WSAJ Foundation Amicus Cases
 
WSAJ Foundation Amicus Program Shapes Tort Law

The WSAJ Foundation Amicus Program has filed nearly 400 briefs in the past 40 years. This work has helped shape tort law in Washington state. It has helped achieve justice for our clients, and has helped our members in their everyday practices in profound ways, no matter what their area of practice.

Make a Request for Appearance of the WSAJ Foundation Amicus Curiae On-Line here

Meet our Amicus Team

Valerie McOmie
Coordinator: Valerie McOmie
360-852-3332
valeriemcomie@gmail.com

 Biography

Valerie McOmie has served as Co-Coordinator of the Amicus Program since November 2015. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Speech Communica­tion from the University of Washington in 1992 and 1995, respectively, with an emphasis on First Amendment Law during her Master’s program. Val then went on in 1998 to graduate from New York University Law School, and is a member of both the Washington and Oregon Bar Associations. During law school, after honing her oratory skills via collegiate debate and public speaking, Val demonstrated her excellent oral argument abilities by reaching the top Moot Court award in each of her 3 years of law school at NYU, culminating in Val participating in the 1998 National Moot Court competition, where her team emerged victorious, and Val received the “Speaker of the Year” award. After law school, Val clerked for two federal judges, Hon. David Ezra (U.S. District Court, Hawaii – hey, somebody had to do it!) and the Hon. Robert E. Jones (U.S. District Court, Oregon), where she further honed her legal research and writing skills. Val is married (Dave McOmie), lives in Camas, Washington, and is the proud mother of 6 children/step-children. 

 

Dan Huntington
Coordinator: Daniel Huntington
(509) 455-4201
danhuntington@richter-wimberley.com

 Biography

Dan Huntington has as served as Co-Coordinator of the Amicus Program since August 2016. After receiving his B.A. from Gonzaga University in 1974, and his law degree from Boalt Hall, University of California at Berkeley in 1977, Dan was admitted to the Washington State Bar, and began practicing in Tacoma in 1978 with The Law Offices of F. Ross Burgess. Then, he re-located to Spokane in 1979 to join the Spokane firm Richter-Wimberley, P.S., where for the past 38 years his practice has largely consisted of plaintiff’s personal injury, medical malpractice and insurance coverage litigation. Dan has a rich history with WSAJ and its Amicus Program. In fact, Dan’s initial exposure to appellate work came in 1985 when he first assisted in the preparation of an amicus brief on behalf of the then-WSTLA Amicus Program. He is a Fellow of The American College of Trial Lawyers, and has been selected numerous times to The Best Lawyers in America, as a “Super Lawyer” by Washington Law & Politics magazine and listed in The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Attorneys. Dan and his wife Mary live in Spokane where they raised their two children.

 

Amicus Information

Make a Request for Appearance of the WSAJ Foundation Amicus Curiae On-Line here

Sample of Cases by Practice Area

 Civil Procedure

Davis v. Cox, 183 Wn.2d 269 (2015). The Court unanimously struck down RCW 4.24.525, one of Washington’s “anti-SLAPP” statutes, as a facially unconstitutional violation of the right to trial by jury under the Washington Constitution. WSAJ Foundation filed an amicus curiae memorandum in support of review and an amicus curiae brief on the merits, and participated in oral argument. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. #A-367 (amicus brief on merits). 

Martin v. Dematic, Martin v. Dematic, 182 Wn.2d 281 (2014). The Court unanimously held that: (1) de novo review applies to a trial court decision regarding relation back of a party amendment under CR 15(c); and (2) regarding the lack-of-inexcusable-neglect requirement for such amendments, the defendant has the initial burden of showing that the defendant's identity was "easily ascertainable," and only then is it incumbent upon the plaintiff to give a reasonable excuse or show due diligence. The Court left open the possibility of abandoning the lack-of-inexcusable-neglect requirement altogether in a future case. WSAJ Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief on the merits. See WSAJ Fdn Am. Br. # A-364.

