Notable Trials, Settlements, and Results
Dan'L Bridges has obtained settlements and verdicts for his plaintiff clients in excess of $26 million during his 25 years as an attorney. In his defense practice, Dan has obtained defense verdicts for his defendant clients with demands in excess of $15 million.
With over 50 jury trials it is not feasible to list all results here. This is a small sample of cases in some, but not all, of the areas Dan has successfully tried to juries or otherwise litigated for clients.
**Where you see an anonymous name, that is because of restrictions of confidentiality in the settlement agreement.
Insurance Coverage And Bad Faith
Non-Profit v. Insurance Company – Settlement representing plaintiff
$12,240,000 bad faith settlement for Dan's client, aggregate between two different insurance companies one for approximately $2 million and the other approximately $10 million. Names of the companies are withheld because of a publication confidentiality agreement but verification can be provided.
Here Dan'L represented the plaintiff non-profit entity in a very difficult, 3 year litigation arising out of a carrier's bad faith failure to pay its insured arising out of a property loss that likely would have cost under $1,000,000 for the carrier to repair if done timely. However, by retaining a variety of experts and through extensive depositions and tens of thousands of documents uncovered in discovery, striking evidence of bad faith on a systemic level was uncovered that added significant value to the case.
This case involved approximately 100 depositions in six different states and well over 50 different motions. The case was filed in Eastern Washington and demonstrates both the geographical reach our firm has – we take cases throughout the state – and the extent to which we are capable of litigating matters throughout the country. It also demonstrates our reach in regard to locating and utilizing “the right” experts to bring value to a case. Here, we retained a variety of experts ranging from engineers, claims adjusters, contractors, economists, and even environmental responders to develop the client's damage case. This skill set is equally applicable to defense and plaintiff litigation and we bring the same level of effort to representing both types of clients.
Pacific Recreation v. USF&G – Settlement representing plaintiff
$550,000 settlement for Dan's client arising out of a carrier's bad faith failure to timely and properly pay for repairs to client's building
Kolova v. Allstate Insurance Company - Settlement representing plaintiff
$525,000 settlement for Dan's clients.
Allstate insured our clients' condos (there were a total of three plaintiffs in this case) including a “special assessment” coverage that promised to pay for unique, special assessments made by the condo HOA if certain conditions were met. Our clients had very large assessments against them to repair a construction defect in the property, approximately $50,000 each, and Allstate refused to pay. We filed this case in state court and twice Allstate removed the case to Federal Court – and twice the Federal Court ordered Allstate was wrong and that it should be returned to state court.
When the case was remanded to state court, Allstate engaged in all manner of discovery misconduct that generated a very harshly written order by the trial court, ordering Allstate to produce discovery. Very shortly after that, the case settled. One might wonder why? This case is a good example of how, particularly in insurance coverage cases, it is critical to have a firm that will not be worn down by insurance company tactics. Some insurance carriers are great. Some, not so much.
Krause v. Northwestern Mutual – Settlement representing plaintiff
$335,000 settlement for Dan's client; $285,000 settlement plus payment of a $51,000 underlying policy.
Life insurance carrier failed to pay client's claim as beneficiary of what was otherwise a very small life insurance policy. The lawsuit alleged bad faith in claim handling, lack of investigation, and communication. The Trial Court found bad faith as a matter of law on one aspect of the case indicating the rest presented a question for the jury. The life insurance carrier ultimately requested mediation where Dan'L obtained a settlement for his client. Candidly, we wanted to take this matter to trial but the carrier's sizable offer made settlement in our client's best interest.
Rollins v. Wildfun Powersports
Judgment of $7,000,000 for Dan'L and Shelli's client ($7,040,758) against dealership for its negligent repairs to a Bombardier jet ski resulting, among other causes not attributable to client, in an explosion when client started the jet ski. This case is still in litigation against Bombardier.
Nourigat v. Fiddler, AMC Electric
$400,000 settlement for Dan's client. This case was an electrocution injury. Plaintiff was a general contractor who hired an electrician to conduct wiring in a bathroom remodel. When Dan's client encountered the wiring it was not secured and he received an electrical shock that caused him to go into V-fib. The electrician denied being the cause of the exposed wire but was not present when the wire was running having left a unlicensed apprentice to do the work without supervision.
