Articles Posted in Transportation Law

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In 2008, a Jefferson County Public Transportation Benefit area vehicle collided with Michael Gilmore's vehicle. Gilmore brought a personal jury lawsuit against Jefferson Transit for injuries he allegedly sustained in that collision. At trial, he was awarded $1.2 million for past and future economic losses. Jefferson Transit appealed, arguing the trial court abused its discretion in admitting certain evidence, barring certain evidence, and in determining Gilmore's counsel's closing arguments did not require a new trial. The Court of Appeals reversed as to all issues Jefferson Transit raised. The Washington Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court found no abuse of discretion with respect to the evidence admitted at trial, "[w]e will not disturb the trial court's decision unless 'such a feeling of prejudice [has] been engendered or located in the minds of the jury as to prevent a litigant from having a fair trial." With respect to closing arguments, the Supreme Court nothing in the record suggested it was incurably prejudicial. "By rationalizing Gilmore's counsel's statements as 'technique' and failing to object after being given several opportunities, it is clear that Jefferson Transit's counsel perceived no error and was 'gambling on the verdict.'" View "Gilmore v. Jefferson County Pub. Transp. Benefit Area" on Justia Law

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This case required the Supreme Court to construe the former RCW 64.12.030, the "timber trespass statute." Plaintiffs Jacon and Laura Jongeward, and Gordon and Jeannie Jongeward asserted a timber trespass claim against defendant BNSF Railway Company when a fire spread from BNSF's property and destroyed the Jongewards' trees. The district court certified the question to the Washington Supreme Court. To answer, the Court outlined the 142 year history of the statute, and concluded after its review of the history, that: (1) a plaintiff cannot recover damages under the timber trespass statute when a defendant commits an indirect act or omission that causes mere collateral injury; but (2) a plaintiff may recover damages when a defendant commits a direct trespass causing immediate injury to a plaintiff's trees, even if the defendant is not physically present on the plaintiff's property. View "Jongeward v. BNSF Ry." on Justia Law

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This case required the Supreme Court to construe the former RCW 64.12.030, the "timber trespass statute." Plaintiff Broughton Lumber Company asserted a timber trespass claim against defendants BNSF Railway Company and Harsco Corporation in the United States District Court, District of Oregon, Portland Division, after a fire spread from BNSF's property and destroyed Broughton's trees. The district court certified the question to the Washington Supreme Court. To answer, the Court outlined the 142 year history of the statute, and concluded after its review of the history, that: (1) a plaintiff cannot recover damages under the timber trespass statute when a defendant commits an indirect act or omission that causes mere collateral injury; but (2) a plaintiff may recover damages when a defendant commits a direct trespass causing immediate injury to a plaintiff's trees, even if the defendant is not physically present on the plaintiff's property. View "Broughton Lumber Co. v. BNSF Ry." on Justia Law