Powers v. W.B. Mobile Servs., Inc., 182 Wn.2d 159 (2014). The Court held that service of process on one named defendant tolls the statute of limitations under RCW 4.16.170 as to a fictitious “John Doe” defendant serving as a placeholder for an unnamed defendant, if the plaintiff identifies the unnamed defendant with reasonable particularity. WSAJ Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief on the merits and participated in oral argument. See WSAJ Fdn Am. Br. #A-363.

 Civil Rights

State v. Arlene’s Flowers, 2017 WL 629181 (Wn. Sup. Ct., Feb. 16, 2017). In State v. Arlene’s Flowers, a unanimous Supreme Court held that a flower shop's refusal to provide floral services for a same-sex wedding constituted sexual orientation discrimination in violation of the Washington Law Against Discrimination, Ch. 49.60 RCW, and the Consumer Protection Act, Ch. 19.86 RCW. The Court further held that Arlene’s Flowers' discriminatory conduct was not excused on any state or federal constitutional grounds, including freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association or a “hybrid rights” analysis. Finally, the Court concluded that because Arlene’s Flowers’ owner, Barronelle Stutzman, personally committed discriminatory acts, she could be held personally liable. WSAJ Foundation appeared as amicus curiae, arguing 1) under the WLAD, subjective intent to discriminate, or “animus,” is not an element of liability, and there is no basis for balancing a business owner’s religious freedom claim against a customer’s right to be free from discrimination, and 2) Arlene’s conduct is not protected under any of the asserted state or federal constitutional defenses. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-395.

 Consumer Law

Thornell v. Seattle Service Bureau, Inc., 184 Wn.2d 793 (2015). On certification from the Western District of Washington, the Court unanimously held that the Consumer Protection Act, Ch. 19.86 RCW (CPA), has extraterritorial application, so that a nonresident plaintiff may bring a CPA action against a resident defendant and a non-resident defendant acting through a resident agent. WSAJ Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief on the merits. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. #A-377.

Schnall v. AT&T Wireless, 171 Wn.2d 260 (2011). In Schnall, the Washington Supreme Court preserved the proximate cause standard in Consumer Protection Act cases, holding that a plaintiff in a private CPA action must establish that but for the defendant’s unfair or deceptive practice, the plaintiff’s injury would not have occurred, and that reliance is not a necessary element of a CPA claim. WSAJ Foundation submitted an amicus curiae brief and an ACM on reconsideration, arguing that the CPA does not require reliance as proof of causation. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-296 (Amicus Curiae Brief) & # A-371 (ACM on reconsideration).

McCurry v. Chevy Chase Bank, FSB, 169 Wn.2d 96 (2010). In McCurry, the Washington Supreme Court declined to adopt the federal standard for motions to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). WSAJ Foundation filed a joint amicus brief with American Association for Justice (AAJ)), arguing that the the Court should preserve the 12(b)(6) standard for motion to dismiss in state court, notwithstanding the more onerous standard applied in federal court. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-311.

 Employment Law

In Zhu v. North Central Educational Service District No. 171, a unanimous Supreme Court held that RCW 49.60.210, the retaliation provision of the Washington Law Against Discrimination, creates a cause of action for a job applicant against a prospective employer who refuses to hire the applicant in retaliation for prior opposition to discrimination against a previous employer. WSAJ Foundation appeared as amicus curiae, arguing that RCW 49.60.210 unambiguously creates a cause of action in this context, and the Court should liberally construe the statute to effectuate the purpose of eradicating discrimination. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-405.

Newman v. Highland School District, 186 Wn.2d 769 (2016). In Newman, involving claims of negligence against a school district arising out of a student’s injuries sustained while playing high school football, a five-member majority of the Court held that communications between school district counsel and former school employees were not privileged, because the corporate attorney-client privilege does not shield discovery of postemployment communications between corporate counsel and former employees. The WSAJ Foundation submitted an amicus curiae brief, arguing that the Court should adopt a bright-line rule and hold that the corporate attorney-client privilege does not protect communications with former employees. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-380.

