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HeadsUp for Washington State: Court Opinions From Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

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Division One of the Court of Appeals filed 2 new published opinions on Monday, February 23, 2015:

1. Binschus v. Dep't of Corr.
No. 71752-9    
(February 23, 2015)
2015 Wash. App. LEXIS 353 (

2015 Wash. App. LEXIS 353 (Lexis Advance)


Brief: On September 2, 2008, Isaac Zamora killed six people and injured several others. Shortly before the tragic incident, Zamora had been incarcerated in Skagit County and Okanogan County Jails for committing non-violent crimes. At the time of the shooting, Zamora was experiencing a psychotic episode. The injured persons and the estates of those killed brought suit for negligence. The trial court granted the counties' motions for summary judgment, concluding that the counties owed no duty to the victims and, even if they did, the plaintiffs failed to prove proximate causation. The Court of Appeals reverses and remands, holding that material issues of fact preclude summary judgment on the question of whether §§ 315 and 319 of the Restatement (Second) of Torts (1965) imposed a legal duty upon the counties and that material issues of fact remain as to whether the alleged breach was the cause in fact of the victims' injuries.

2. Whatcom County v. W. Wash. Growth Mgmt. Hearings Bd.
No. 70796-5   
(February 23, 2015)
2015 Wash. App. LEXIS 354 (

2015 Wash. App. LEXIS 354 (Lexis Advance)


Brief: The Growth Management Hearings Board determined that the Rural Element of Whatcom County's comprehensive plan and zoning code, as amended by Ordinance No. 2012-032, fails to comply with the Growth Management Act (GMA). The Court of Appeals affirms in part, reverses in part, and remands, holding that the Board engaged in unlawful procedure by taking official notice of and relying on two documents without first providing the County the opportunity to contest information in the documents. Further, the Board erroneously interpreted and applied the law in determining that Ordinance No. 2012-032 fails to comply with the GMA. But the Board did not abuse its discretion by declining to declare the ordinance invalid. 

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