September 24, 2007

Supreme Court Ruling on Minor Beneficiaries

The Washington State Supreme Court made a controversial decision last month when they upheld a Clark County Superior Court ruling that granted the defendants motion to dismiss in Atchison v. Great Western Malting Company. The court decided that Kaela Atchison, 21, could not file suit for a wrongful death that occurred when she was 15 because the statute of limitations had expired. Atchison, a minor at the time of her father’s death, was unable to file the wrongful death lawsuit until she turned 18. The defendant argued that Atchison needed to file her suit before June 2003. Atchison argued that since she was a minor, the minority tolled (delayed) the statute of limitations. Therefore, the three year statute of limitations would not have begun until she turned 18. The Washington State Supreme Court ruled that that statute grants only a personal representative the right to sue for wrongful death and that minor’s cannot perform that role. Justice Bobbe J. Bridge wrote, “Kaela could not have been a person entitled to bring the wrongful death action when the action accrued, thus, the statute of limitations did not toll during her minority.”

Article Source:

September 21, 2007

Can Insurance Companies Withhold Payment for Approved Procedures?

According to Consumer Reports, insurance companies can withhold payment after a procedure or treatment is done even if they had previously approved the procedure or treatment. If the insurance company concludes that whatever you had done was not medically necessary, based on information uncovered after the procedure was performed, they can deny the promised payment. Dr. Marvin Lipman, a chief medical adviser to Consumers Union, states that medically necessary is “an iffy sort of qualification that can usually be verified by your physician.”

If the insurance still refuses to pay the claim, patients have the right to dispute the company’s decision. For more information and tips for dealing with denied insurance claims, please visit or

Article Source:

September 5, 2007

Progressive Insurance Fined

Washington State’s insurance commissioner Mike Kreidler fined Progressive Insurance group more than $150,000 after the company unlawfully calculated and charged incorrect premiums to more than 62,700 policy holders. From October 2005 through April 2006, both Progressive Classic Insurance and Progressive Northwestern Insurance companies used unapproved rates to calculate premiums for uninsured bodily injury and property coverage’s. The companies both undercharged and overcharged customers in Washington State. Once the mistake was realized, the company had already overcharged around $720,000. To date, the company has refunded around $341,645 to those overcharged customers. This is not the first time that Progressive has been charged for such infractions. The first violation occurred in 2005 and the company was fined $10,000.

The money paid in such fines is collected by the Insurance Commissioner and deposited into the states general fund. The fund supports various programs for Washington State residents. In 2006, the commissioner collected $2.2 million in fines.

Article Source:

September 4, 2007

Vehicles Hit by Rocks Thrown on I-5

Three vehicles were hit by falling rocks while driving on southbound I-5 August 29th near 272nd Street. The softball and basketball sized rocks were thrown onto the freeway at about 2:15am.One of the rocks went through the windshield of a semi truck. The driver sustained minor injures and was treated at the scene. Two other vehicles, an SUV and a sedan were also hit by rocks. Troopers believe that who ever threw these rocks meant to hurt someone.

This is not the first incidence of someone throwing rocks onto I-5. In 1990, Les Miller was killed instantly when a 16 pound rock was thrown onto I-5 hitting his vehicle. It took investigators some time, but they eventually found kids who threw the rock. State troopers are increasing patrols in the Federal Way area hoping to find those behind this most recent act. They are also asking that anyone with information about the rock throwing to contact the Washington State Patrol at 425-649-4370.

Article Source: