Washington Supreme Court Decisions

Browse Opinions From the Washington Supreme Court

Recent Decisions From the Washington Supreme Court

L.M. v. Hamilton (Majority and Concurrence)  
Date: March 21, 2019
Docket Number: 95173-0

Justia Opinion Summary: L.M. suffered a severe injury during birth and subsequently sued Laura Hamilton, the midwife who delivered him, for negligence. Hamilton prevailed at trial. On appeal, L.M. argued the trial court erred by admitting evide...

Dep't of Soc. & Health Servs. v. Sims (Majority)  
Date: March 14, 2019
Docket Number: 95479-8

Justia Opinion Summary: This case centered on contempt sanctions imposed against the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) for failing to timely complete competency evaluations for criminal defendants. Specifically, the issue reduced...

Thurston County v. City of Olympia (Majority)  
Date: March 14, 2019
Docket Number: 95586-7

Justia Opinion Summary: In Washington State, cities, towns, and counties are empowered to enact criminal codes, employ law enforcement officers, and operate jails. Currently, cities, towns, and counties were "responsible for the prosecution, ad...

Fields v. Dep't of Early Learning (Majority, Concurrence and Dissent)  
Date: February 21, 2019
Docket Number: 95024-5

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1998, petitioner Christal Fields pled guilty to attempted second degree robbery for trying to snatch a woman's purse. As a result, Fields was permanently disqualified from working at any licensed childcare facility in...

Washington v. Merritt (Majority and Concurrence)  
Date: February 21, 2019
Docket Number: 95115-2

Justia Opinion Summary: Diana Merritt was convicted of ten counts of mortgage fraud in 2015. The actual crimes were committed between 2008 and 2009, but law enforcement did not discover the extent of those crimes until 2014. Merritt argued the...

Washington v. Gehrke (Majority, Concurrence and Dissent)  
Date: February 14, 2019
Docket Number: 95635-9

Justia Opinion Summary: Michael Gehrke and Christopher Pineyro had a history of conflict; Pineyro died after being stabbed in a streetfight with Gehrke. When police arrived, Gehrke admitted to striking Pineyro, claiming self-defense. Gehrke was...

Washington v. Yancey (Majority)  
Date: February 14, 2019
Docket Number: 95992-7

Justia Opinion Summary: James Yancey, a military veteran with no prior criminal history, was caught selling drugs in a school zone. He pled guilty, but asked the trial court for a lenient sentence. The State objected for a drug offender sentenc...

Washington v. Mayfield (Majority and Concurrence)  
Date: February 7, 2019
Docket Number: 95632-4

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2015, Derek Salte came home to find an unfamiliar truck parked in his driveway, with a man, Petitioner John Mayfield, asleep in the driver's seat. After being asked to leave, the truck would not move. Mayfield got out...

BNSF Ry. Co. v. Clark (Majority)  
Date: January 31, 2019
Docket Number: 95015-6

Justia Opinion Summary: Thomas Clark, M.D., the Pierce County, Washington medical examiner, attempted to subpoena a video held by BNSF Railway Company of a fatal train-pedestrian collision. The parties disputed whether Dr. Clark properly began...

Floeting v. Grp. Health Coop. (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: January 31, 2019
Docket Number: 95205-1

Justia Opinion Summary: Christopher Floeting alleged a Group Health Cooperative employee repeatedly sexually harassed him while he was seeking medical treatment. He sued Group Health for the unwelcome and offensive sexual conduct under the Wash...

Washington v. Evergreen Freedom Found. (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: January 10, 2019
Docket Number: 95281-7

Justia Opinion Summary: This case involved statutory interpretation concerning application of the reporting requirements contained in the Washington Fair Campaign Practices Act (FCPA), chapter 42.17A RCW. The specific issue presented was how th...

Washington v. Dreewes (Majority)  
Date: January 10, 2019
Docket Number: 95551-4

Justia Opinion Summary: Jennifer Dreewes was the victim of property theft when a laptop, an iPhone, checks, credit cards, and other items were stolen from her truck. She reported the theft to law enforcement. After one of her credit cards was u...

Washington v. Chacon (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: December 27, 2018
Docket Number: 95194-2

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner John Chacon sought reversal of an unpublished Court of Appeals opinion affirming his conviction for second degree assault and criminal trespass. At trial, the judge instructed the jury on reasonable doubt, usi...

End Prison Indus. Complex v. King County (Majority)  
Date: December 27, 2018
Docket Number: 95307-4

Justia Opinion Summary: End Prison Industrial Complex (EPIC) argued that the ballot title for a King County property tax increase lacked information required by former RCW 84.55.050 (2012). The Washington Supreme Court found that RCW 29A.36.090...

Chan Healthcare Grp. v. Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co. (Majority)
Date: December 13, 2018
Docket Number: 95416-0
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