Archive - Miscellaneous

Lee Smart attorneys have extensive experience in the Areas of Practice shown to the right. Click on one to learn more about our expertise and our attorneys in that practice.

February 2, 2018

No Real Estate Liability

Jeffrey P. Downer and Nicholas L. Jenkins obtained summary judgment for a buyer’s real estate broker in Woodcock v. Jenkins in King County Superior Court. Plaintiff buyer bought the home without a sewer line inspection. She noted raw sewage flowing from her crawl space four months later. The buyer sued her own real estate agent, claiming the agent negligently failed to advise her to obtain a sewer inspection. The real estate contract noted the buyer’s right to a sewer inspection, and recommended the buyer commission inspections as part of her due diligence. Further, the agent in fact set a sewer inspection and the seller confirmed but the buyer declined it. The buyer testified the agent orally discouraged her from having one, telling her, “the plumbing’s fine because the seller’s boyfriend’s a plumber.” The court dismissed Jeff and Nick’s client, reasoning the buyer was effectively alleging negligent misrepresentation, such claims require a representation of fact, the agent’s alleged statement was not a “fact,” and not one on which any person could reasonably rely.  The court also granted the defense request for leave to file a motion to recover its fees and costs, under the rules precluding baseless claims.

Lee Smart attorneys have extensive experience in the Areas of Practice shown to the right. Click on one to learn more about our expertise and our attorneys in that practice.

February 1, 2018

Motion To Dismiss Granted

Jeffrey P. Downer and Pamela J. DeVet won a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss claims against their client in Owen v. Diamond B Constructors, Inc. et al. in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. When plaintiff admitted using marijuana while working as a welder at an oil refinery jobsite, his employment was terminated. He sued the employer, the jobsite owner, and Jeff and Pam’s client, the third-party administrator of the other defendants’ drug and alcohol testing programs. He alleged defendants had breached the collective bargaining agreement and were also liable for negligence and defamation. The Court agreed that plaintiff’s employment-related claims were time-barred under the collective bargaining agreement, and his tort claims were preempted by federal labor law. The court dismissed the claims with prejudice.

Lee Smart attorneys have extensive experience in the Areas of Practice shown to the right. Click on one to learn more about our expertise and our attorneys in that practice.

Two Malpractice Dismissals

In two recent cases, Lee Smart attorneys have won obtained summary judgment dismissals because the plaintiffs failed to support their malpractice claims with necessary expert testimony on the standard of care and causation.  In one case, John C. Versnel, III and Aaron P. Gilligan obtained summary judgment dismissal of Grondin v. DDS, dental malpractice claims in Clark County Superior Court.  Plaintiff alleged the dentist negligently administered local anesthesia during a tooth extraction, causing nerve damage, and that the dentist did not obtain informed consent prior to the procedure.  In the other case, Craig L. McIvor and Aaron Gilligan won summary judgment dismissal of The Estate of Hopfner v. South Correctional Entity (SCORE), in King County Superior Court.  The decedent was arrested and transferred to the SCORE jail facility, where he committed suicide.  The Plaintiff alleged SCORE was negligent by (1) failing to properly medically screen the decedent and place him on suicide watch, and (2) failing to provide the decedent with prescription anti-anxiety medicine.  In both cases, the Court dismissed the claims against our clients with prejudice because of the lack of expert testimony.

Lee Smart attorneys have extensive experience in the Areas of Practice shown to the right. Click on one to learn more about our expertise and our attorneys in that practice.

January 9, 2018

Dismissed Collection Practices Action

Marc Rosenberg won dismissal with prejudice on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss in Gilchrist v. First National Bank of Omaha, et. al., 2018 WL 317267 (W.D. Wash. Jan. 8, 2018).  The action arose from collection on a credit card debt.  The district court first ruled that plaintiff’s claims against a bank under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act were barred by res judicata where they were a compulsory counterclaim in the banks underlying collection action against him  The district court also dismissed plaintiff’s claims against the bank’s attorney in the collection action, which were brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and based on the claim that the lawyers improperly accessed his credit report without his authorization.  The district court held that a debt collector who obtains a credit report for purposes of collecting a debt has not violated the FCRA.  The district court dismissed the claims with prejudice because amendment would have been futile.

