Lyon v. Okanogan County Electrical Co-op: Challenging Washington’s Unfair Professional Rescue Doctrine

Registration

Schedule:

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

12PM PACIFIC

(3:00 ET / 2:00 CT / 1:00 MT)

Duration: 75 minutes

  • $99 for Eagle Member
  • $99 for Eagle Legal Staff Member
  • $119 for WSAJ Members and Retired Members

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Summary

In August of 2015 our client Daniel Lyon was employed as a wildland firefighter with the National Forest Service. Daniel had been assigned to help fight the Twist River Fire in Okanogan County. Investigations revealed that the fire had been started by vegetation that had grown into power distribution lines owned and operated by Okanogan County Electrical Coop.

In the course of fighting the wildfire in extreme drought conditions, Daniel Lyon’s crew was overtaken by the fire. Three of his colleagues perished. Daniel suffered severe burns to over 70% of his body and later spent months in Harborview recovering. Daniel’s recovery has been nothing short of inspiring.

In 2018 our firm, Evergreen Personal Injury Counsel, took on Daniel’s case and filed suit against the at fault utilities in Okanogan County Superior Court. Unfortunately, we knew that Daniel’s case was directly at odds with the long standing Professional Rescuer Doctrine or Fireman’s Rule in Washington. This court-created doctrine alters the traditional rescue doctrine and bars claims by professional rescuers such as firefighters, police and other first responders again those who create the peril which ultimately causes harm. After extensive research, we believed that the Professional Rescue Doctrine was likely unconstitutional and was certainly obsolete, having been eroded and abandoned in many jurisdictions around the Country.

Our case directly challenged the Professional Rescue Doctrine and sought to have the Doctrine overturned. We ultimately ended up ended up in the State Supreme Court where the case settled before the Court was able to issue a decision on the case.

Throughout the case we developed and refined strategies and arguments which challenged and undermined the Professional Rescue Doctrine. We firmly believe that the Doctrine remains unconstitutional and obsolete and is poised to be overturned.


Presenters

James W. McCormick
James McCormick grew up on an apple orchard in Yakima, Washington. He earned his Juris Doctorate degree at the University of Montana School of Law in 2002, while also earning a master’s degree in Public Administration. James earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Washington in 1999.

James started his career as an Assistant Attorney General at the State Department of Labor and Industries. He tried numerous cases to juries and the BIIA...More


Program Agenda

5 Minutes - Introduction
60 Minutes - Presentation
10 Minutes - Live Q&A with the Speaker

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Registration

Schedule:

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

12PM PACIFIC

(3:00 ET / 2:00 CT / 1:00 MT)

Duration: 75 minutes

  • $99 for Eagle Member
  • $99 for Eagle Legal Staff Member
  • $119 for WSAJ Members and Retired Members

Already Registered?

Refer to confirmation e-mail for connection instructions.

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