John Doe v. Dean Cole
$800,000 settlement for Dan's client. This case presented a dog bite causing extensive damage to Dan's client's hand. Our client was a laborer and depended on the use of his hands. The insurance carrier initially offered to pay nothing and later only increased to less than our client's medical bills. Finally, after many depositions and our hiring a variety of experts to help demonstrate our client's injury the insurance carrier settled shortly before trial.
Orellana v. Daniel Stoner, et. al
$1,800,000 settlement for Dan's client arising out of a premises liability case. Plaintiff was exiting a second floor, exterior landing and tripped. He fell into the rail guard below the handrail. The guard was not sufficiently secured and plaintiff fell approximately 20 feet to the concrete sidewalk below. This case again demonstrates how identifying and hiring the correct experts adds value to the client's case.
This case is highlighted on our premises liability page
Tower v. Stier
$1,000,000 settlement for Dan's and Shellie's client. This was a tragic house fire. Our client escaped and was unable to return to rescue a family member. While our client was entitled to more, this was the limit of the defendant's insurance. Fire investigators determined the house did not have adequate fire detectors which delayed our client's response to this house fire that happened while the family was sleeping. Despite a variety of investigations we could identify no other assets of the defendant and our client opted to take the insurance carrier's policy limit. However, we were able to accomplish this settlement without extended litigation.
Quinones v. Mountain View Place
$225,000 settlement for Dan's client arising out of a trip and fall caused by a defective exterior handrail. The handrail was too close to the wall and very loose. When Dan's client went to grip the rail it squashed his hand causing him to recoil back in pain, loose his footing and then jump the last few steps or else tumble down the stairs. That resulted in a broken ankle. We immediately preserved the scene (even before litigation) with photographs and video in the event the owner attempted to fix the problem demonstrating the owner's negligence.
Kempa v. Grocery Store
$125,000 settlement for Dan's client arising out of slip and fall on water in the check-out line of a large chain grocery store; name of store is confidential. Grocery store failed to conduct proper inspections of the floor, its employees at deposition could not consistently explain the store's procedures, and video showed no store employees in the area for an extended period conducting a floor inspection but several employees walking directly by the spill and doing nothing to clean it up.
Meek v. The New Mardon Resort
$90,000 settlement for Dan's client. This was an interesting case of a boat dock that had been allowed to fall into disrepair. Our client disembarked from her boat and stepped into a hole that rotted through the dock's decking. With no broken bones but very deep scratches and a painful ACL, Dan'L was able to obtain this settlement for the client early in litigation, quickly for our client.
Gibson v. Seattle School District
$65,000 settlement for Dan's client. Our client was a delightful little 7 year old who was allowed to play on a high piece of playground equipment without supervision. He fell, breaking his arm but happily made a full recovery with no residual injury in very short order. Prelitigation we made a public records request for information about prior falls the School District appears to have taken less than seriously in responding to thus we also alleged a violation of Washington's Public Records Act. With medical bills of only $2,800 it seems reasonable to conclude that the Public Records issue played a fair roll in the settlement we achieved. Regardless, with the retention of a play ground safety expert and document intensive depositions highlighting the failures of Public Records Act production, this was a great result based on a relatively minor injury that will provide our client a nice college fund nest egg when he turns 18.
Heidi Tufts v. Equity Residential Properties
Defense Verdict in favor of Dan's client. $160,000 in special damages. Plaintiff's jury demand was an amount not less than $700,000. Fractured fibula and tibia. Surgery. Slip/trip and fall on stairs at night. Dan'L utilized two different experts; one on the design of the stairs and another who was an expert photographer able to provide images of what the stairs actually looked at night to undermine plaintiff's contention it was too dark.
Schmidt v. Coogan
The defendant attorney was formerly our client's attorney. Defendant failed to file what was otherwise a basic slip and fall case against a grocery store within the time required and the case was time barred by the statute of limitations. Client's medical bills were only approximately $3,800. Dan'L obtained an $80,000 verdict in favor of the client.
