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HeadsUp for Washington State: Court Opinions From Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

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Division Two of the Court of Appeals filed 2 new published opinions and Division Three ordered the publication of 1 opinion on Tuesday, July 7, 2015:

Division Two:

1. Taylor v. Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
No. 45052-6
(July 7, 2015)
2015 Wash. App. LEXIS 1442 (

2015 Wash. App. LEXIS 1442 (Lexis Advance)


Brief: The Court of Appeals affirms the jury verdict finding no liability under the Washington Tort Reform and Product Liability Act for injuries resulting from complications during a robotically assisted prostatectomy. The trial court did not err by not instructing the jury that the manufacturer of the system used to perform the surgery owed a duty to warn the hospital in addition to the surgeon. Under the learned intermediary doctrine, the manufacturer only had a duty to warn the surgeon and not the hospital.

2. In re Adoption of T.A.W. / R.B. v. C.W.
No. 47364-0
(July 7, 2015)
2015 Wash. App. LEXIS 1445 (

2015 Wash. App. LEXIS 1445 (Lexis Advance)


Brief: The biological father can raise the "active efforts" requirement for the first time on appeal under RAP 2.5(a)(2) because the issue involves sufficiency of the evidence. The plain language of 25 U.S.C. § 1912(d) and RCW 13.38.130(1) required the biological mother and her husband to show that active efforts were made to prevent the breakup of the Indian family consisting of the biological father and the child before the biological father's parental rights could be terminated. These provisions apply to both the Indian and non-Indian parents of an Indian child. Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, _ U.S. _, 133 S. Ct. 2552, 186 L. Ed. 2d 729 (2013), does not eliminate the Indian Child Welfare Act's "active efforts" requirement under Washington law. Because the mother and her husband did not produce evidence of active efforts at the trial court, the Court of Appeals reverses the trial court's termination and adoption orders and remands to the trial court for further proceedings.

Division Three:

In re Dependency of H.S.
No. 31469-3
(filed April 30, 2015; ordered published July 7, 2015)
2015 Wash. App. LEXIS 960 (

2015 Wash. App. LEXIS 960 (Lexis Advance)


Brief: In the dependency proceeding, the court erred by basing its findings on its own beliefs, substituting them for the statutory standards. The juvenile court abused its discretion by applying the wrong legal standard. However, because the Department of Social and Health Services does point to other evidence that may warrant a finding of abuse, the Court of Appeals remands to the trial court to make the appropriate findings under the correct legal standard, if possible.

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