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Drunk Driving Victim Results

Attorney John Murphy obtained a $4.2 million verdict for two victims of a devastating collision caused when a drunk driver was racing with his drunk friend and plowed at a high speed head-on into the victims’ vehicle.

A towing company hired John Rideout, a well-known local drug addict, to drive one of its tow trucks. Rideout had previously been convicted of a series of crimes including Possession of Marijuana, Driving While License Suspended, Forgery, Theft, and Delivery of a Controlled Substance (Heroin). An admitted addict, Rideout shot up with heroin and smoked marijuana shortly before operating his tow truck. While impaired, Rideout drove his tow truck north on Zell Road in excess of the speed limit. He drifted over the center line and struck Landen Harless, a 14-year-old boy who was walking on the other lane with two companions facing traffic and pushing a bicycle.

Brett Murphy represented a client who was a professional baseball player in the early stages of his career. He was traveling with the team in Washington State, and several teammates went to a local pub after a game. After having a few drinks, the teammates began walking back to their hotel. During the walk, the group saw an unoccupied golf cart with the keys in the ignition. Poor judgment compelled them to take the golf cart. Our client was the passenger and one of his teammates drove the cart.

Dean Brett recently completed a fascinating case in which two women were seriously injured by a drunk driver who fled from law enforcement, led police on a high-speed chase, and slammed head-on into a vehicle. A Sheriff’s Deputy had made contact with the defendant because his car was sitting in the road, stopped, with no lights on, in the travel lane. When the driver saw the deputy’s car, he began driving in an erratic manner, and the deputy pulled him over. Once the deputy realized that the defendant was drunk, the deputy began the process to complete a breathalyzer test on the defendant.

Travis was driving to work in his employer’s truck when a driver with marijuana in his system ran a stop sign and crashed into Travis. He suffered a fractured arm that required surgery to fix. The at-fault driver had no insurance, but attorney Bill Coats, from the Brett Murphy Bellingham office, was able to make a claim with the employer’s insurance company. After filing a lawsuit, the insurance company agreed to pay $180,000 to compensate Travis for his injury. Felix v. Nelson (2009)

Jim and his co-workers were in Seattle on a business trip. While on their way back to their hotel, Jim’s car was hit by a drunk driver. Jim suffered a fractured rib and a separated shoulder, among many other injuries. The drunk driver was only insured for up to $25,000. But because Jim was in a rental car, attorney Bill Coats, of the Brett Murphy Bellingham office, was able to make an underinsured motorist (UIM) claim against the rental car insurance policy.