Blackburn v. State 186 Wn.2d 250 (2016). In Blackburn, a unanimous Court held that racially-based staffing assignments of nurses at Western State Hospital constituted disparate treatment discrimination in violation of 49.60.180(3) of the WLAD and reversed the trial court. The Court otherwise upheld the trial court's dismissal of the hostile work environment claim. WSAJ Foundation appeared as amicus curiae regarding the role of subjective intent in determining WLAD liability. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. #A-387.

Arnold v. City of Seattle, 185 Wn.2d 510 (2016). This case involves whether, under RCW 49.48.030, an attorney fees statute regarding recovery of wages or salary, a civil service commission administrative proceeding is an “action.” The Court concluded that the statute applies in these circumstances. WSAJ Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief on the merits. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-382.

Becker v. Cmty. Health Sys., Inc., 184 Wn.2d 252 (2015); Rose v. Anderson Hay & Grain Co., 184 Wn. 2d 268 (2015); and Rickman v. Premera Blue Cross, 184 Wn.2d 300 (2015). These three linked cases involve the tort of wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, and whether the Court should continue the current framework for deciding these types of claims, particularly the “strict adequacy” analysis of the jeopardy element. While the Court did not abandon the current framework, it did eliminate the strict adequacy analysis of the jeopardy element. WSAJ filed amicus curiae briefs in all three cases, and participated in oral argument in Rose. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Brs. #A-371, #A-372 & #A-373.

Kumar v. Gate Gourmet, Inc., 180 Wn.2d 481 (2014). In Kumar, the Washington Supreme Court held that there is a duty to accommodate religion under the Washington Law Against Discrimination, Ch. 49.60 RCW, disapproving of the Division III decision to the contrary in Short v. Battleground School District, 169 Wn. App. 188. (2012). WSAJ Foundation appeared as amicus curiae, arguing that the Court should recognize discrimination in the form of failure to accommodate religious belief or practice under the WLAD. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-355.

Ockletree v. Franciscan Health System, 179 Wn.2d 769 (2014). In Ockletree, a divided Washington Supreme Court held that the religious exemption from the definition of “employer” in the Washington Law Against Discrimination could not be invoked in actions by employees of nonprofit religious institutions who did not perform religious practices. A concurring/dissenting opinion of Justice Wiggins and a four-justice dissent limited application of the religious exclusion “only to the extent that it relates to employees whose job responsibilities relate to the organization’s religious practices.” WSAJ Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief on the merits. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-352.

 Government Accountability

N.L. v. Bethel School Dist.,186 Wn.2d 422 (2016). The Court held in a 5-4 opinion that in a negligence action brought by a student against a school district for injuries sustained as a result of the intentional acts of another student, the fact that the resulting harm occurred off school premises and outside the school’s custody did not, as a matter of law, defeat the claim. Focusing on the concept of foreseeability, the Court held that the school had a duty to exercise reasonable care during the custodial period to protect its students from foreseeable harm, and whether the resulting injury was within the scope of that duty was a question of fact. WSAJ Foundation filed an amicus brief on the merits and participated in oral argument. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-384.

Binschus v. Skagit County, 186 Wn.2d 573 (2016). In Binschus, the Court held in a 5-4 opinion that a jail's “take charge” duty with respect to its inmates is limited to exercising reasonable control during the period of incarceration, and does not encompass a broader duty to take reasonable precautions during the take charge period to protect third parties from foreseeable harm that occurs after the inmate is lawfully released. WSAJ Foundation appeared as amicus curiae, arguing that the “take charge" duty is an extension of the general duty imposed in Petersen v. State, 100 Wn.2d 421 (1983), and a defendant with a “take charge” duty therefore has a duty to take reasonable precautions to prevent foreseeable harm to third parties. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-383.

