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The Pivotal Law Blog

Case Law Update: Does falling out of your car constitute a “Motor Vehicle Accident”?

Posted Friday, July 21, 2017 by Christopher L. Thayer

In a recent unpublished decision by the Court of Appeals (Division III), Ramm v. Farmers Insurance Company (No. 34542-4), the court addressed whether or not a person who falls partially out of a vehicle while parked and is injured is entitled to Personal…

Washington becomes fifth state to mandate paid family leave

Posted Thursday, July 6, 2017 by Pivotal Law Group

On Wednesday, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law a measure promising to cover workers' income when taking time off for the birth of a child. Washington will become the fifth state to offer such protections. Washington's new law, which takes effect in…

Case Law Update: Killing boundary tree subjects neighbor to lawsuit for damages

Posted Wednesday, June 28, 2017 by Christopher L. Thayer

In a recent case before Division II of the Washington Court of Appeals, Herring v. Pelayo (No. 48786-1-II), the court revisited the “boundary tree” doctrine established by the Happy Bunch, LLC v. Grandview case, 142 Wn. App. 81 (2007), and harmonize it…

Seattle ordinance requires landlords to give out voter registration info

Posted Wednesday, June 21, 2017 by Christopher L. Thayer

On Monday, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to require that Seattle landlords give tenants voter registration information as part of an already required information packet on housing laws. Studies have shown that people on the move vote at…

REAL ID Compliance: What Washingtonians need to know

Posted Wednesday, June 14, 2017 by Pivotal Law Group

The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses. Here's the latest update residents of Washington need to know. Washington's standard driver's license/identification card…

Legislative Update: Tougher distracted driving law goes into effect July of this year

Posted Wednesday, June 7, 2017 by Pivotal Law Group

On July 23, 2017, Washington’s new distracted-driving law goes into effect. The Legislature had agreed to postpone its implementation to 2019, but Governor Jay Inslee vetoed that compromise provision. As a result, drivers have just a few weeks to…

Swedish neurosurgeons double-booked surgeries

Posted Wednesday, May 31, 2017 by Pivotal Law Group

When having surgery, patients have many questions for their doctors. One question most patients probably don't ask is: Will you be in the operating room during the entire procedure? Now, news from Swedish health suggests patients should add this question…

Seattle ordinance confirms it's OK to to record police officers

Posted Tuesday, May 23, 2017 by Christopher L. Thayer

People often ask the question whether it's legal for the public to record police activity. On Monday, the Seattle City Council voted to codify that right into the Seattle Municipal Code. The First Amendment can offer protections to members of the public…

Governor signs law allowing marjuana stores to give out lock boxes

Posted Wednesday, May 10, 2017 by Pivotal Law Group

State law places strict limits on what marijuana stores can sell or give out. Soon, that list will see an increase. Recently, Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill allowing pot stores to give out small safes. The purpose of the bill is to stop children and…

Holding a cell phone while driving illegal in 2019

Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017 by Pivotal Law Group

The Washington legislature has passed its distracted driving measure, making it illegal to hold a phone while driving. It remains to be signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee, which is expected to happen within the next few weeks. "I am just thrilled…

Washington Supreme Court: The Boundaries of Co-employee Tort Immunity, Revisited

Posted Tuesday, April 18, 2017 by Pivotal Law Group

In October 2015, the Court of Appeals, Division I, held that the tort immunity provided by Workers’ Compensation law did not apply when one employee is injured by a co-employee, where the co-employee was not “on the clock” when the injury occurred. At…

Distracted driving cited for spike in pedestrian deaths in 2016

Posted Wednesday, April 5, 2017 by Christopher L. Thayer

State data released last Thursday demonstrate that pedestrian deaths are increasing at a faster rate than motorist deaths, and reached nearly 6,000 last year. Increased driving due to an improved economy, lower gas prices and more walking for exercise…

Puget Sound Energy agrees to pay $1.5M in penalties for Greenwood explosion

Posted Wednesday, March 29, 2017 by Pivotal Law Group

It was announced yesterday that a settlement has been reached between Puget Sound Energy (PSE) and the state's Utilities and Transportation Commission, in which PSE agrees to pay $1.5 million in penalties for the March 9, 2016 natural-gas explosion in…

Ninth Circuit: A person who is unable to sit for more than four hours a day is “disabled” from sedentary work under ERISA

Posted Friday, March 24, 2017 by Pivotal Law Group

In Armani v. Northwestern Mutual Life Ins. Co., 14-56866 (November 4, 2016), the Ninth Circuit joined other courts around the country in holding that a person who cannot sit for more than four hours in an eight-hour workday qualifies as “disabled” from…

Recent Change in Non-Parental Custody: Raising the First Hurdle

Posted Wednesday, March 15, 2017 by Pivotal Law Group

I have previously written about the somewhat specialized area of Family Law called Non-Parental Custody (“NPC”) in which a non-parent (frequently grandparents) seek to gain custody of a child from the child’s parents. As noted in that article, it can be…

Washington legislature considers law to ban holding phones while driving

Posted Thursday, March 9, 2017 by Pivotal Law Group

In an effort to reduce distracted driving, the Washington State legislature is considering a law that would ban holding an electronic device like a cell phone while driving. Republican Sen. Ann Rivers, the sponsor of the bill, called it a good public…

Washington Supreme Court: Wrongful death claims can be time-barred before a person dies

Posted Wednesday, November 30, 2016 by Pivotal Law Group

When a person dies because of the wrongful conduct of another, Washington law allows the decedent’s personal representative to file what’s called a “wrongful death action.” Certain limitations exist on wrongful death actions. For instance, if after…

ACEP recommendations for a safe Thanksgiving

Posted Tuesday, November 22, 2016 by Pivotal Law Group

Thanksgiving is all about family, friends, food, and fun. To help keep it that way, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) has published recommendations for a safe holiday. Those recommendations address many common issues, including: Food…

KIRO's Jesse Jones investigates a Seattle tree ordinance impacting homeowners, interviews Pivotal's Chris Thayer

Posted Monday, November 14, 2016 by Christopher L. Thayer

Hundreds of thousands of Seattle trees are on city property but are the responsibility of homeowners to maintain, including removal when necessary. This is the case when a tree is on a city-owned right-of-way abutting private property and the city did…

Cracks in Seattle Sidewalks: Who has the duty to repair? Who is liable when someone is injured?

Posted Thursday, November 10, 2016 by Christopher L. Thayer

According to recent surveys, Seattle has over 2,100 miles of sidewalks and public pathways in the city. That covers about 75% of the blocks in Seattle. At one point or another, we have all noticed cracks or broken concrete in sidewalks, whether due tree…

DISCLAIMER: This blog is not legal advice. This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice under any circumstances, nor should it be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship. The information on this blog is a general statement of the law and may not be up to date, accurate or applicable to your specific circumstances. Prior success in litigation is not an indication of future results; each case is unique and past results cannot predict future outcomes.

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