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Crosta Law Office PLLC, Case Results

Stute v. PBMC, INC. Supreme Court of Washington

$2.1 million jury verdict, David Nelson v. LedCor Construction, Inc. 

$3.1 million-settlement for a construction worker, his wife and two children for catastrophic injuries suffered in a fall at a construction site. The client fell forty feet off the building due to a faulty guardrail. He was an employee of a subcontractor on the site and, under the precedent established in our previous case, Stute v. PBMC Inc., a lawsuit was filed against the general contractor. The settlement for $3.1 million included future payments to the client’s minor children, which were approved by the court upon investigation and recommendation by a Settlement Guardian Ad Litem.

$400,000 arbitration award for a 82-year-old gentleman who was struck by a car outside of a restaurant. The driver jumped the curb and pinned the client against a wall, then backed up and inexplicably lunged forward again, pinning him against the building. The driver did not have adequate insurance and we pursued a theory that there were two separate accidents, in an effort to obtain two “per incident” liability coverage limits rather than the single limit per occurrence. When this theory was rejected by the court on appeal, further investigation revealed that additional insurance coverage was available through a family member. The client was residing with a cousin who had both automobile Underinsured Motorist coverage and a homeowners Personal Liability Umbrella Policy. The Umbrella Policy included additional Underinsured Motorist coverage and the insurer agreed to pay the total damages award after proof was presented that the client was a blood relative who resided in the cousin’s home.

$500,000 settlement for a general contractor who suffered a broken wrist in a fall at a construction site. This was an unusual case because the injured party was the owner of the company that was the general contractor on the site. Under the ruling in Stute v. PBMC Inc., the general contractor has primary responsibility for safety, but this does not rule out the possibility that another contractor may be held liable for creating a hazardous condition. We brought suit against a sub-contractor and after extensive discovery, we were able to establish that employees of the sub-contractor had disconnected a safety railing from the frame of the building, but left the railing in place, creating the false impression of a safe condition. The general contractor was injured when he grabbed the railing, relying on it for support, and it gave way, causing him to fall 14 feet to the ground.

$450,000 settlement for a client who suffered a severe aggravation of a prior low back injury as a result of being T-boned by a delivery truck in a parking lot. It was a challenge to establish liability in this case because the usual “rules of road” do not apply to a crash on private property. The low back injury eventually required surgical repair, which was complicated due to scar tissue from a prior surgery at the same level.

$180,000 settlement for a client who was injured in a rear-end motor vehicle crash on a freeway. The client suffered an injury to her wrist that required out-patient surgery to repair the tendon sheath.

$183,333 combined settlement for a client who suffered a concussion and soft-tissue neck and back injuries in a rear-end motor vehicle crash. The settlement included the defendant-driver’s liability coverage limits and an additional amount  paid by the client’s Underinsured Motorist coverage.

$500,000 – policy limits settlement for the widow of an 84-year-old gentleman who was struck and killed while attempting to cross a street. The decedent was a retired minister and a volunteer hospital chaplain. He was attempting to cross a busy street in a commercial area, in the middle of a city block and not in a cross walk. He was struck and killed by an uninsured high school student who was traveling at an excessive rate of speed. Although there were substantial issues of comparative fault arising from the fact that the decedent was not in a marked crosswalk, the decedent’s automobile insurance carrier was persuaded to pay the Underinsured Motorist coverage limits of $500,000.

$200,000 settlement paid by the City of Seattle to a young man who was injured while playing baseball on a field owned and maintained by the City of Seattle. The client suffered a severe injury to his wrist when he tripped and fell while attempting to field a fly ball. He alleged that the fall was caused by a defective  pop-up sprinkler head that was stuck in the up position. The City of Seattle successfully moved for summary judgment in the trial court and the client’s case was dismissed. That decision was appealed to the Court of Appeals, which reversed the trial court’s dismissal and remanded the case back to Superior Court. The case settled while the parties were waiting for trial.