News from around the industry highlighting firm achivements and current events

Public Accommodation Employers Are Strictly Liable for Discriminatory Acts of Their Employees

April 16, 2019

In Floeting v. Group Health Cooperative, 434 P.3d 39 (2019), Floeting, a patient of Group Health Cooperative, sued Group Health after Floeting was sexually harassed by a female employee, “T.T.,” while Floeting was seeking medical treatment.  It was undisputed that the Group Health clinic was a place of public accommodation. The trial court granted Group Health’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed Floeting’s claim. The trial court apparently accepted Group Health’s argument that an employer is not liable for the…

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Harmful Leaves, Pinecones, and Other Debris from Your Neighbors’ Tree Are Not Likely a Nuisance

April 12, 2019

In early 2019, Washington Court of Appeals (Division I) heard arguments from two neighbors, one claiming the other’s tree was a nuisance. The court’s published decision provides a figurative (but clear) fence around neighbors’ conflicting rights, providing guidance for neighbors to amicably settle their arguments. See Boyle v. Leech, 436 P.3d 393 (Wash. Ct. App. 2019). The Boyle’s neighbor, the Leeches, had a large, coastal redwood tree planted approximately 80 years ago. The tree was located wholly within the Leeches’…

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“Preponderance of the Evidence” Threshold on Motions for Disbursement of Surplus Funds Where There is a Question of Lien Priority

April 8, 2019

When a mortgage is foreclosed, the proceeds of the sale go to satisfy the debt on the first position lien. If there are excess funds from the sale, subsequent or junior lien holders may petition the court for disbursement of that surplus in order to satisfy their debts as well. The Deed of Trust Act (DTA) provides for distribution of surplus funds from a nonjudicial foreclosure sale. Under the DTA, “interests in, or liens or claims against the property eliminated…

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