Wuthrich v. King County, 185 Wn.2d 19 (2016). This case involves whether a municipality’s tort liability for negligent failure to correct an inherently dangerous or misleading condition is based on a totality of the circumstances, or is limited as a matter of law to conditions existing in the roadway itself. In a unanimous opinion, the Court held that a municipality’s duty of care is not limited to the roadway and is instead based on the totality of circumstances. WSAJ Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief on the merits and participated in oral argument. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. #A-379.

Jewels v. City of Bellingham, 183 Wn.2d 388 (2015). This case involves the exception to the recreational use immunity statute for injuries resulting from a “known dangerous artificial latent condition for which warning signs have not been conspicuously posted.” RCW 4.24.210(4)(a). In a 5-4 decision, the Court confirmed that the adjectives known, dangerous, artificial and latent all modify the word condition, so that the plaintiff does not have to establish that the owner of recreational property had knowledge of the dangerous nature of the condition. However, the Court held that latency is determined from the point of view of a stationary nearby observer. WSAJ Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief on the merits and an amicus curiae memorandum (ACM) on reconsideration. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. #A-366 (amicus brief on merits); WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. #A-374 (ACM on reconsideration). 

Camicia v. Howard S. Wright Construction Co., 179 Wn.2d 684 (2014) . In Camicia, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that it is a question of fact for the jury to decide if the Recreational Immunity Act, RCW 4.24.210, should apply to lands. In this case, it addresses the I-90 bicycle trail across Mercer Island, used for both public transportation and recreation purposes. WSAJ Foundation submitted an amicus curiae brief on the merits. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-332.

 Insurance Law

In King County v. Vinci Construction Grands Projets/Parsons RCI/Frontier-Kemper, JV, King County entered into a public works contract with the defendant joint venture. King County brought suit against the joint venture and its sureties for breach of the contract, the joint venture and the sureties answered denying breach, and the joint venture set forth a counterclaim alleging that King County breached the contract. There is a statute specific to public works contracts that provides a method for obtaining an award of attorney fees, and none of the parties to the cause of action sought attorney fees under that statute. Following a verdict for King County and a verdict for the joint venture on its counterclaim, the trial court awarded Olympic Steamship fees to King County. In a 6-3 opinion, the Supreme Court held that Olympic Steamship fees were not preempted by the statutory provision for an award of attorney fees, and the award for attorney fees could not be segregated because the sureties' defenses and the joint venture's defenses were indistinguishable. WSAJ Foundation appeared as amicus curiae arguing that the statutory provision for an award of attorney fees in public works contracts is not exclusive and does not preempt an award of Olympic Steamship fees. See WSAJ Foundation Amicus Brief # A-398.

In Xia v. Probuilders Specialty Insurance Company, S.C. # 92436-8, Justice Yu wrote for the majority, holding that the efficient proximate cause rule applied to determine whether an absolute pollution exclusion contained in a liability insurance contract barred coverage for injuries caused by carbon monoxide poisoning resulting from negligent installation of a water heater. The Court concluded that the negligent installation of the water heater — a covered occurrence under the contract — was the efficient proximate cause of the claimed loss, and coverage therefore existed under the policy. The Court further held that the insurer’s failure to defend constituted bad faith. Justice McCloud concurred in part and dissented in part, and Justice Madsen wrote a separate dissent, in which Justice Owens joined. WSAJ Foundation appeared as amicus curiae, arguing that based on legal uncertainty regarding the enforceability of absolute pollution exclusions on these facts, the insurer had a duty to defend.