This matter was the source of two different Supreme Court appeals, both of which can be found on the appellate matters page. As of the time of this posting, the Supreme Court is still considering whether to remand the matter to allow our client a trial to recover damages for her distress over the malpractice of the defendant losing her case as being distinct from the $80,000 attributable only to her damage from falling in the grocery store.
Automobile/Motor Vehicle Accident
Sutton v. Lynnwood Dodge – Jury trial representing defendant. Defense verdict for Dan's client. Plaintiff claimed she had fibromyalgia when minimally rear-ended. She claimed over $25,000 in medical bills and asked jury for a verdict not less than $600,000 suggesting an even higher amount. We utilized detailed photographs of plaintiff's vehicle showing minimal impact and undermined to the point of no credibility plaintiff's expert witness (a medical doctor) asserting that she had fibromyalgia at all. In closing we argued that if jury awarded plaintiff any amount of medical bills to award her $1 in pain and suffering. The reason for that arises from Washington law at the time clearly holding that if any amount of medical bills are awarded a jury must award some amount of pain and suffering. The jury awarded plaintiff approximately $1,000 in medical bills and $1 in pain and suffering, as we argued.
Dan'L has obtained at least four defense jury verdicts with clear liability against his clients, and medical bills incurred by plaintiff, after convincing the jury the impact was too minimal to cause actual damage.
Gripp v. Peugh – Jury trial representing plaintiff. Verdict for Dan's client. Rear-end motor vehicle accident. Our client had only minimal medical bills of approximately $2,000 but we obtained a $40,000 verdict for client.
Jon Larson v. Everett Power Sports – Jury trial representing defendant. Defense Verdict for Dan's client. Plaintiff sustained enormous injuries when he crashed his motorcycle while riding in Mount Rainier National Park. $532,000 in past medical bills, $765,000 in lost earnings. Plaintiff demanded $8.5 million from the jury. This was a 3 week trial; Dan obtained a defense verdict for his client.
The day before his accident plaintiff installed progressive shocks on the rear of his bike. Between the plaintiff's own weight/size, his passenger, and his luggage he materially exceeded the capacity of the bike and its undercarriage made contact with the pavement while executing a sharp turn. Plaintiff's injuries were so severe he required a helicopter medical lift from the park. Plaintiff sued both the manufacturer of the shocks alleging a lack of warnings and my client dealership alleging it originally sold him the wrong bike (not large enough for his size) and not providing adequate guidance on the proper shocks to install that he purchased from my client.
The first day of trial the manufacturer settled. Admittedly, that was a bit of a surprise and left us scrambling some amount as we had coordinated our defense presentation. However, given the plaintiff's settlement demands and the client's, the insurance carrier's, and our firm belief the case was defensible we proceeded to trial with over 16 experts called by the parties. We prevailed.
Ellison v. Melinda Maxwell and Always Wellness and Chiropractic – Verdict of $475,000 for Dan'L and Shellie's client arising out of discrimination based on national origin and gender. Our client was asked to do substantial tasks men were not required to do, and for less pay. This case was complicated by the fact defendant was represented by her husband and the Trial Court and Supreme Court found both plaintiff and her husband defense attorney either hid, destroyed, or made false statements about evidence requested in discovery.
We believe the verdict was actually higher (the manner in which the Judge used the verdict form to enter the judgment we contend was error) and intended on appealing however defendants filed for bankruptcy and as they did at the trial level, misrepresented the evidence regarding their assets. Despite that, we pursued defendants' assets vigorously in bankruptcy and managed to recover a substantial amount of the verdict. This case demonstrates we will not only aggressively litigate cases in court but will go the extra step to be sure they are collected on.
Burdick v. Byram Health Care – $430,000 settlement for Dan's client. Our client alleged he was discriminated against because of his disability and that his disability was not accommodated. Interestingly, this matter did not even require filing a lawsuit. With an aggressive pre-litigation investigation and settlement demand the employer appreciated we intended on litigating this case to a verdict which made the settlement on behalf of our client possible.
