Posts Tagged Success Stories

August 21, 2017

Summary Judgment in Real Estate Case

Jeffrey P. Downer and James T. Graves won summary judgment in Shahbazian Trust v. Ocean Shores et al. in United States District Court, Western District of Washington at Tacoma. Plaintiff sued the seller of property and its real estate broker and brokerage, Jeff and James’s clients, for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of fiduciary duty.  Jeff and James argued that plaintiff could not prove justifiable reliance, a necessary element of its fraud and negligent-misrepresentation claims, and that claims of breach of fiduciary duty of a real estate broker have been abrogated by statute in Washington. Judge Benjamin H. Settle agreed with Jeff and James, granted summary judgment, and dismissed the action.

May 26, 2017

Appeal Successfully Defended

Rosemary J. Moore and Michelle A. Corsi successfully defended an appeal in the Superior Court for Snohomish County from the entry of judgment by the district court in favor of their client and the dismissal of the defendant’s counterclaim in Carlisle Creek Condominium Association v. Lopez.  Mr. Lopez, a condominium owner, denied the Association’s claim and claimed that the Association had recorded an unlawful lien against his property, causing him financial loss and emotional distress.   He also claimed on appeal that the Association’s motion for summary judgment was in violation of the court rules and that the court should not have awarded the Association its legal fees.  Rosemary and Michelle argued to the superior court that Mr. Lopez’s claims could not be supported as a matter of law.  They also pointed out that the award of legal fees was supported by statute and by the condominium contract.   The superior court agreed and denied the appeal.

April 11, 2017

Dismissal as a Matter of Law

Marc Rosenberg won dismissal as a matter of law in Boston v. Kitsap County, et al., in which a plaintiff sued a county and its medical provider under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming the defendants were deliberately indifferent to medical needs of an inmate in the county jail.  Plaintiff also brought a claim against the jail for negligent design resulting in a trip and fall.  Plaintiff served the County with a Notice of Tort Claim, pursuant to RCW 4.96.020, and filed a lawsuit more than three years after events alleged in the pleadings.   The district court denied a Rule 12(b)(6) motion on statute of limitations as to the federal claim.  Upon a certified question, the Ninth Circuit reversed and held that RCW 4.96.020 does not operate to toll the state’s general limitations period for claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

March 29, 2017

Summary Judgment Dismissal

Joel Wright and Marc Rosenberg, with the support of Kellan Byrne and Danielle Rieger, won a summary judgment dismissal in multiparty litigation in Samuelson v. Law Firm in King County Superior Court.  Plaintiffs brought claims of legal malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, conspiracy, and legal malpractice against an attorney that had represented them as co-personal representatives of an estate.  Plaintiffs alleged that the estate was co-owner of a company, and that the attorney conspired with the other co-owner to pressure them into selling stock in the company for less than it was worth.  Joel and Marc convinced the court that the attorney’s actions were not the proximate cause of any damage to the plaintiffs.  The remaining parties are set to go to trial in April 2017.

Summary Judgment victory

John C. Versnel, III, Aaron P. Gilligan, and Daniel C. Mooney won summary judgment in Perez v. Pediatric DDS.  Plaintiff claimed $15,000,000 in damages when a minor child suffered permanent right eye blindness after undergoing general anesthesia for extensive dental treatment. John and Aaron moved to dismiss plaintiff’s claims, citing lack of evidence of proximate cause. Dan argued in reply that, even after a three-month continuance, plaintiff still lacked admissible expert testimony on causation. The court denied the motion. John and Dan moved for reconsideration, at which point Plaintiffs came forward with the required testimony. Dan argued the new evidence was untimely and not proper on reconsideration. The court agreed, reversing its prior ruling, and dismissing all of Plaintiff’s claims with prejudice. Paralegal Helen Mooney was instrumental in the motion as well.

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.

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

December 8, 2016

Win in Court of Appeals, Div. III

John C. Versnel, III and Aaron P. Gilligan won on appeal in Hedman v. OMS in the Court of Appeals, Division 3.  The lawsuit arose from alleged dental malpractice claims.  The Spokane County  Superior Court granted Defendant’s motion for summary judgment because plaintiff failed to produce medical testimony that the oral surgeon breached the standard of care.  When plaintiff appealed, the Court of Appeals affirmed the summary judgment dismissal.

November 23, 2016

Summary Judgment Dismissal

Steve Wraith and Kellan Byrne won summary judgment dismissal in the case of Lindsay v. Azose Commercial Properties, Inc.  The case involved a triple homicide that took place at a bar located in a shopping plaza.  Steve and Kellan represented the property management company for the shopping plaza.  Plaintiffs, as personal representatives of the estates of two of the decedents, claimed wrongful death and argued that the property management company, along with the bar and the owner of the shopping plaza, owed the decedents a duty to protect them from the criminal acts of third parties.  Steve and Kellan argued that the decedents were not business invitees of the property management company, thus negating any special relationship between the parties, and that the criminal acts at issue in the case were entirely unforeseeable to the property management company.  The trial court agreed, dismissing all claims against Steve and Kellan’s client with prejudice.

Dental Malpractice Defense Verdict

John Versnel, III and Dan Mooney obtained a unanimous defense verdict for their client in Lee v. DDS in King County Superior Court.  The plaintiff sued her dentist, John and Dan’s client, and her orthodontist alleging a failure to diagnose and treat her ongoing periodontal disease, and allowing her to be kept in orthodontic treatment too long.  Plaintiff claimed damages were bone loss, tooth mobility and resulting debilitating neuropathic pain.  Plaintiff’s last demand was $1,000,000.  After a two-week trial, the jury returned a unanimous verdict finding the dentist did not violate the standard of care.

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