Lee Smart attorneys have extensive experience in the Areas of Practice shown to the right. Click on one to learn more about our expertise and our attorneys in that practice.

December 15, 2017

Timber Trespass Trial

Brad Westphal, with assistance from Peter Sutherland and Daniel Mooney, obtained a successful result for his client in Bellevue Farm HOA, et al. v. Stevens.  In the most heavily litigated case in San Juan County history, Brad’s client faced claims of timber trespass and emotional distress arising from the 2012 destruction of a patch of willow trees and a single apple tree.  After the plaintiffs rejected six-figure settlement offers, Brad and his client prevailed after a three-week jury trial in which the jury awarded only a minimal amount of the timber trespass, and found for Brad’s client on all his counterclaims.

Lee Smart attorneys have extensive experience in the Areas of Practice shown to the right. Click on one to learn more about our expertise and our attorneys in that practice.

November 20, 2017

Summary Judgment Dismissal of Collection Class Action

Marc Rosenberg won summary judgment dismissal in Alcock v. AAC, King County Superior Court.  Plaintiffs brought a putative class action lawsuit, alleging that medical debt is an unliquidated sum since the amount to be charged is unknown when the services are rendered, and therefore the assessment of prejudgment interest in collection letters violated RCW 19.16.250(15) and (21) of the Washington Collection Agency Act, which they alleged was a per se violation of Washington’s Consumer Protection Act.   The superior court entered summary judgment after Marc argued that: (1) the amount was liquidated by the time judgment was entered in an underlying collection action, (2) the judgment in the collection action was res judicata as to interest, (3) interest was properly charged as the hospital consents were contract that permitted it, (4) interest was permitted as a forbearance under RCW 19.52.010(1), and (5)  the Plaintiffs failed to meet elements of their Consumer Protection Act claim.

Lee Smart attorneys have extensive experience in the Areas of Practice shown to the right. Click on one to learn more about our expertise and our attorneys in that practice.

September 25, 2017

Summary Judgement in Deed of Trust Dispute

Marc Rosenberg won summary judgment dismissal in Arnot v. Trustee in Oregon federal court. A successor trustee on a deed of trust foreclosed on a debtor’s property. Later, the debtor’s bankruptcy trustee challenged the foreclosure. Marc argued that when the debtor had formerly declared bankruptcy, that trustee abandoned the asset when he closed the bankruptcy. The court denied and granted summary judgment in favor of Marc’s client, and denied plaintiff’s cross-motion.

Lee Smart attorneys have extensive experience in the Areas of Practice shown to the right. Click on one to learn more about our expertise and our attorneys in that practice.

Summary Judgement in Fraud Case

Joel E. Wright and James T. Graves won summary judgment in Fotinos v. Coldwell Banker Kline & Associates. Plaintiff sued his real estate brokerage and others for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and Consumer Protection Act violations. On behalf of the broker, Joel and James argued that plaintiff could not prove the necessary element of justifiable reliance, that the broker knew of the claimed defects, or essential elements of a CPA violation claim. The court agreed, granted summary judgment, and dismissed the action.

Lee Smart attorneys have extensive experience in the Areas of Practice shown to the right. Click on one to learn more about our expertise and our attorneys in that practice.

March 29, 2017

Defense Verdict

Steven G. Wraith and Jonathan J. Loch obtained a defense verdict in Luther v. Bloomfield in King County Superior Court. Plaintiff sued a package delivery service and its employee for personal injuries arising out of an alleged rear-end motor vehicle accident on Interstate 5 in South Seattle.  Plaintiff claimed lumbosacral strain and herniated discs. He rejected a $40,000 settlement offer before trial and asked the jury for damages of $750,000. After a 5-day trial, the jury deliberated for 35 minutes and found that Steve’s clients were not negligent.

Lee Smart attorneys have extensive experience in the Areas of Practice shown to the right. Click on one to learn more about our expertise and our attorneys in that practice.

December 27, 2016

Super Lawyers

The National Super Lawyers Business Edition 2016 magazine identifies the top 5% of attorneys in each state by various practice areas.  Congratulations to four Lee Smart attorneys in the top 5% in Washington!

Civil Litigation, Defense:  Michelle Corsi

Professional Liability, Defense:  Joel Wright, Jeff Downer, and Sam Franklin

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