Perez-Crisantos v. State Farm, 2017 WL 448991 (Wn. Sup. Ct., Feb. 2, 2017). In Perez-Crisantos, the Washington Supreme Court held that the Insurance Fair Conduct Act, RCW 48.30.015 (IFCA), does not create an independent cause of action for violation of the insurance regulations enumerated in subsection (5) that statute. WSAJ Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief and participated in oral argument, arguing that when read as a whole, the plain meaning of IFCA gives rise to a private cause of action for violation of the insurance regulations, or, at the very least, the statute is ambiguous on this issue, and legislative history indicates an intent to make violations of these regulations actionable. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-392.

Expedia v. Steadfast Ins. Co., 180 Wn. 2d 793 (2014). In Expedia, the Washington Supreme Court unanimously held that a trial court may not delay a determination regarding the duty to defend in a declaratory judgment action pending completion of discovery regarding late tender and other policy defenses. The duty to defend is triggered based solely on the coverage. The Court also held that discovery in the declaratory judgment action must be stayed if it will potentially prejudice defense of the underlying action. WSAJ Foundation submitted an amicus curiae brief on the merits. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-359.

Mutual of Enumclaw Ins. Co. v. Dan Paulson Construction Inc., 159 Wn.2d 1018 (2007). In Dan Paulson, the Washington Supreme Court unanimously reversed the Court of Appeals, finding insurance bad faith as a matter of law because the liability insurer’s coverage team subpoenaed (and engaged in ex parte communications with) the arbitrator in the underlying dispute giving rise to the claim, in an effort to sort out coverage issues. WSAJ Foundation (formerly WSTLA Foundation) submitted an amicus curiae brief on the merits and participated in oral argument. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-281.

Mahler/Fisher v. State Farm, 135 Wn2d 398 (1998). In Mahler, the Washington Supreme Court recognized insured’s right in these consolidated cases to pro rata attorney’s fees and costs incurred in recovering PIP subrogation for insurer in conjunction with tort litigation. WSAJ Foundation (formerly WSTLA) submitted an amicus curiae brief on the merits. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-167.

McGreevy v. Oregon Mut. Ins. Co., 128 Wn.2d 26 (1995). In McGreevy, the Washington Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Olympic Steamship attorneys’ fee rule. WSAJ Foundation (formerly WSTLA) submitted an amicus curiae brief on the merits. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-142.

 Medical Negligence

In Frausto v. Yakima HMA, LLC, S.C. # 93312-0, a unanimous Supreme Court held that an advanced registered nurse practitioner may not be per se disqualified from offering expert testimony regarding proximate cause in a medical negligence action, and instead, the expert must be evaluated under the criteria established in Evidence Rule 702, which permits witnesses to offer expert testimony if they are qualified by virtue of their knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education. WSAJ Foundation appeared as amicus curiae, arguing that proffered experts must be evaluated based on their qualifications under ER 702, and may not be per se disqualified based solely on status as a non-physician.  Watch the Oral Argument Here.

Fast v. Kennewick Public Hosp. Dist., 187 Wn.2d 27 (2016). In Fast, a unanimous Court held that in a claim for wrongful death caused by medical negligence, the applicable statute of limitations is the medical negligence statute of limitations in RCW 4.16.350(3), and not the “catch-all” statute of limitations in 4.16.080(2). WSAJ Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief and participated in oral argument, arguing that the Court should either apply the longer of the statutes of limitations under the circumstances, taking into account rules of tolling and accrual, or alternatively, should apply 4.16.350(3), but apply it prospectively only. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-390.

Keck v. Collins, 184 Wn.2d 358 (2015). This case involves the standard of review for superior court decisions regarding the timeliness of affidavits submitted before a summary judgment hearing, and the degree of specificity required in expert affidavits submitted in opposition to summary judgment in medical negligence cases. The Court held that decisions regarding the timeliness of summary judgment affidavits are subject to the analysis set forth in Burnet v. Spokane Ambulance, 131 Wn.2d 484 (1997). With respect to the specificity required in summary judgment affidavits, the Court distinguished and limited the rule stated in Guile v. Ballard Community Hosp., 70 Wn. App. 18, review denied, 122 Wn.2d 1010 (1993). WSAJ Foundation submitted an amicus curiae brief on the merits on both issues. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. #A-369. 

