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Record Verdicts & Settlements

Early one November morning, following heavy rains, a massive mudslide roared down Lookout Mountain into Cascade River Park, a recreational development in eastern Skagit County. Bill Bower, 74, Alice Bower, 73, and Betsy Jean Wilson, 63, were killed instantly. Claire Wilson, 64, was buried alive for 13 hours before he was pulled from the debris; he died 13 days later.

The Roche Harbor Resort consists of 2,400 acres, 8,000 feet of waterfront, a hotel, restaurant, church, air strip, marina, and other resort facilities on the northwest corner of San Juan Island in Washington State. The stockholders of the corporation holding the Roche Harbor Resort signed a contract to sell it to a buyer for approximately $7 million. 16 days after the contract was signed, the sellers received what they decided was a better offer for the purchase of a portion of the resort, elected to accept the better offer and retain the remaining uplands, and breached the contract to sell.

Brett Murphy client Beth was only 13 years old when she was a guest at a holiday party hosted by the owners of a local gravel pit. During the party, the teenage son of the hosts recklessly fired off a bottle rocket which struck Beth in the right eye. Beth consequently was blinded in that eye. The host had bought the bottle rockets at a local Indian reservation and had allowed the kids at the party shoot the fireworks without any supervision.

Brett Murphy client Amar Dosanjh was killed while on the job, and the defendant, Baljit Bhatti, who was killed in the same accident, was Mr. Dosanjh’s employee, hired as a co-driver in his long haul trucking company. Bhatti negligently drove off the road, rolled the truck and killed both himself and Dosanjh.

The case was tried in Kittitas County where no prior verdict exceeded $100,000. His economic losses had to be based on an earnings history averaging less than $10,000 (Canadian) per year.

At 11 p.m. one evening, 16-year-old Jody Holz was riding his 750cc Yamaha motorcycle on a little-traveled road in Whatcom County, Washington State. Burlington Northern had parked a freight train with a black tank car across the county road while the disengaged engines traveled to a nearby track to pick up additional cars. Although two 10-minute flares were left at the crossing, the accident occurred after they had burned out, but before the crew had returned to pick up the train. Jody Holz collided with the tank car and died.

Fernandez and Giron v Yakima County is an example of what a diligent lawyer can do to build a successful negligent highway design claim.

Arnoldo Ramirez, Jesus Giron and Octaviano Olguin, three Hispanic field workers, were dispatched by a Yakima fruit company to haul a load of garbage to a local dump. As Ramirez drove up a road in rural Yakima County, the right front wheel slipped off the paved portion of the road. Ramirez was unable to control the truck, which hit a tree, killing the two passengers, Giron and Olguin.