Articles Posted in Washington

The purpose of this post is to discuss a cerebral palsy verdict for an injury that occurred in 1984 and to explain the statute of limitations in birth injury cases in Washington in 2018.

cerebral palsy verdictsA Saratoga County, Washington jury awarded $43.5 million to a woman who sued the former Bellevue Maternity Hospital in Niskayuna for severe brain damage she suffered during her birth in 1984.

While the Plaintiff is blessed with above-average intelligence with a degree from Arizona State University, she uses a wheelchair and lacks motor skills due to the brain damage from cerebral palsy.

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in Washington after the death of a man from a dog bite. The victim died after complications from a bacterial infection from the bite. As many states require, the suit alleges that this is not the dog’s first offense. The plaintiffs claim the owner knew or should have known the dog was dangerous and kept him on a leash.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, a figure that includes a lot of minor bites that are forgotten moments later. But approximately 1,000 people go to the emergency room every single day from dog bite injuries. That is a pretty incredible statistic when you think about it. That’s 20 people a day in every state. It is easy to blame the dog, but dogs are animals. They will react to certain situations with aggression and the degree of the risk of this happening depends on the dog. If you own a dog, you have an obligation to know the degree of risk your pet poses and what his or her tendencies are. Many people have very aggressive dogs and have no incidents resulting in harm because they know their dogs and take the proper precautions. Too many dog bites occur because people don’t know their dogs and don’t act responsibly.

The Washington Supreme Court this week overruled a trial court’s summary judgment against the family of a man whose brain was harvested for mental-health research when he died can pursue a lawsuit against the county medical examiner, and the Stanley Medical Research Institute of Maryland.

The case involves a man who tragically died heart problems in 2003 shortly after his 21st birthday. Obviously a young man who cared about other people, he was an organ donor. His parents consented to provide brain tissue to the nonprofit. Instead of taking a small tissue sample, however, the King County Medical Examiner’s office – presumably by accident – provided the young man’s entire brain.

The injury to the family is the emotional distress the taking of the brain caused them. I could not possibly feel more for this family. There is nothing worse than burying your child. But I do not support this lawsuit.

The Court of Appeals of Washington in Shoemake v. Ferrer, 182 P.3rd 992 (2008) considered an interested argument by a defendant in a legal malpractice case. The Defendant lawyers blew a statute of limitations by two days in a serious head-on car accident collusion case with a drug driver. This was a guy that needed a car accident lawyer in Washington that was competent to handle his case.

The problem was that he apparently did not find a competent car accident attorney. Instead, he found a lawyer that ignored State’s Farm’s $100,000 offer to pay on Plaintiff’s uninsured motorist claim because he was “was unsure of the legal ramifications of accepting that payment.” The lesson, as always: if you are not qualified to handle a serious car accident case, don’t to it. So many lawyers who don’t handle car accident claims regularly think they can. They think it sounds so easy. But it is not.

But that is not what is interesting about the case. What is interesting is the Defendant contended successfully to the trial judge that the negligent car accident lawyers were entitled to have the damages awarded reduced by the amount stated in the lawyer’s contingency fee agreement with the client.

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