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Appellate Results

These are a small example of the cases Dan'L Bridges has argued on appeal over his 25 years as an attorney.  Dan has argued in the Washington Supreme Court, every Court of Appeals in the State, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  

Attorney Malpractice

Schmidt v. Coogan, 335 P.3d 424 (2014) (Supreme Court)

Read Schmidt v. Coogan Malpractice case here

Here Dan'L represented the plaintiff.  This is one of the more significant Washington opinions in quite some time because it is the first Washington case law on legal malpractice addressing general damages (pain and suffering, distress caused by the attorney's negligence) finding they are recoverable.  Now there may be no doubt but that those injured by attorney malpractice can be made completely whole when an attorney commits error in their case as an injured client may now recover for both the loss in the underlying case as well as the emotional distress caused by the malpractice itself.

This case is also significant as it shows our tenacity for our clients.  This lawsuit was filed a full 14 years before this opinion was issued.  Twice the Court of Appeals reversed, dismissing the case in favor of the defendant attorney and twice we were able to obtain Supreme Court decisions in our client's favor, reversing the Court of Appeals and restoring our client's case.

Negligence/Premises Liability

Schmidt v. Coogan, 162 Wash.2d 488 (2007) (Supreme Court)

Read Schmidt v. Coogan Premises case here

Dan'L represented the plaintiff.  This case later spawned the 2014 opinion noted elsewhere on the web site in the same case and represents our first trip to the Supreme Court for this client (the plaintiff) in this matter.  Here, we obtained a reversal of the Court of Appeals dismissal with the Supreme Court affirming a visitor to a retail store has the right to rely the store owner will maintain the store and floor in a safe manner.

Barrett v. YMCA of Tacoma, 100 Wash.App. 1015 (Div. 2, 2000)

Here Dan'L represented the defendant YMCA.  The plaintiff sued for breaking his arm when, while dribbling backwards, he tripped over a young child in an open play time in the YMCA's gym.  Although normally negligence cases are hard to obtain dismissals of we were successful arguing tripping over other people is an inherent risk of playing in a gym and obtained a dismissal based on the assumption of the risk doctrine.

Fulton v. ERP Operating Ltd. Partnership, 105 Wash.App. 1064 (Div. 1, 2001)

Read Fulton v. ERP here

Here Dan'L represented the defendant property in a very unusual situation of a long, deep freeze.  The property had a full several feet of insulation in an attic space but despite that, due to an incredibly harsh and long freeze, a water pipe under the insulation broke.  Under any interpretation of foreseeability and reasonable care, a land owner is not liable simply because something bad happens on its property.  Here, the broken pipe was unfortunate but this property did everything right and my client was still found liable.  It is suggested about the only thing this case demonstrates is if something goes wrong on a property, unless it was caused by the intentional misconduct of another, the land owner may likely be found at fault even if there was nothing it could have reasonably done to prevent the injury.  Perhaps more than anything this case demonstrates landowners need proper insurance.

Negligence/Auto Accident

Hatley v. Roberts, 120 Wash.App. 1032 (Div. 2, 2004)

Read Hatley v. Roberts here

Here Dan'L represented the defendant.  Dan did not try this case but was brought in for an appeal on behalf of the defendant driver.  We obtained reversal of the trial court's awarding plaintiff prejudgment interest on her medical bills.  The case presented several other unique issues relating to the emergency doctrine and UIM offsets that otherwise presented established law.

Employment Law/Discrimination

Clipse v. Commercial Driver Services, Inc., 189 Wn.App. 776 (2015)

Read Clipse v. CDS here

Dan'L represented the plaintiff in a failure to hire case.  Plaintiff applied for and was hired as an instructor at a commercial truck driving school.  A pre-employment physical revealed a variety of minor conditions and a prescription neither of which precluded plaintiff from holding a CDL (commercial driver's license) or safely operating a truck.  When the owner of the company learned of the conditions he rescinded the employment offer.  The jury found in favor of Dan's client.  The defendant appealed.  The verdict was upheld.  The Court of Appeals held the condition of plaintiff having a prescription and the employer's mere perception it precluded his ability to work qualified were protected by Washington's Law Against Discrimination. 

Peebles v. Rodland Toyota, Inc., 143 Wash.App. 1059 (Div. 1, 2008)

Read Peebles v. Rodland Toyota here

Dan'L represented the defendant dealership.  Through depositions and motion practice Dan revealed plaintiff's claims to be little more than fluff allegations.  This case demonstrates an employee must do more than simply make assertions without support of fact in order to make a discrimination claim.

