Helsell Fetterman Presents Caselaw Update at Annual WHCRMS Conference

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Our health care team is proud that we’ve been invited to present a case law update at the upcoming Washington Health Care Risk Management Society’s (WHCRMS) 39th Annual Conference on June 9, 2023.  It’s been a busy year for health care in Washington courts.  Dave Corey, Rabia Ahmad, and Jenna Mark will provide comment and context on the following recent appellate decisions and legislative activity:

Martin v. Department of Corrections, 199 Wn.2d 557, 510 P.3d 321 (published 05/26/22)

  • holding certificate-of-merit requirement unconstitutional as to state defendants

Dearinger v. Eli Lilly & Co., 199 Wn.2d 569, 510 P.3d 326 (published 06/02/22)

  • rejecting direct-to-consumer ad exception to learned intermediary doctrine

State v. Zamora, 199 Wn.2d 698, 512 P.3d 512 (published 06/30/22)

  • reversing conviction where prosecutor appealed to racial bias during voir dire

Bradley v. Globus Medical, Inc., Div. III No. 38490-0-III (unpublished, filed 06/30/22)

  • affirming CR 12(b)(6) dismissal of product claim for lack of personal jurisdiction

Pacheco v. United States, 200 Wn.2d 171, 515 P.3d 510 (filed 08/18/22)

  • affirms “extraordinary damages” award against NeighborCare in wrongful life case

Fowler v. Guerin, 200 Wn.2d 110, 515 P.3d 502 (published 08/18/22)

  • adopting new standard for equitable tolling of SOL based on deception

M.N. v. Multicare, 23 Wn. App.2d 558, 519 P.3d 923 (Div. II) (published 08/23/22)

  • affirming dismissal of class action based on Hep C exposure in ED

Hill & Stout PLLC v. Mut. of Enumclaw Ins. Co., 200 Wn.2d 208, 515 P.3d 525 (published 08/25/22)

  • interpreting virus exclusion to bar dentist’s COVID claim for loss of business income

Dang v. Floyd Pflueger & Ringer, P.S., 24 Wn. App.2d 145, 518 P.3d 671 (published 10/17/22)

  • affirming denial of CR 56(f) continuance where evidence would not be favorable

Henderson v. Thompson, 200 Wn.2d 417, 518 P.3d 1011 (published 10/20/22)

  • adopting new standard for post-verdict motions alleging racial bias

Peralta v. Blakeley et al., Div. III No. 38616-3-III (unpublished, filed 12/20/22)

  • applying gross negligence standard to claim alleging failure to involuntarily commit

Tisdale v. Apro LLC, Div. II No. 56067-4-II (published in part 12/28/22)

  • finding error in failure to instruct jury to segregate damages

Roberson v. CHI Franciscan et al., Div. II No. 56768-7-II (unpublished, filed 01/03/23)

  • holding an ARNP is not qualified to offer a standard-of-care criticism of an MD

Hill v. Klassan, Div. II No. 56602-8-II (unpublished, filed 01/17/23)

  • finding no enforceable settlement where plaintiff didn’t sign release, didn’t cash check

State v. Bagby, 200 Wn.2d 777, 522 P.3d 982 (published 01/19/23)

  • reversing conviction where prosecutor asked witnesses to identify def’s “nationality”

Prassé v. Milner, Div. I No. 83920-9-I (unpublished, filed 01/23/23)

  • applying quasi-judicial immunity to a psychologist’s court-appointed parenting eval

Essex v. Grant County, Div. III No. 37804-7-III (published 01/24/23)

  • limiting hospital vicarious liability for non-employed MD to ostensible agency only

SB 5059, Senate bill died in committee 02/23/23

  • WSAJ-sponsored bill would have imposed pre-judgment interest on tortfeasors

Flynn v. Woodinville Animal Hospital, Div. I No. 84106-8-I (unpublished, filed 03/06/23)

  • declining to recognize a corporate negligence claim against a veterinary hospital

Hanson v. Carmona, 525 P.3d 940 (published 03/23/23)

  • requiring tort claim notice before suing public employee for acts in scope of job

Foster v. Bellingham Urology, Div. I No. 82349-3-I (unpublished, filed 03/27/23)

  • holding hospital corporate negligence doctrine applies only to hospitals, not clinics

Dietrich v. Neely, Div. I No. 83152-6-I (unpublished, filed 04/03/23)

  • applying gross negligence standard under the ITA

Fraley v. Commonspirit Health, et al., Div. II No. 56697-4-II (published 05/09/23)

  • affirms tolling letter effective even though sent to wrong address and not received before 3-yr. SOL expired

Briggs v. Life Care Centers of America Inc., et al., C21-740 MJP (W.D. Wash., jury verdict on 05/19/23)

  • nursing home hit with one of the nation’s first COVID-19 outbreaks not at fault for the deaths of two women

First and Stewart Hotel Owner, LLC v. Fireman’s Fund Ins. Co., 9th Circuit Ct. of Appeals, No. 21-35637 (unpublished, filed 05/19/23)

  • rejected COVID-19 coverage appeal given WA Supreme Ct. decision in Hill & Stout- coverage precluded if no direct physical loss of property

Aspen Lodging Group, LLC, et al. v. Affiliated FM Ins. Co., 9th Circuit Ct. of Appeals, No. 21-35472 (unpublished, filed 05/19/23)

  • rejected COVID-19 coverage appeal given WA Supreme Ct. decision in Hill & Stout – coverage precluded if no actual presence of COVID-19

About the Authors

Rabia Ahmad

Rabia Ahmad focuses her practice in the areas of health care law and medical malpractice, specifically defending physicians and hospitals against medical malpractice lawsuits and in professional licensing proceedings.

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