Ed Bruya and Eric Byrd Assist WDTL in Obtaining Unanimous State Supreme Court Opinion
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February 2, 2017 – BB&L wants to congratulate its attorneys Edward Bruya and Eric Byrd for their work on behalf of the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers (“WDTL”) to obtain a unanimous opinion from the Washington State Supreme Court in Dunnington v. Virginia Mason Med. Ctr., 91374-9, 2017 WL 449959 (Wash. Feb. 2, 2017). MORE

The WDTL’s brief focused its analysis on defending Washington’s historical fidelity to the “but for” standard as the appropriate standard in medical negligence and loss of chance cases, and cautioned the Court against replacing it with the “substantial factor” standard. The application of the defense-adverse “substantial factor” standard would lower the bar to introduce speculative expert testimony, require a jury’s conjecture regarding proximate causation, and expose defendant medical care providers to a lower burden of proof. The WDTL briefing also referenced persuasive authority from Courts around the United States to encourage the Supreme Court to hold patients accountable for failing to abide by a health care provider’s instructions regarding follow-up care, and to allow such evidence as a basis for the affirmative defense of contributory negligence. Ultimately, the Supreme Court agreed with WDTL’s analysis, and held in favor of the defense to: (1) uphold the application of the “but-for” standard of causation to loss of chance claims, and (2) allow evidence of a patient’s failure to follow a provider’s instructions on follow-up care as proof of comparative fault. For more information about this decision, please see our client alert.

Plaintiff v. OB/GYN
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February 24, 2017 – Shareholder Elizabeth A. Leedom and associate Erin C. Seeberger obtained summary judgment dismissal on behalf of an OB/GYN and her clinic in a case alleging significant birth injury to an infant child during labor and delivery. Plaintiff claimed that she requested a C-section delivery of her child and did not consent to ongoing labor.MORE

Plaintiff did not have an expert to testify that any neurologic issues developed by the infant were caused during labor and delivery, or to testify at what point a C-section delivery may have changed the infant’s outcome. Plaintiff raised claims of negligence, medical battery, and lack of informed consent. Liz and Erin successfully argued that C-section delivery was not medically necessary at the time the plaintiff allegedly requested it, and therefore the doctor had no obligation to provide the plaintiff with that treatment option. They also successfully argued that medical battery did not apply because the allegations involved the failure to perform the allegedly desired procedure rather than a harmful or offensive touching. The court denied plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration on March 27, 2017. (King County Sup. Ct. No. 16-2-04120-5)

Plaintiff v. Hospital, et al.
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November 4, 2016 – Congratulations to William Leedom, Jenny Churas, and the Bennett Bigelow & Leedom litigation team! Following a four-week trial in King County Superior Court, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict in favor of multiple defendants.MORE

The plaintiff claimed that her hospitalist and various consultants negligently failed to diagnose and treat a pseudo aneurysm. The jury ruled in favor of the hospitalist and four different consultants, finding that each met the standard of care with respect to their care of the plaintiff. The jury was unable to return a verdict on claims against two additional providers, resulting in a mistrial as to those claims. The jury did not find for the plaintiff as to any claim. (King County Sup. Ct. No. 15-2-14412-0)

Plaintiff v. Hospital
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October 20, 2016 – Congratulations to Bruce Megard and Erin Seeberger on their defense verdict on behalf of our client in a federal court trial before the Honorable Robert Bryan. The case involved claims of race and disability discrimination, False Claims Act retaliation, and defamation. All claims except disability discrimination were dismissed in advance of trial.MORE

Plaintiff was an independent contractor hired by a local health care provider whose employment required him to obtain medical staff membership and privileges from the hospital. The hospital denied plaintiff’s application for medical staff membership because he failed to demonstrate current clinical competency. Plaintiff claimed his application was denied due to a mental health diagnosis. After a six-day trial, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict. (U.S. W.D. Wa. 15-cv-05579 RJB)

Plaintiff v. Medical Center
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August 5, 2016 – BB&L shareholders Bill Leedom and Mike Madden represented a prominent spine surgeon and his employer in a high profile, complex wrongful death case involving numerous claims, including not only the standard medical negligence allegations, but also claims of battery and violations of Washington’s Little RICO Act. MORE