Davis v. West One Automotive Group, 140 Wash.App. 449 (Div. 3, 2007)

Read Davis v. West One Auto here

Dan'L represented the defendant dealership.  We properly obtained dismissal of the case.  The trial court spent substantial time parsing the record and saw the plaintiff's claims were simply lacking fact.  The Court of Appeals disagreed and reversed.  The economics of the case prohibited appealing further but our client is confident the “facts” identified by the Court of Appeals to justify reversal would be difficult to find in the record.

Johnson v. Express Rent to Own, Inc., 113 Wash.App. 858 (Div. 2, 2002) (Supreme Court)

Read Johnson v. Express Rent to Own here

Dan'L represented the plaintiff.  We prevailed on behalf of the plaintiff/employee in the Supreme Court with a companion case that was remanded to the Court of Appeals hence the opinion specific to our matter was by the Court of Appeals but this represents another Supreme Court representation.

This was an age and disability matter with the Supreme Court, through the companion case, affirming an employee is entitled to inferences of discrimination based on both comments and actions that themselves may not seem directly discriminatory.

Insurance Law:  Bad Faith, Coverage, Life Insurance

Michelman v. Lincoln Nat. Life Ins. Co., 685 F.3d 887 (2012) (9th Cir. 2012)

Read Michelman v. Lincoln National Life Insurance here

Dan'L represented the plaintiff in this claim against a life insurance company for bad faith failure to pay or adjust the claim.  Ultimately, we obtained payment of the policy plus substantial additional damages for bad faith.  This case is a watershed for life insurance bad faith law as it confirms life insurance carriers owe the same duties of good faith to investigate, communicate, and policy beneficiaries as any other first party insured in any other insurance contract.

Sharbono v. Universal Underwriters Ins. Co., 139 Wash.App. 383 (Div. 2, 2007)

Read Sharbono v. Universal Underwriters Insurance here

Dan'L represented the carrier and was brought in very shortly before a multi-week trial, unfortunately, after most of the facts had been formed and had to make the best out of a very untenable situation.  Here, the carrier substantially prevailed on appeal with the matter remanded for retrial.  We obtained reversal on several procedural issues that remain useful for carriers in coverage litigation.

Quadrant Corp. v. American States Ins. Co. 154 Wash.2d 165 (2005) (Supreme Court)

Read Quadrant Corp. v. American States Insurance Company here

Dan'L represented the plaintiff, a large property owner whose carrier denied coverage arising out of a personal injury when a contractor applied deck sealant and the fumes permeated one of the units.  In a sharply divided 5 to 4 opinion, the Court found the loss was excluded by the policy's “Pollution Exclusion.”  With the court's current composition, we think we would win this case because the efficient cause of the injury was not the pollution but instead the contractor's negligence in applying a deck sealant.  That type of garden variety negligence was never intended to be excluded by Pollution Exclusions.

Childhood Sexual Abuse

Schorno v. Kannada, 167 Wash.App. 895 (Div. 2, 2012)

Read Schorno v. Kanada here

Here Shellie and Dan'L represented the defendant who indicated he was the 14 year-old victim of childhood sexual abuse, oddly sued by the 40 year-old adult woman only after the child (our client) raised his allegation.  We obtained judgment as a matter of law that plaintiff sexually abused our client.  That decision was reversed with a finding questions of fact existed for the jury. Given the adult's deposition testimony we believe the Trial Court got it right.  The fact that after reversal the matter was later resolved in a manner satisfactory to our client demonstrates that.


Komen v. Carr, 149 Wash.App. 1053 (Div. 1, 2009)

Read Komen v. Karr here

Here Dan'L represented the defendants.  Both plaintiff and defendants were formerly partners in a LLC that did business as several new car dealerships.  As partnerships sometimes do, the relationship soured and my clients moved on to open a new dealership without their former partner.  The plaintiff, after seeing the great success my clients had with their new venture, sued to try to force himself back into the partnership.  We prevailed at trial and that verdict was affirmed on this appeal.

Medical/Pharmacist Malpractice

Atwood v. Albertson's Food Center's, Inc, 92 Wash.App. 326 (Div. 2, 1998)

Read Atwood v. Albertson's Food Centers here

Dan'L represented the plaintiff family suing for a pharmacist's providing the wrong dosage of heart medication.  The bottle was labeled in accordance with the prescription but the actual pills were only half the dose.  In short order, regretfully the family's father's health declined and he died.  The trial court dismissed the case but we obtained a reversal on appeal with the Court of Appeals indicating a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case need not prove every aspect of cause with complete certainty.  Here, the linkage between the wrong dose and the quick deterioration of the decedent's health, combined with a doctor declaration as to what the purpose of the prescription was for, was sufficient.  After we obtained the reversal, the case settled.

