Articles Posted in Washington

ribs2Plaintiffs’ recently lost a popcorn bronchiolitis obliterans case on summary judgment.

Bronchiolitis obliterans (also called, annoyingly to me, “BO”) is a relatively uncommon, severe lung disease characterized by two awful effects: (1) obstruction to airflow; and (2) air trapping/hyperinflation.

The lawsuit against ConAgra Foods claimed that a man developed bronchiolitis obliterans, severe and progressive damage to the respiratory system, extreme shortness of breath and reduced life expectancy as a result of exposure to diacetyl in the artificial butter flavoring of popcorn. Plaintiff claimed a stunning popcorn addiction: five to seven bags of microwave popcorn daily for approximately 11 years.

Continue reading

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. 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 are going to 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 never have any 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 family of a mentally ill man who fell 20 feet from a hospital window reached a $1.3 million settlement with Pierce County, Wash. The inadequate supervision lawsuit filed by the family alleged that Puget Sound Hospital should have better supervised the victim, who suffered serious and multiple fractures from the fall.

If you have a potential inadequate supervision lawsuit, call 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.

A Saratoga County, Washington jury awarded $43.5 million last week 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.

How does a cerebral palsy case with such tremendous upside go to trial? Defendant’s cerebral palsy lawyer reportedly turned down a high/low of $2 million/$300,000. Usually, cerebral palsy cases go to trial because one side miscalculates, which appears to be the case by the hospital in this case.

Extendicare, a group of Washington nursing homes, is the defendant in a nursing home lawsuit alleging it took on way too many patients to provide adaquate care. Paintiffs’ nursing home also say that Extendicare violated a Washington law that bars nursing homes from making its clients sign a form waiving liability for Extendicare’s negligence.

Plaintiffs in this nursing home case a man whose daughter died at Aldercrest Health & Rehabilitation Center in Edmonds and two other residents.

You can find the article here.

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 really 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 that they can. It sounds so easy, they think. 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.

Washington medical malpractice lawyers filed a lawsuit against the University of Washington medical center alleging that staff doctors committed malpractice by failing to releasing a suicidal patient. Plaintiff’s medical malpractice complaint, according to the Seattle Post, states that the hospital staff negligently released the student in spite of the fact that he was hospitalized for cutting his own wrists and said that he had thoughts of committing suicide by jumping from a bridge or building. The student died two days later after jumping from 16th floor of an office.

From the medical malpractice lawyers’ perspective, these are, on their face, pretty good facts for a suicide/keep hospitalized case. But suicide malpractice cases are very complicated and a full reading of the plaintiff’s decedent’s medical records would be required to know if this is a viable medical malpractice case. One this we know already: it is an awful tragedy that could have been avoided. Whether that rises to negligence to the hospital is an entirely different question.