Paetsch v. Spokane Dermatology Clinic, P.S., 182 Wn.2d 842 (2015). Paetsch raises questions regarding the nature of the relationship between a health care provider and hisor her patient, if any, required before the health care provider is potentially subject to liability under Ch. 7.70 RCW (although the Court ultimately resolved the case on harmless error grounds.) WSAJ Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief on the merits. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br #A-361.

Fergen v. Sestero, 182 Wn.2d 794 (2015) (consolidated with Appukuttan v. Overlake Medical Center). In these consolidated cases, the Supreme Court upheld discretionary use of the exercise of judgment (formerly error of judgment) instruction in medical negligence cases. See WPI 105.08 (pattern instruction). WSAJ filed an amicus curiae brief on the merits. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. #A-358. 

Grove v. PeaceHealth St. Joseph Hosp., 182 Wn. 2d 136, 341 P.3d 261 (2014). The Supreme Court reinstated a verdict in a medical negligence case against multiple health care providers because there was substantial evidence that allowed the jury to find that one or more of the plaintiff’s surgeons was negligent. WSAJ Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief on the merits. See WSAJ Fdn Am. Br. #A-362.

Youngs v. PeaceHealth/Glover v. State, 179 Wn.2d 645 (2014). In these consolidated cases, the Washington Supreme Court held that there is a narrow exception to the normal prohibition against ex parte contact between defense counsel and plaintiff’s non-party treating health-care providers (i.e., the Louden rule). Where the treating health-care provider is an employee of a corporate defendant, an attorney hired by the defendant to investigate or litigate an alleged negligent event may conduct privileged ex parte communications with a plaintiff’s non-party treating health-care providers only (1) where the communication meets the general prerequisites to application of the attorney-client privilege, (2) the communication is with a health-care provider who has direct knowledge of the event or events triggering the litigation, and (3) the communications concern the facts of the alleged negligent incident, not prior or subsequent treatment or damages. The Court further held that such ex parte communications otherwise affirmed the Louden rule, and rejected arguments that it was altered by amendments to the physician-patient privilege, the Uniform Health Care Information Act, QA/QI statutes, and HIPAA. WSAJ Foundation submitted an amicus curiae brief on the merits. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-350.

Louden v. Overlake Hospital, 101 Wn.2d 675 (1988). In Louden, the Washington Supreme Court prohibited the defense from ex parte contact with plaintiff health-care providers. The Supreme Court upheld Louden in Smith v. Orthopedics Intl, 170 Wn.2d 654 (2010). WSAJ Foundation (formerly WSTLA) submitted amicus curiae briefs in Louden (see WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-70) and Smith (see WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-319).

Schroeder v. Weighall, 179 Wn.2d 566 (2014). In Schroeder, the Washington Supreme Court held that the elimination of tolling for minor medical malpractice claims under RCW 4.16.190(2) is unconstitutional, relying primarily on an independent analysis of the prohibition of special privileges and immunities under Washington Constitution Article I, Section 12. In the course of its decision, the Court confirmed that the right to pursue a common law cause of action in court is a privilege (i.e., a fundamental right of citizenship that can be limited only upon a showing of reasonable grounds, which appears to involve a level of scrutiny beyond mere rational basis). WSAJ Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief on the merits. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-353.

Putman v. Wenatchee Valley Medical Center et al., 166 Wn.2d 974 (2009). In Putman, the Washington Supreme Court struck down the certificate of merit requirement in medical negligence lawsuits adopted by the Legislature in 2006. WSAJ Foundation submitted an amicus curiae brief on the merits. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-300. See also Waples v. Yi, 169 Wn.2d 152 (2010) (invalidating related notice of suit requirement; see WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-307 & # A-316).

