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Crowthers v. Travelers: The Federal Court Gets It Right Again on IFCA The Washington State Insurance Fair Conduct Act, commonly referred to as “IFCA”, continues to cause significant concern among insurers conducting business in the State of Washington. The lack of any...
As most insurers and lawyers in the Northwest know, construction in the Northwest region of the United States is at a record level. What many people do not understand, however, is just how dramatic this increase is. If you are not from the Northwest, you may not...
Since 1988, Tom Lether has represented national and local insurers in first-party arson claims. Utilizing examinations under oath, requests for information, forensic experts, and other investigatory tools, Lether & Associates has been involved in some of the...
Yesterday, the Oregon Supreme Court issued a decision clarifying the statute of limitation for negligent construction claims. In Goodwin v. Kingsmen Plastering Inc., 359 Or. 694 (June 16, 2016), the Court was asked to identify the period of limitations for a negligent...
On November 19, 2015, the Oregon Supreme Court overturned longstanding Oregon caselaw and held that a covenant not to execute in exchange for an assignment of rights does not automatically extinguish an insurer’s liability for a stipulated judgment.
In our latest blog entry, we discuss the amendments to FRCP 26 and how they will affect discovery in federal cases involving institutional clients moving forward.
The case specifically involved questions of whether there was underinsured motorist (“UIM”) coverage for an injury to an insured pedestrian resulting from the intentional firing of a gun from an uninsured pickup truck. In the decision, the Supreme Court addressed two certified questions from the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. These specific questions involve whether the subject injury arose out of the use of the motor vehicle and whether the shooter’s intent was material.
On December 10, 2015 Tom will be speaking in Portland, OR at NBI's Construction Defect Disputes & Litigation: Using Coverage, Case Law, and Indemnification to Shift Liability.
On December 3, 2015 Tom will be speaking at the Annual CLE Bootcamp in Seattle, WA.
On November 17, 2015 Tom will be speaking about Worksite Accident Claims: Prevention, Occurrence, & Resolution in Seattle, WA.
On Oct. 22-23, 2015 Tom will be speaking at the Comprehensive Insurance Law conference in Seattle, WA.
On Friday September 18, 2015 Tom will be speaking at MC Consultants 21st Annual West Region Construction Litigation & Insurance Coverage conference in San Diego, CA.
Tom will be speaking at the National Association of Independent Insurance Adjusters Conference in Seattle, WA on September 17th.
Tom Lether will be speaking at two upcoming Conferences in the next several weeks. He will be a panel member for the Northwest Breakout Session on Coverage and Current Trends for the 20th Annual West Region Construction Litigation and Insurance Coverage Conference in...
As you may be aware, Tom Lether recently was one of the speakers at the West Coast Casualty Construction Defect Seminar in California. Tom spoke specifically about stipulated settlement and consent judgments which continue to be an ever increasing problem for insurers...
New Decision Update Two well-reasoned decisions from the Western District of Washington have recently provided clarity to Washington law on a pair of subjects that have been of particular interest in the insurance industry in the past several years in this...
Climbing Mt. Rainier On Saturday June 21, 2014 at 5:30 am two paralegals from Lether & Associates reached the summit of Mt. Rainier. Andrei Teretchenko and Hugh Engel started their ascent from Camp Muir early Saturday morning, and returned to base camp after...
Tom Lether, along with Lether & Associates has been awarded the Washington State Dispute Resolution Award: Insurance Litigator of the Year!
Excess and Reinsurance Issues are increasingly important topics that are prevalent in insurance litigation across the country. We have knowledge and experience dealing with these complex matters. If you have any question or concerns please feel free the contact Lether & Associates.
The Empire State building in New York was Blue and Green Monday and Tuesday night as part of the #whosgonnawin promotion put on by Verizon. This picture was taken by Lether & Associates Attorney Brian Donovan right outside the New York Office.
Recently, a slew of national attention has been directed at brain injuries. From former NFL players and professional boxers suffering from the effects of chronic brain damage, to the dangers of concussions suffered during youth athletics, concern is growing over the...
As most of us know, a number of insurance policies contain arbitration provisions. These provisions are most commonly found in auto policies and are particularly prevalent in UIM and PIP coverages. Although there are a number of trial court decisions regarding how these provisions work, published case law involving the application of these provisions in insurance claims is limited. On January 17, 2013, the Washington Supreme Court issued its opinion in Washington State Department of Transportation v. James River Ins. Co., 2013 Wash. LEXIS 66. In this opinion, the Court addressed whether a binding arbitration provision was void as being against public policy under RCW 48.18.200. Specifically, RCW 48.18.200(1)(b) states that an insurance policy cannot be written to divest the Courts of the State of Washington of jurisdiction over an action against the insurer. The issue in the WSDOT case was whether James River’s binding arbitration provision violated that statute. The controlling factual issue was that the binding arbitration provision in question was one-sided. In other words, the provision did not require mutual assent or agreement before arbitration became mandatory under the policy. The Washington Supreme Court found that such a provision is unenforceable.
Background – Plaintiff “concede[d], for the purpose of this summary judgment motion only, most of the factual allegations set forth in Progressive’s motion,” except for “any allegation or assertion that states or implies, that in paying the $10,000 in PIP coverage and $25,000 in UIM coverage under Mercedes-Benzs policy, [Progressive] discharged Progressive’s contractual obligations under the policy it issued on the Mitsubishi Montero.”
Plaintiff is a Washington resident. He owns two vehicles, a 1987 Mercedes-Benz and a 1995 Mitsubishi–both of which are insured by Defendant under a common policy. The policy contains a PIP coverage limit of $10,000 and a UIM coverage limit of “$25,000 each person/$50,000 each accident.”
Opinion – Sweeney, J. — Ultimately, the parties to this suit are the homeowners and their insurance company. The suit follows a fire loss. A contractor sued the homeowners and their insurance company for failing to pay for a contractor’s repair work. The insurance company issued a check directly to the homeowners. The homeowners cashed the check but did not pay the contractor. So the insurance company wound up paying the contractor. The homeowners, nonetheless, sued the insurance company and alleged a number of causes of action. The superior court rejected all of them and summarily dismissed the homeowners’ suit. The superior court was correct and we affirm the summary dismissal.
Opinion – ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR CONTINUANCE TO ALLOW FURTHER DISCOVERY AND GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT
This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Navigators Insurance Company’s motion for partial summary judgment requesting dismissal of Plaintiff’s extra-contractual claims. Dkt. 12. Plaintiffs Dan Cardenas and Donna Cardenas dba A & D Construction & Roofing move for a continuance of the motion for summary judgment to allow further discovery. Dkt. 18. The Court has considered the pleadings in support and in opposition to the motions and the record herein.