Johnson v. XYZ Interstate Trucking Company – $520,000 settlement for Dan's client. This case was aggressively litigated with depositions in multiple states. Our client alleged he was terminated for making safety complaints and because of his age. The lawsuit alleged the employer used a very minor performance issue as a pretext to terminate our client. Despite the fact the trucking company aggressively denied liability throughout the case, and engaged in the unreasonable tactic of belittling our client and personally attacking him as being a liar and generally untrustworthy (all of which was untrue), the amount of settlement revealed the strength of the case we assembled. It required aggressive motion practice, discovery and analysis of thousands of pages of raw data from defendant, and a large number of depositions taken out of state at the trucking company's headquarters to make the conclusion inescapable that the employer's conduct was wrongful enabling us to obtain this settlement for our client. Here again, this demonstrates the best way to obtain a good settlement is to prepare for trial as we were ready and eager to try this case before a jury. The case name is anonymous due to confidentiality of settlement.
Scott v. Jane Doe Manufacturing Company - $245,000 settlement for Dan's client. Our client alleged she was terminated while out on a medical leave, receiving in-patient treatment. The employer knew where our client was and why, but fired her anyway. That violated both Washington and Federal law on accommodation. This case was settled after Dan went across the country to take the deposition of the HR manager involved and after we advised the employer we would be moving for judgment against the employer as a matter of law. This is a good demonstration how appropriate discovery and motion practice can yield good results without having to go to trial. While $245,000 may seem on the small'ish side for an employment discrimination claim, the job our client was fired from was a lower, hourly wage job and this represented more than she would have made in 8 years at the job she was fired from. Happily, she is now attending college and receiving training for a great career.
Dan Sali v. Auburn Chevrolet – Defense verdict for Dan's client. Plaintiff sued alleging age discrimination in termination. Our client contended plaintiff was abrasive with coworkers, had been warned about that on an ongoing basis, and eventually one event was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back and he was fired although he had not previously been “written up.” Notably, apparently with the advice of his attorney, plaintiff obtained a very favorably written recommendation from our client after asking for one so he could obtain a new job after being fired. Our client not having any bad feelings against plaintiff, but wanting him gone, agreed. Plaintiff relied on that recommendation heavily at trial arguing it was evidence he was a good employee. The jury saw through that.
Eddie McFerrin v. Lynnwood Dodge – Defense verdict for Dan's client. Plaintiff claimed a racially hostile work environment. Plaintiff in fact had some evidence of what might be considered unreasonable treatment by a coworker. However, our client had strong evidence that as soon as it learned of the issue it immediately responded and stopped the problem. The jury agreed and returned a defense verdict.
Clipse v. CDS (Commercial Driving School)
Judgment in favor of Dan's client. Here, our client sued alleging he was hired as a truck driving instructor but not allowed to work due to either the employer's perception of a disability or in the alternative that our client in fact had a disability but was not accommodated. Here, the employer hired our client but learned before the first day of work of a prescription our client had. At trial the employer asserted several different theories justifying not allowing our client to work ranging from the incorrect argument DOT laws precluded our client from driving with the prescription to the argument that even if it did not, the employer wanted its instructors to be even “safer.” DOT laws did not prohibit our client driving and the claim the owner wanted his drivers “safer” was never before offered and contradicted his previous rationalizations offered before and during litigation. The jury found in our client's favor.
Komen v. Mariner Group – Defense verdict for Dan's clients. Our client was an LLC owned by 3 business partners operating a car dealership. The plaintiff was a former business partner who refused to come to terms on an LLC agreement to open an additional new car dealership with our three clients. Our clients moved on and opened the dealership under a new LLC. Only after the dealership became a success, the plaintiff argued he should have been allowed to become a member of the new LLC. He sued to force his way into our clients' new LLC and share in the new dealership.
Through aggressive deposition and motion practice, we obtained dismissal of most of the case. However, one aspect of the case remained for trial. Given the nature of the allegation it presented a bench trial. At a one week bench trial we prevailed for our clients, defending their new LLC agreement that did not include their former business partner. That was upheld on appeal as identified on the appellate page.