Herskovits v. Group Health, 99 Wn.2d 609 (1983). In Herskovitz, the Washington Supreme Court recognized a medical negligence claim for “loss of chance.” In Mohr v. Grantham, 172 Wn.2d 524 (2011), the Court clarified the application of Herskovits and extended it to serious injury cases. WSAJ Foundation (formerly WSTLA) submitted amicus curiae briefs in both Herskovitz (see WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-20) and Mohr (see WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-323).

 Personal Injury

In Swank v. Valley Christian School, involving claims of negligence and violation of the Lystedt Act arising out of the death of a high school football player against the student’s school, coach and doctor, a unanimous Supreme Court held 1) the Lystedt Act, RCW 28A.600.190, which was enacted to reduce the risk of concussion-related injuries or death for youth athletes, contains an implied cause of action; 2) evidence was sufficient to create a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the coach was entitled to volunteer immunity, where there was evidence he “substantially” failed to meet the standard of a reasonable person, and therefore acted with gross negligence and/or reckless misconduct; and 3) the fact that the doctor's medical services were provided solely in Idaho precluded the exercise of personal jurisdiction over him. WSAJ Foundation appeared as amicus curiae, examining the nature of the Implied Cause of Action Doctrine and arguing that the Lystedt Act should be construed to imply a cause of action. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-400. 

In Smelser v. Paul, a minor plaintiff was injured in his father's driveway when struck by a vehicle driven by  defendant Paul. Paul sought to allocate fault to the father of the minor pursuant to RCW 4.22.070, alleging negligent supervision. The jury returned a verdict allocating 50% fault to defendant Paul and 50% fault to the father. The trial court entered a verdict awarding 50% of the total damages to the minor plaintiff, because of the doctrine of parental immunity and pursuant to RCW 4.22.070(1) which provides in part that judgment shall be entered against each defendant except those who are immune from liability to the claimant. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court held that since no tort liability or tort duty is actionable against a parent for negligent supervision, no fault can be attributed or apportioned to a parent under RCW 4.22.070 for negligent supervision of the parent's child. WSAJ Foundation appeared as amicus curiae arguing that allocation of parental fault pursuant to RCW 4.22.070 would conflict with RCW 4.22.020 and the common law principle that negligence of the parent cannot be imputed to a child. See WSAJ Foundation Amicus Brief # A-396.

McKown v. Simon Prop. Grp., Inc.,182 Wn. 2d 752 (2015). The Court held that the Restatement (Second) of Torts § 344, in particular comments d and f, is consistent with Washington law, and that an owner or occupier of land is potentially subject to liability for criminal acts of third persons if the plaintiff can show previous acts of violence on the premises that are similar in type, close in time and location, and sufficiently frequent. The Court also recognized the possibility that the owner of occupier of land could have a duty to use reasonable care based on other evidence establishing reasonably foreseeable harm, such as the character of the business, but does not address this alternative in detail. Justices Stephens and Wiggins each filed separate concurring opinions. WSAJ Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief on the merits. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br #A-349.

 Product Liability

Taylor v. Intuitive Surgical, Inc., 2017 WL 532497 (Wn. Sup. Ct., Feb. 9, 2017). In Taylor, the Supreme Court held that under the Washington Product Liability Act, Ch. 7.72 RCW, manufacturers of medical devices have a duty to warn purchasers, including hospitals, of a product's dangers, and this duty is separate and distinct from the duty a manufacturer has to warn patients, or physicians as learned intermediaries. Additionally, the Court held that failure to warn claims are evaluated on a strict liability standard, and not a negligence standard. WSAJ Foundation appeared as amicus curiae, arguing that the language of the WPLA dictates that warnings be given to purchasers, as warnings must travel “with the product,” and these warnings are governed by a strict liability standard. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-389.

