HeadsUp for Washington State: Court Opinions From Monday, June 2, 2014

HeadsUp for Washington State: Court Opinions From Monday, June 2, 2014

Monday, June 2, 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. 

Division One of the Court of Appeals filed 2 new published opinions on Monday, June 2, 2014:

1. Trujillo v. Nw. Tr. Servs., Inc.
No. 70592-0
(June 2, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1343 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1343 (Lexis Advance)


Brief: The successor trustee did not breach its duty of good faith under the Deeds of Trust Act, RCW 61.24.010(4), because it was entitled to rely on the beneficiary declaration of the lender for authority to schedule a trustee's sale of property owned by the plaintiff.

2. Gull Indus. v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co.
No. 69569-0 
(June 2, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1338 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1338 (Lexis Advance) 


Brief: The Model Toxics Control Act, ch. 70.105D RCW, imposes strict liability upon the owner or operator of contaminated property. Such strict liability may trigger the duty to indemnify under commercial liability policies even if no agency has taken or overtly threatened formal legal action. For purposes of a duty to defend “any suit,” the term “suit” as undefined in an insurance policy is ambiguous in this context and does not require that a summons and complaint be filed or served or that an administrative action be commenced. Rather, under a functional equivalent standard, the duty to defend is triggered if a government agency communicates an explicit or implicit threat of immediate and severe consequences by reason of the contamination. In this case, the duty to defend did not arise because the only communication received by the insured was the Department of Ecology's acknowledgment of its receipt of the insured's voluntary report of contamination and intent to remediate, which did not communicate any explicit or implicit threat of immediate and severe consequences. 

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