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HeadsUp for Washington State: Court Opinions From Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thursday, January 16, 2014 

To view the full text of these opinions, please visit: or Lexis subscribers may use the links below to access the cases on either or Lexis Advance.

The Supreme Court filed 1 new opinion and Division Three of the Court of Appeals filed 2 new published opinions on Thursday, January 16, 2014:

Supreme Court:

Schroeder v. Weighall
No. 87207-4
(January 16, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 63 (

2014 Wash. LEXIS 63 (Lexis Advance)


Brief: RCW 4.16.190(2), which eliminates tolling of the statute of limitations for minors in the context of medical malpractice claims, violates Wash. Const. art. I, § 12.

Court of Appeals:

1. State v. Brown
No. 31323-9
(January 16, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 75 (

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 75 (Lexis Advance)


Brief: The court was asked to resolve a $17 dispute: who should pay for the copying of a 911 recording demanded by a pecunious criminal defendant during discovery? The State offered defense counsel the option to either listen to the recording at the prosecutor's office or pay the sheriff’s office reasonable costs for a copy. The defendant argued that he need not pay for discovery and, thus, the State's proposal violated CrR 4.7, RCW 10.01.160, and Wash. Const. art. I, §. The defendant moved at trial for dismissal or, alternatively, to suppress the evidence. The trial court denied the motion. The Court of Appeals affirmed the denial order, holding that the court rule, the statute, and the constitution did not impose on the State the expense to copy records for the nonindigent defendant.


2. Miller v. Paul M. Wolff Co.
No. 31445-6
(January 16, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 72 (

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 72 (Lexis Advance)


Brief: Whether a sales person's activities were the procuring cause of the sale is fact specific. The procuring cause rule states that when a party is employed to procure a purchaser to whom a sale is eventually made, the party is entitled to a commission if the party was the procuring cause of the sale. A broker is the procuring cause or agent when the broker sets in motion the series of events culminating in a sale. The procuring cause doctrine is essentially an equitable doctrine. In the absence of a contractual provision specifying otherwise, the procuring cause doctrine acts as a gap filler. Resignation is not a precluding factor for recovery under the procuring cause doctrine in Washington. In this case, the trial court's award of wage damages was less than the arbitrator's award, but the court awarded the plaintiff attorney fees and costs for a total award substantially more than the arbitration award. The plaintiff was awarded attorney fees on trial de novo after the arbitrator denied attorney fees based on the exact argument that was successful at trial. The situation might be different if attorney fees were not requested at arbitration. To truly compare the comparables, the success of aggregate claims asserted should be considered in deciding if the plaintiff improved his position. MAR 7.3; RCW 7.06.060(1). The trial court properly concluded the plaintiff improved his position. 

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