The case also involved product liability and other claims against the manufacturer of a bone cement, and officers of the company. The company and its officers settled during trial, and all of plaintiffs’ claims other than medical negligence and lack of informed consent were dismissed on motion during trial. After hearing evidence over six weeks, and deliberating for four days, the jury returned a defense verdict on both remaining claims. After the jurors were discharged, they made it a point to speak with the doctor to tell him that they would trust him to care for them should they ever need it. We are pleased and proud to have achieved this result for our clients.  (King County Sup. Ct. No. 13-2-29535-1 SEA)

Erin Seeberger elected to WDTL’s Board of Trustees
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July 16, 2016 – Erin Seeberger was elected by the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Association membership to serve on its Board of Trustees. The WDTL’s mission is to serve its members through professional development, education and camaraderie, to promote the highest ethical standards for Washington civil defense attorneys,MORE

and to foster balance in the civil courts through judicial and legislative advocacy. Erin has served as the chair of WDTL’s Professional Development Committee for the past two years. She was also a speaker at WDTL’s 2016 annual convention in Whistler, B.C.

Plaintiff v. Interventional Cardiologist
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July 15, 2016 – BB&L shareholder Elizabeth Leedom and associate Rhianna Fronapfel secured a victory for our client after a three-week jury trial in King County Superior Court. After a brief deliberation, the jury found that the physician was not at fault for the patient’s death following a complex heart revascularization procedure, resulting in a denial of plaintiff’s request for a damages award of over $6 million dollars.

Jennifer Moore and Amy Magnano Presentation at AOA Annual Meeting
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June 21, 2016 – Jennifer Moore was asked to present at The American Orthopaedic Association Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA on June 21, 2016.  Jennifer presented on the Orthopedic deposition, including how to prepare for a deposition, how to testify and how to serve as an expert witness.  Amy Magnano presented on avoiding ex parte contacts with attorneys and on HIPAA-related topics. 

Liz Leedom Presentation at Masters In Trial Seminar
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May 12, 2016 – Liz Leedom presented at the Masters In Trial seminar in Minneapolis, MN on May 12, 2016. Liz was asked to give the defense closing argument in the trial demonstration. She is also a National Board representative for the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and attended the national board meeting following this CLE presentation.

Amy Forbis Inducted into the Litigation Counsel of America
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On April 21, 2016 – Scottsdale, Arizona – Seattle attorney Amy T. Forbis, of Bennett Bigelow & Leedom, P.S., was formally inducted into the Litigation Counsel of America at the LCA’s 2016 Spring Conference & Celebration of Fellows. The Celebration of Fellows Gala was held at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Arizona.MORE

The Litigation Counsel of America is a trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. Fellowship in the Litigation Counsel of America is highly selective and by invitation only. Fellows are selected based upon evaluations of excellence, effectiveness and accomplishment in litigation, and superior ethical reputation. The LCA seeks a high level of diversity in its composition and includes Women’s and Diversity Initiatives. Established as a trial and appellate lawyer honorary society reflecting the American bar in the twenty-first century, the LCA represents the best in law among its membership. Notably, Ms. Forbis will be speaking at the LCA 2016 Fall Conference & Celebration of Fellows in Amelia Island, Florida.

Liz Leedom Inducted into International Society of Barristers
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April 11, 2016 – Liz Leedom was inducted into the International Society of Barristers, an invitation-only society for trial lawyers on April 11, 2016. She is the first woman member from the State of Washington.MORE

According to its website, membership in the Society is “extended to advocates of exceptional talent whose qualities including integrity, honor and collegiality embody the spirit of the true professional.”

Plaintiff v. Medical Center
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November 30, 2015 – Division I of the Washington Court of Appeals affirmed the summary judgment dismissal of claims against our client alleging the negligent performance of a vision enhancement procedure, and alleged failure to obtain the plaintiff’s informed consent prior to the procedure. MORE

Following the Court of Appeals decision, the Washington Supreme Court denied the plaintiff’s petition for review.   BB&L attorneys Elizabeth Leedom and Rhianna Fronapfel represented the Medical Center in both the trial court and on appeal. 