Seattle-First National Bank v. Tabert, 86 Wn.2d 145 (1975), the Washington Supreme Court established strict design defect liability for product sellers. WSAJ Foundation (formerly WSTLA) submitted an amicus curiae brief on the merits. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-15.

 Workers' Compensation

Entila v. Cook, 2017 WL 121547 (Wn. Sup. Ct., Jan. 12, 2017). In Entila, a unanimous Court held that in a third party action against a co-employee brought by an injured worker entitled to benefits under the Industrial Insurance Act, the tortfeasor is entitled to co-employee immunity under RCW 51.24.030 only if the tortfeasor can show he or she was acting in the scope and course of employment at the time of the injury, meaning that the tortfeasor was actually doing work for the employer. WSAJ Foundation filed an amicus brief and participated in oral argument, arguing that the undefined phrase "same employ" contained in RCW 51.24.030, which defines the scope of third party immunity under that section, should be construed according to the common law principle of vicarious liability, and immunity should accordingly be limited to cases in which the employee is actually doing work for the employer when the injury occurred. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-391.

Clark County v. McManus, 185 Wn.2d 466 (2016). This case involves whether the "special consideration" instruction in industrial insurance cases, requiring special consideration be given to the opinion of a claimant's attending physician, is mandatory or discretionary. In a unanimous decision, the Court held that this instruction is mandatory, except in rare instances. WSAJ Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief on the merits and participated in oral argument. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-386.

Department of Labor & Indus. v. Rowley, 185 Wn.2d 186 (2016). In this industrial insurance case, the Court identifies the burdens of proof on appeal on the Department  and claimant under RCW 51.52.050(2)(a), when the Department rejects a claim under RCW 51.32.020 on grounds that the worker was injured while engaged in the commission of a felony. WSAJ Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief on the merits. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. #A-378. 

Dennis v. Dept. of Labor & Industries,109 Wn.2d 467 (1987). In Dennis, the Washington Supreme Court expansively interpreted law on workers’ compensation “occupational disease” claims. WSAJ Foundation (formerly WSTLA) submitted an amicus curiae brief on the merits. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-63.

 Wrongful Death

Deggs v. Asbestos Corporation Ltd.,186 Wn.2d 716 (2016). In Deggs, the Court held in a 5-4 opinion that a personal representative’s wrongful death claim was barred because the statute of limitations on the decedent’s underlying claim had lapsed, and there was thus no subsisting cause of action inhering in the decedent at the time of death. In so holding, the Court declined to overrule its prior cases that had imposed the subsisting cause of action rule, concluding that while these opinions were incorrect, they were not harmful. WSAJ Foundation appeared as amicus curiae, arguing that to the extent the Court’s precedent required the existence of a subsisting cause of action in the decedent to sustain a wrongful death claim, they were incorrect and harmful and should be overruled. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-385.

Martin v. Dematic, 182 Wn.2d 281 (2014). In Martin, the Court unanimously held that: (1) de novo review applies to a trial court decision regarding relation back of a party amendment under CR 15(c); and (2) regarding the lack-of-inexcusable-neglect requirement for such amendments, the defendant has the initial burden of showing that the defendant's identity was "easily ascertainable," and only then is it incumbent upon the plaintiff to give a reasonable excuse or show due diligence. The Court left open the possibility of abandoning the lack-of-inexcusable-neglect requirement altogether in a future case. WSAJ Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief on the merits. See WSAJ Fdn Am. Br #A-364.

Sofie v. Fibreboard Corp. et al.,112 Wn.2d 675 (1989). In Sophie, the Washington Supreme Court found the State Legislature’s 1986 Tort “Reform” Act cap on non-economic damages unconstitutional. WSAJ Foundation (formerly WSTLA) submitted an amicus curiae brief on the merits. See WSAJ Fdn. Am. Br. # A-75.

Lundgren v. Whitney’s, 94 Wn.2d 91, (1980), the Washington Supreme Court established the right to sue for loss of consortium by a spouse in Washington.