Trucking/Summary Judgment Procedure

All Star Trucking, LLC v. Ryder Vehicle Sales, LLC, 199 Wn.App. 1062 (2017)

Read Allstar Trucking v. Ryder Vehicle Sales here

Dan'L defended this case for Ryder Truck sales.  The plaintiff purchased a used truck and after using it extensively it started having maintenance issues consistent with its age.  Plaintiff sued for fraud, misrepresentation, and a variety of other claims.  We obtained dismissal of the case on summary judgment that was upheld on appeal.  The case is helpful he said/he said cases as it held it requires more than a party simply asserting something to contradict otherwise objective evidence. 

Court Procedure/Arbitration

Dill v. Michelson Realty Co., 152 Wash.App. 815 (Div. 2, 2009)

Read Dill v. Michelson Realty here

Dan'L represented the property owner in a MAR arbitration.  Our client was satisfied with the award and was willing to pay it however the arbitrator tacked on, after the award, additional damages far exceeding the $50,000 jurisdictional limit of arbitration.  Consistent with the Rules, we sought to affirm the award up to the jurisdictional limit.  Oddly, the trial court entered judgment in excess of the arbitration jurisdiction.  My client appealed and in this opinion the Court of Appeals affirmed holding the only remedy was to request a full trial.  That decision directly conflicts with other Court of Appeals decisions.  This case, we respectfully suggest, was incorrectly decided evidence of which is it has not been cited by a subsequent case since issued. 

Chew v. Lord, 143 Wash.App. 807 (Div. 1, 2008)

Read Chew v. Lord here

Here Shellie and Dan'L represented the plaintiff, Chew, who was being sued by the defendant here, Lord, in Las Vegas.  This is a fairly esoteric and technical procedural case.  This is another case (like Sharbono above) we inherited only shortly before trial and were left to do the best we could with a difficult situation.  Las Vegas counsel failed to make certain arguments in the Las Vegas case and here we attempted to use a contract between the parties to resolve a technical issue based on the contract's language that all disputes should be resolved in Washington.  Ultimately the Court deferred to the Las Vegas Court and this Washington case was dismissed but we obtained a complete defense verdict for our client in Nevada.

Garcia v. Crico of James Street Crossing Ltd. Partnership, 124 Wash.App. 1014 (Div. 1, 2004)

Read Garcia v. Circo of James Street Crossing here

Dan'L represented the defendant property owner who asked for a trial de novo following arbitration.  The trial court struck our request for trial de novo with the justification our certificate of mailing was insufficient.  It was sufficient and the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and found in our client's favor.  This case provides an important description of what a proper certificate of mailing must include.  This is a fairly technical case but it is helpful for defining the parameters of arbitration appeals.

Sunderland v. Allstate Insurance, 100 Wash.App. 324 (Div. 2, 2000)

Read Sunderland v. Allstate Insurance here

This is another request for trial de novo following appeal.  Here Dan'L represented the plaintiff with the defendant seeking a new trial.  I suggest this case is very bad law. Despite the fact proof of a timely request for trial must be made by a certificate under oath of mailing, the Court of Appeals held a messenger's stamp alone, without attestation that anything was delivered, was enough.  9 out of 10 times the messengers get it right but despite their best efforts they make mistakes.  It is dangerous to elevate merely stamping something as being proof it was actually timely delivered.  It is not unusual for messengers to mistakenly stamp something as being delivered but in their rush forgot to leave the delivery.  Fortunately, research demonstrates this rule has not been cited by a subsequent case.

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Because of our extensive experience trying cases, we understand what makes a compelling presentation. It enables us to work with our clients in every interaction, starting from the first client meeting to the eve of trial, to form a strategy for success in trial. Every member of the firm takes the same practical, cost-conscious approach to handling negligence and other liability disputes. When cases do go to trial, our attorneys are well known for their preparation, tenacity and imagination. MCBD’s attorneys pride themselves on the ability to handle complex matters cost-effectively by appropriately utilizing the firm’s extensive resources, including paralegals, trained support staff, sophisticated computer resources and state-of-the-art communications equipment. While our firm’s attorneys have diverse backgrounds and interests, we share a common strength in our proven litigation capability, comprehensive legal analysis and strong interest in litigation. MCBD attorneys are committed to providing first-rate and efficient legal services to our clients at competitive rates.

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