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HeadsUp for Washington State: Court Opinions From Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday, June 23, 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.

Division One of the Court of Appeals filed 6 new published opinions and withdrew and replaced 2 opinions on Monday, June 23, 2014:

1. McCarthy Finance, Inc. v. Premera
No. 69848-6

(June 23, 2014) 


Brief: Although the Office of the Insurance Commissioner has broad regulatory authority, the Insurance Code, ch. 48.44 RCW, and the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), ch. 19.86 RCW, anticipate that policyholders may litigate CPA claims against insurers and their agents. Especially where the insurance commissioner declares he or she is unable to effectively regulate surplus levels maintained by nonprofit insurers, the filed rate, primary jurisdiction, and exhaustion of remedies doctrines do not necessarily bar CPA claims alleging misrepresentations by insurers or their agents that resulted in excessive surplus levels.

2. Pub. Hosp. Dist. No. 1 v. Univ. of Wash. 
No. 70633-1
(June 23, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1535 (

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1535 (Lexis Advance)


Brief: The Strategic Alliance Agreement between the public hospital district and the University of Washington is not subject to invalidation as ultra vires because it was authorized by statute.

3. Blick v. State
No. 70403-6

(June 23, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1507 (

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1507 (Lexis Advance)


Brief: The denial of early release credits earned in county jail was neither unlawful imprisonment nor negligence; the Department of Corrections was entitled to deny the prisoner's transfer to community custody in lieu of earned early release under RCW 9.94A.728 because the prisoner failed to provide an approved address under RCW 9.94A.729(5).

4. State v. Swanson
No. 69618-1
(June 23, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1542 (

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1542 (Lexis Advance)


Brief: In the prosecution for indecent exposure with sexual motivation, although the prosecutor misstated the law in arguing what the State was required to prove to convict defendant of the crime, the misstatement of the law was not prejudicial in the context of the full trial.

5. State v. Harris
No. 69729-3 
(June 23, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1505 (

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1505 (Lexis Advance)


Brief: Statutory restitution may be ordered under RCW 9A.20.030(1) if the State proves that the crime was a “but for” cause of the victim's loss. Washington does not require proof of proximate cause as that term is used in tort law. In this case, the loss was burial expenses for a woman who died after defendant ran into her with his car. Defendant was driving with a suspended license at the time and was convicted of that crime. Defendant should not have been driving, and if he had not been driving, he would not have hit the pedestrian. The Court of Appeals affirms the order of restitution, concluding that driving with a suspended license was a “but for” cause of the loss.

6. State v. Reeder
No. 69226-7
(June 23, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1543 (

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1543 (Lexis Advance)


Brief: The Court of Appeals affirms defendant's conviction for 14 counts of securities fraud and 14 counts of theft in the first degree because defendant fails to show that his attorney had a conflict of interest, that the challenged subpoena violated his constitutional rights, or that the statute of limitations expired before the State filed criminal charges against him, and because he was not subject to double jeopardy where each count was based on a discrete, fraudulent transaction.

7. Hernandez v. Stender
No. 71064-8

(Original filed March 24, 2014; replacement filed June 23, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1533 (

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1533 (Lexis Advance)


Brief: The trial court awarded plaintiff attorney fees pursuant to RCW 7.06.060 when defendant failed to improve her position in a trial de novo from arbitration of an automobile accident case. Because plaintiff improperly disclosed an offer of compromise prior to the trial court's entry of judgment, the Court of Appeals reverses the award of attorney fees. The court finds no merit in defendant's appeal of several evidentiary rulings and affirms the judgment. Because defendant did not improve her position on appeal, the court awards fees on appeal to plaintiff.

8. State v. Mecham
No. 69613-1
(Original filed April 21, 2014; replacement filed June 23, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1541 (

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1541 (Lexis Advance)


Brief: The officer's request for defendant to perform a field sobriety test was justified under the Terry stop exception to the warrant requirement. Thus, even if the field sobriety test constituted a search, it was reasonable based on the totality of the circumstances. The State did not impermissibly comment on defendant's refusal to perform the field sobriety test, because there was no constitutional right for defendant to refuse the test. Defendant's constitutional right to a jury trial was not violated when the trial court instructed the jury that it had a duty to convict if it found each element of felony DUI proved beyond a reasonable doubt. The certification of mailing on the license revocation order was properly admitted.

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