Washington State Settlements for Victims of Accidents or Product Liability

Categories: Personal Injury

The following blog article was updated in January 2022.

$35,000 – Woman Injured by Defective Food Product Containing Metal Fragment

Settlement Amount: $35,000
Neck Injury
Product Liability

Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner attorney David Brown took on a challenging case with a client who had been to two prior attorneys, both of whom reached out to the at-fault party, were told they wouldn’t get any settlement, and promptly quit. David took the time and effort to fully explore and manage the claim, resulting in a $35,000 settlement for his injured client.

David’s client sustained throat injuries after she swallowed a meatball that contained a large piece of metal fragment. The incident occurred at a local Costco store, where the meatball products were being given out as free samples.

After swallowing the meatball, David’s client felt immediate pain and discomfort and was taken by ambulance to the local hospital where a surgical procedure removed a metal fragment from her throat, a procedure that resulted in $11,000 in medical bills.

David had a challenge in proving that the metal originated at the plant where the product was made. More challenging still was demonstrating that Costco was also liable for the defective product. After extensive negotiations, David secured a $30,000 settlement from the food manufacturer and $5,000 from Costco.

$1.4 Million – Largest Single Eye Injury Settlement in Washington for Child Injured by Fireworks

Brett Law client Beth was only 13 years old when she was a guest at a holiday party hosted by the owners of a local gravel pit. During the party, the teenage son of the hosts recklessly fired off a bottle rocket which struck Beth in the right eye. Beth consequently was blinded in that eye. The host had bought the bottle rockets at a local Indian reservation and had allowed the kids at the party to shoot the fireworks without any supervision.

The Brett Law legal team filed a claim with the hosts’ homeowner’s insurance company, and also with their business insurance company. The homeowner’s insurance company was willing to pay the limits of the policy, but unfortunately, this amount was not enough to fully compensate Beth for her permanent injury. The business insurance company denied coverage for the loss, claiming that the incident was not covered under the policy. Beth’s attorney filed a lawsuit and through a comprehensive investigation, it was determined that the holiday party was actually a business function, and the court would most likely rule that the incident was covered by the business insurance policy. The out-of-state business insurance company was informed of these findings and were advised of Washington’s Insurance Fair Conduct Act which could subject them to additional penalties if they unreasonably denied coverage. After a mediation session, Beth’s parents and the insurance company agreed to the highest settlement in Washington for injury to a single eye. The settlement was structured so that Beth will receive more than $1,400,000 throughout the course of her lifetime. B.P. v. Arestads (2009)

Call the attorneys at Brett Law – Washington’s Injury Lawyers today at 800-925-1875, or contact us via our online form.

$650,000 for Devastating Hand Injury in Industrial Work Accident in Washington

Personal injury lawyer David Brown helped his client Jason after Jason, a hardworking military veteran, was horribly injured in a work-related industrial accident. The injury happened when Jason was working on a dangerous piece of equipment, a saw-milling machine, that had had the safety guards removed by the mill owner’s staff. Jason’s left hand was mangled and rendered essentially useless, or as his doctors described, it would only function as a “helper hand.” He would never be able to return to the job or the industry in which he had spent years building a career.

Jason had undergone multiple surgeries in an attempt to make his hand more functional and was facing more surgeries in the future. His medical bills topped $285,000. He knew he had future medical bills to deal with, and he knew he needed help.

David Brown took Jason’s case. In the process of building a full claim and collecting all the documentation of the accident and the injury, David took the depositions of the company’s managers and other employees, where it was shown that the employer lied about operations at the mill, lies that were exposed through the depositions of other staff.

While most work-related accidents and injuries in Washington State need to be handled within the Labor & Industries Department, since state law forbids an employee from suing their employer, this case was different because Jason was employed by a temporary agency to work at the mill. This is called a third-party claim, and it was the saving grace of the horrible situation Jason found himself in.

After extensive negotiations, attorney David Brown secured a $650,000 settlement for Jason, which would allow him to deal with his current and future bills while maintaining his lifestyle and getting retrained to join a new profession.

$3,250,000 Settlement for Client Injured in Industrial Accident

Our client was a young man involved in an industrial accident in Snohomish County. The accident caused serious foot and ankle fractures and pelvic injuries, resulting in multiple surgeries and a 3-month hospital stay. The case was settled for $3,250,000.

Call the attorneys at Brett Law today at 1-800-925-1875, 360-714-0900, or contact us via our online form.

$136,000 for Client With Multiple Rib Fractures Caused by a Jet-Ski Accident

Settlement Amount: $136,000
Broken Bones
Recreational Vehicle Accident

Paula’s client sustained multiple rib fractures as he was riding an inner-tube being pulled behind a jet ski. The driver of the jet-ski drove too close to the shoreline, causing the inner-tube to ride up on the shore. Her client smashed into a tree, causing many of the ribs on his left side to fracture, as well as lacerations and back strain.

After a series of negotiations with the driver’s insurance company, Paula was able to obtain a $136,000 settlement for her client.

$3.5 Million for Railroad Worker Hit by Train

Settlement Amount: $3,500,000
Back & Spinal-Cord Injuries
Railroad Accidents

How do you get a financial settlement for an industrial worker who leaves his work station, borrows his employer’s front-end loader, parks it across a railroad track at 2:00 A.M., dismounts to load the bucket with railroad ties for his own personal use and gets hit by an oncoming train?

After being hit by the train, Dean Brett’s client John incurred more than $1.2 million in medical bills while spending a year in the hospital. He was fitted with a prosthetic leg, a colostomy bag, and a hearing aid. Despite an extended period of rehabilitation, doctors forecast that John would no longer be able to work.

