Washington Supreme Court Decisions

Browse Opinions From the Washington Supreme Court

Recent Decisions From the Washington Supreme Court

Newman v. Highland Sch. Dist. No. 203 (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: October 20, 2016
Docket Number: 90194-5

Justia Opinion Summary: Highland High School quarterback Matthew Newman suffered a permanent brain injury at a football game in 2009, one day after he allegedly sustained a head injury at football practice. Three years later, Newman and his par...

Finch v. Thurston County (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: October 13, 2016
Docket Number: 91761-2

Justia Opinion Summary: A police dog bit a police officer during a nighttime search for a burglary suspect in an abandoned building. Dog owners are usually strictly liable for dog bite damages. However, there is a statutory exception to strict...

Whatcom County v. W. Wash. Growth Mgmt. Hr'gs Bd. (Majority, Concurrence and Dissent)  
Date: October 6, 2016
Docket Number: 91475-3

Justia Opinion Summary: The Washington Supreme Court granted review of a challenge to the Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board's decision on the validity of Whatcom County's comprehensive plan and zoning code under the state Grow...

Deggs v. Asbestos Corp. (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: October 6, 2016
Docket Number: 91969-1

Justia Opinion Summary: Ray Sandberg served in the United States Navy during World War II. Afterward, he worked for decades in dockyards and lumberyards. Throughout his work life, he had been exposed to asbestos. He contracted lymphoma, pleural...

In re Pers. Restraint of Colbert (Majority, Concurrence and Concurrence/Dissent)  
Date: September 29, 2016
Docket Number: 92421-0

Justia Opinion Summary: In this personal restraint petition (PRP), the petitioner Bobby Colbert challenged his 2005 conviction for second degree rape, arguing the Washington Supreme Court's decision in "Washington v. W.R.," (336 P.3d 1134 (2014...

Binschus v. Dep't of Corr. (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: September 22, 2016
Docket Number: 91644-6

Justia Opinion Summary: In "Taggert v. Washington," (822 P.2d 243 (1992)), the Washington Supreme Court held that the State could be held liable for crimes committed by parolees if those crimes resulted from the State's negligence in supervisin...

City of Richland v. Wakefield (Majority and Concurrence)  
Date: September 22, 2016
Docket Number: 92594-1

Justia Opinion Summary: The Benton County District Court ordered petitioner Briana Wakefield to pay $15 each month toward her outstanding legal financial obligations (LFOs). Wakefield was homeless, disabled, and indigent. Her only income was $7...

Washington v. Flores (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: September 15, 2016
Docket Number: 91986-1

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this case presented for the Supreme Court's review centered on the circumstances officers making a lawful arrest may seize a companion of the arrestee in the absence of reasonable suspicion to independently jus...

Birrueta v. Dep't of Labor & Indus. (Majority)  
Date: September 15, 2016
Docket Number: 92215-2

Justia Opinion Summary: After the Department of Labor and Industries (Department) learned it had been overpaying respondent Jose Birrueta's industrial insurance benefits for years, it issued two orders, one assessing an overpayment and another...

Pendergrast v. Matichuk (Majority, Concurrence and Dissent)  
Date: September 15, 2016
Docket Number: 92324-8

Justia Opinion Summary: Leslie Pendergrast and Robert Matichuk bought adjacent lots separated by a solid wooden fence. The fence enclosed a venerable cherry tree on Pendergrast's lot. For several years, Pendergrast and Matichuk maintained their...

In re Parental Rights to K.M.M. (Majority and Concurrence)  
Date: September 8, 2016
Docket Number: 91757-4

Justia Opinion Summary: The child (K.M.M.) was in foster care since she was six and a half years old. She was removed from her biological parents' custody in 2009 because their serious substance abuse problems resulted in a neglectful home envi...

N.L. v. Bethel Sch. Dist. (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: September 1, 2016
Docket Number: 91775-2

Justia Opinion Summary: N.L. met Nicholas Clark at school track practice. She was 14, and he was 18. Both were students in the Bethel School District. Neither N.L. nor any responsible adult on the field knew that Clark was a registered sex offe...

Belenski v. Jefferson County (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: September 1, 2016
Docket Number: 92161-0

Justia Opinion Summary: When petitioner Mike Belenski requested certain records from Jefferson County (County), the County responded that it had "no responsive records." Over two years later, Belenski sued the County, asserting that this respon...

Washington v. Goss (Majority)  
Date: August 18, 2016
Docket Number: 92274-8

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Michael Goss argued that the charging document the State used to accuse him of second degree child molestation failed to pass constitutional muster because it violated his right to know the "nature and cause o...

Nelson v. Erickson (Majority)  
Date: August 18, 2016
Docket Number: 92489-9

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner-plaintiff Jess Nelson sued defendant-respondent Erickson for personal injuries after a car accident. They went to mandatory arbitration, and the arbitrator awarded the plaintiff a total of $44,923. Of that tot...

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