HeadsUp for Washington State: Court Opinions From Thursday, June 5, 2014

HeadsUp for Washington State: Court Opinions From Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thursday, June 5, 2014 

To view the full text of these opinions, please visit: http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/index.cfm?fa=opinions.recent or Lexis subscribers may use the links below to access the cases on either lexis.com or Lexis Advance. 

The Supreme Court of Washington did not file any new opinions, Division Two of the Court of Appeals filed 1 new published opinion, and Division Three filed 2 new published opinions on Thursday, June 5, 2014:

Division Two:

Crabb v. Department of Labor and Industries
No. 44343-1
(June 5, 2014) 

Areas: EMPLOYMENT LAW 

Brief: The 2011 amendments to the industrial insurance statutes that froze the annual cost of living adjustment to benefit payments did not prevent payment of the plaintiff's benefits at the 2011 maximum. The legislature’s command that the courts construe the provisions of Title 51 RCW liberally in favor of injured workers, along with the different purpose and role of the monthly benefit cap and the cost of living adjustment, required the court to resolve the appeal in the plaintiff’s favor.

Division Three:

1. State v. Mercado
No. 31180-5
(June 5, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1362 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1362 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: The trial court exceeded its statutory authority when it ordered the defendant to be tested for HIV/AIDS under RCW 70.24.340 without the trial court first finding that the defendant used or intended to use a hypodermic needle at the time of committing the crime of unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

2. McRae v. Tahitian, LLC
No. 31628-9
(June 5, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1363 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1363 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: COURTS; EMPLOYMENT LAW; PERSONAL INJURY AND INSURANCE LAW

Brief: The defendant employer appealed a trial court judgment for $35,980.53 to the plaintiff former employee. The codefendants, the owners of the employer, did not appeal. The employer contended that the trial court erred when attempting to harmonize seemingly contradictory jury verdict answers by altering completed verdict forms to shift damages from the owners to the employer. Based on the supplemental record showing jury annotations to the elements of each claim in the jury instructions, the Court of Appeals decided that the trial court correctly harmonized the verdict answers.

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