State of Washington pays $3 million to settle lawsuit over deaths on dangerous stretch of Highway 522

State of Washington pays $3 million to settle lawsuit over deaths on dangerous stretch of Highway 522

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In 2014, Stanley and Joan Kinger were leaving their daughter’s house in Monroe, where they had just delivered lemon cookies and fresh-caught fish.  On the way home, the Kingers’ vehicle was struck head-on by another driver on Highway 522, near Fales Road.  The Kingers both died. 

The Kingers’ family hired the Stritmatter firm to investigate the crash.  Stritmatter firm lawyers Keith Kessler, Brad Moore, and Brian Ladenburg uncovered evidence that the State had planned to expand and install jersey barriers on this particular section of Highway 522 several years ago, but never did. 

The Stritmatter firm filed wrongful death claims against the State for the inherently dangerous condition of the highway—lacking a center median barrier.  On February 22, 2019, a Snohomish County court commissioner recently approved a $3 million settlement by the State.

While the settlement is a positive development , the Kinger family remains upset that the hazard of fatal cross-over collisions continues unabated.  “The road is still unsafe,” Lynn Wood, the Kingers’ daughter says. “I have personally witnessed three accidents close to where my parents were killed, and I have seen skid marks from other accidents.”

The Kinger family is actively participating in Finish 522, a campaign to persuade legislators and the State to finish the expansion and barrier protection along Highway 522.The #Finish522 coalition also includes civil, business, and political leaders.