The majority of attorney effort was focused on demonstrating that John’s one-time judgment error paled in comparison to the corporate irresponsibility of the railroad company WATCO.

John was hand-loading railroad ties into the bucket of a front-end loader on a switching yard track at his Boise Cascade workplace when a railroad engine driven by two employees of the local switching contractor WATCO, rounded a bend in the track, headed for the rear of the loader. The train crew saw an object on the track when the engine was at least 260 feet and 18 seconds away from the loader. The WATCO employees did not blow the engine’s horn or stop the engine before it crashed into the front-end loader, pushing it over our client.

The crewmen estimated their speed at between 5 and 10 miles per hour. The engineer failed to blow the horn, failed to engage the warning bell, and failed to engage the brake sanders. He hit the independent brakes rather than the emergency brakes, which would have automatically engaged the brake sanders.

WATCO management ultimately admitted that the horn should have been sounded to warn John of the impending collision. And the engineer himself admitted that John would have heard the horn. Even the WATCO Location Manager agreed that John would have “definitely” heard the horn had it been blown.

WATCO laid the groundwork for this accident through a systematic course of irresponsible conduct, and then its untrained employees had the last opportunity to prevent the tragic accident by simply blowing the train’s warning horn.

The case settled for $3.5 million in mediation.

$450,000 for Woman Who Suffers Broken Leg in Fall at Race Track

Settlement Amount: $450,000
Broken Bones
Slip and Fall Accidents

Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner attorney Matt Conner took on a challenging case for his client who was seriously injured in a fall caused by an unsafe environment at a local racing track.

Matt’s client was enjoying the day at the track when she stepped down onto a bleacher that was not bolted down. She fell, badly fracturing her lower leg. After being rushed to the local hospital, the doctors there realized the fracture was so bad that they needed to transfer her to Harborview Hospital in Seattle for treatment.

After two operations, 10 days in the hospital, another 20 days in a skilled care facility, and more than a year of physical therapy, our client had to undergo a second surgery to remove the hardware that was causing her constant pain.

The medical bills had grown to nearly $160,000.

Matt undertook extensive negotiations with the insurance company and succeeded in attaining a $450,000 settlement for his client. These funds will help her recover fully, will pay for any future medical treatment she needs, and will compensate her for the pain and disability she experienced during her long recovery.

$475,000 for Man Injured in Fall Caused by Defective Stair Climber Suffers Spinal Cord Injury

Settlement Amount: $475,000
Back & Spinal-Cord Injuries
Product Liability

Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner attorney Dean Brett was contacted by a man who had suffered a serious spinal cord injury after falling when the exercise machine he had recently purchased broke, throwing him to the floor.

The stair climber, which our client had purchased fully assembled, collapsed when one of the plastic steps snapped. Our client fell and struck his head and shoulder.

Dean collected the pieces of the broken machine and had them inspected, proving that the defect was caused at the factory when a worker over-tightened the bolts, causing cracks that grew over time and allowing the screws to pull out.

The fall caused a spinal cord injury that required surgery and extensive medical treatment, resulting in more than $95,000 in medical bills and the loss of his long-standing job as a heavy equipment operator.

Dean took on the insurance company of the major company that manufactured the defective machine and secured a $475,000 settlement for his client.

$175,000 for Client Who Sustained a Badly Fractured Ankle in a Fall On Ice

Settlement Amount: $175,000
Broken Bones
Slip and Fall Accidents

As an example of an ankle injury from a slip on an icy surface, we relate the experience of our client Gordon, who suffered a right ankle fracture when he slipped on an icy walkway at a motor inn.

Gordon’s fall required that he have surgery. He was off work for a period of six months.

Like many cases where a client falls on an icy surface, the key issue was the relative responsibility of the motor inn and Gordon himself for the fall, including the motor inn’s claim that Gordon was intoxicated.

Attorney Dean Brett carefully gathered meteorological records collected at the nearby Bellingham International Airport to demonstrate that temperatures were below freezing and it was snowing on the evening prior to Gordon’s early morning fall. He then took the testimony of the motor inn employees to show that they failed in their duty to remove the snow.

Gordon’s witnesses were company executives and their wives who were staying at the motor inn after attending the company Christmas party at a nearby local banquet hall. Everyone associated with the Christmas party testified that drinking was tightly controlled, and they uniformly testified that Gordon was not at all intoxicated. The paramedic who attended Gordon at the scene and carried him via ambulance to St. Joseph Hospital noted no signs of intoxication. The Emergency Room physician who treated the fracture at St. Joseph Hospital similarly noted no alcohol involvement.

The key defense witness, the hotel night clerk, testified that although she did not see the event occur, several of the above-listed witnesses told her after the event that Gordon fractured his ankle because he had climbed onto a colleague’s back, and was trying to tap on a second-floor window to attract the attention of another guest, when they both slipped, fell, and Gordon fractured his ankle. Every witness denied making this statement to the night clerk. The night clerk also claimed that Gordon was drinking in the lobby prior to the fall. Again, half a dozen reputable witnesses contradicted her story. Her credibility was so poor that the motor inn subsequently fired her for misconduct unrelated to this claim.

The claim settled for $175,000, enabling Gordon to fully recover from his injuries and lost income.

Author Photo

Matt Conner

Matt Conner has a proven track record of success. Following his graduation from Willamette University with a double major in mathematics and economics, Matt worked as an economist for the Office of Economic Analysis for the State of Oregon before moving onto working in mortgage banking and real estate.