith, violation of the Consumer Protection Act, and unjust enrichment by denying or limiting claims for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits after medical utilization review. The trial court certified the class and bifurcated… Read More

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… Read More

Martini, ex rel., Dussault v. Stat

(2004)  A driver who crashed into a nearly stopped semi-truck near midnight in a construction area on I-5 sued the State and the construction contractor for negligence in signing the construction zone, and the trucking company. The trial court granted summary judgment to the trucking company, and a jury found in favor of the State and the… Read More

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