Plaintiff v. Gynecologist
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November 25, 2015 – BB&L shareholders Amy T. Forbis and Jennifer G. Crisera successfully defended a gynecologist who inadvertently ligated a vein during a hysterectomy.  The jury returned a defense verdict for our client following a 2-1/2 week trial, rejecting plaintiffs’ claims for $1 million in damages.  (King County Sup. Ct. No. 14-2-27086-1)

Plaintiff v. Medical Center
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October 3, 2015 – After a 3-week trial, a King County jury rejected claims against a medical center and physician assistant, who the plaintiff alleged had failed to timely diagnose her cardiac condition.  MORE

Thanks to the hard work of BB&L Shareholder Mike Madden and Senior Attorney Carol Sue Janes, the jury rejected claims for damages in excess of $16.5 million.

(King County Sup. Ct. No. 10-2-35124-8 SEA)

Robert Stevens, CLM was awarded ALA Puget Sound Chapter’s Spirit of PSALA Award
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October 15, 2015 – Robert was awarded the Association of Legal Administrators Puget Sound Chapter’s (PSALA) Spirit of PSALA Award.   MORE

PSALA is proud to have an active membership.  Many of its members volunteer much of their time and energy to ensure the Chapter continues to grow, meet the needs of its members, and make a difference in the overall legal community. Robert has been an active volunteer for the majority of his 23-year career managing law firms.  Most recently he has served as the Chapter’s Diversity & Inclusion Officer and is a Past Chapter President.  Over his 23-year career, he has served in roles ranging from HR Section Co-chairperson, Vendor Relations Chairperson, Welcoming Committee Chairperson, to being a presenter on a variety of topics.  The Spirit of PSALA Award was formerly known as the Lifetime Achievement Award and is only given to a select few Chapter members who have gone above and beyond in recognition of their extraordinary service to PSALA. 

WA State Hospital Association v. WA State Dept. of Health
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July 9, 2015 – The Washington State Supreme Court held in favor of a prior interpretation of NOC requirements, ruling that the Department of Health exceeded its authority by requiring department approval for hospital mergers/acquisitions. MORE

BB&L Director Mike Madden and Associate Daniel Valladao filed an amicus brief on the issue at the request of the Washington State Hospital Association.

(WA Supreme Ct. No. 90486-3)

Amy Forbis Presentation at 2015 PIAA Leadership Camp
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May 13, 2015 – Amy T. Forbis spoke at the national 2015 PIAA Leadership Camp in Las Vegas, NV on May 13, 2015. PIAA is the insurance trade association representing domestic and international medical professional liability (MPL) insurance companies, risk retention groups, captives, trusts, and other entities.MORE

Ms. Forbis presented to the organization the unique and innovative techniques utilized in her lecture of ‘Sleepless in Seattle, Things That Keep You Up at Night When Defending Claims.’ Ms. Forbis presented with Eric Holm, Vice President of Claims and Catherine Walberg, Senior VP/General Counsel from Physicians Insurance.

Patient v. OB/GYN
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April 20, 2015 – After a 4-week trial in King County Superior Court, a jury dismissed claims of alleged failure to follow the standard of care during labor and delivery. MORE

The defense of our client by Elizabeth Leedom and Jennifer Crisera, alongside attorneys for co-defendants, resulted in denial of claims for damages in excess of $55 million.

(King County Sup. Ct. No. 13-2-20174-7)

Plaintiff v. Medical Center
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March 18, 2015 – Shareholder Bruce Megard secured a victory for our client in King County Superior Court. MORE

After a 10-day trial, a jury ruled the facility not at fault for injuries sustained when the plaintiff tripped and fell on the premises, resulting in denial of claims for damages of $900,000.

(King County Sup. Ct. No. 13-2-15369-6 KNT)

Patient v. OB/GYN
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March 17, 2015 – After a 9-day trial in King County Superior Court, a jury returned a verdict in favor of our client, whom the plaintiffs alleged had failed to follow the standard of care in obstetric care, resulting in the death of the fetus.  MORE

All claims of medical negligence and wrongful death against the OB/GYN were dismissed, resulting in denial of claims for damages of $5.5 million. BB&L attorneys Amy Forbis and Jenny Churas defended our client.

(King County Sup. Ct. No. 13-2-22943-9 KNT)

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