Posts Tagged Success Stories

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.

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.

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.

November 17, 2017

Case Against Dentists Dismissed

Aaron Gilligan won summary judgment dismissal of a dental malpractice case filed in the King County Superior Court. Plaintiff sued the wrong dentist, and incorrect dental clinic, along with unnamed John Doe defendants.  Aaron successfully argued the named defendants must be dismissed from the suit, and that the statute of limitations bars claims as to unserved unnamed defendants preventing Plaintiff from amending his complaint to add the correct defendants.

September 25, 2017

Dismissal of Real Estate Case

Jeff Downer and Nicholas L. Jenkins secured voluntary dismissal of a professional malpractice claim against a real estate appraiser. Our appraiser client valued a four-unit apartment complex. The appraiser used comparative sales, income and cost appraisal methods. The bank loaned funds to the buyer who later sought to refinance the property. When the bank declined, the buyer sued, arguing the appraiser overstated the building’s square footage and therefore its value. Jeff and Nick argued the square footage calculations had no significant role in calculating value, and any causal connection between and the appraisal and the bank’s later decision was too speculative to litigate. The buyer voluntarily dismissed his case after receiving discovery requests that underscored the speculative nature of his liability and damage theories.

Repeat Dismissal of Legal Malpractice Case

Jeff Downer and Pam DeVet won a motion to dismiss the Lyons v. Attorney case in federal court. In state court, Plaintiff pro se sued several attorneys who had represented him in a dispute many years ago. The state court dismissed on legal grounds on summary judgment. Plaintiff refiled the action in federal court, twice. The court granted Pam and Jeff’s Rule 12(b)(6) motion both times because the action had already been decided on the merits.

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.

Summary Judgement in Real Estate Case

Jeff Downer and James Graves won summary judgment in Shahbazian Trust v. Ocean Shores et al. in federal court. Plaintiff sued the seller of property and its real estate brokers, 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 the 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. The court agreed, granted summary judgment, and dismissed the action.

Dismissal of Debt Collector Action

Marc Rosenberg won dismissal law in Calderon v. Dynamic Collectors in the federal court. Plaintiff sued a collection agency claiming violations of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Washington’s Collection Agency Act, and Washington’s CPA, based on collection of sums due to a Washington court for traffic infractions. The court held that amounts due to a court for traffic files are not a “debt” as defined by the FDCPA, not a “claim” as defined by the CAA, and do not occur in “trade or commerce,” as required by the CPA. The matter was dismissed with prejudice on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, where no amendment would save the claims.

Summary Judgement in Prison Abuse Case

Sherry H. Rogers and Holly Williams won summary judgment in Stockmyer v. Fetroe, et al. in federal court.  The case involved claims by a pro se plaintiff for deliberate indifference in violation of the Eighth Amendment and for malpractice against his treatment providers based on medical care he received while incarcerated.

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