February 28, 2008

5 injured in crash on I-5 in Lynnwood

A rollover crash on I-5 Tuesday left five young people injured. They were apparently fleeing a hit-and-run accident, said Washington State Patrol trooper Kirk Rudeen.

According to troopers, the 17-year-old driver hit an occupied pickup truck in Lynn¬wood and was speeding away northbound in the carpool lane on I-5 e when his SUV rolled near I-40.

Rudeen also said that two of the passengers, 17-year-old Everett girl and a 19-year-old Lynnwood woman were taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with serious injuries, though their injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

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February 27, 2008

10-year old boy hurt in crash on U.S. Highway 2

A collision on U.S. Highway 2 about seven miles west of Stevens Pass left a 10-year-old Marysville boy seriously injured. The Washington Auto accident occurred on Saturday morning.

After the accident, the boy was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center. Washington State Patrol trooper Kirk Rudeen said that the boy’s injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

According to the State Patrol, the Seattle Car accident happened when the boy and his mother, traveling westbound in a Ford sport-utility vehicle, were hit head-on by an eastbound GMC pickup. It is believed that the pickup slipped on ice and crossed the centerline.

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February 26, 2008

Man hit by bus in Lynnwood

A Community Transit bus hit and seriously injured a man in Lynnwood, officials said. The Seattle Auto Accident occurred late Wednesday.

The as yet unidentified man was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Lynnwood police spokeswoman Shannon Sessions said. The man is believed by police to be a transient. Sessions said that as of Thursday, the man was in critical but stable condition.

The collision happened around 11:15 p.m. on Highway 99 just south of 164th Street SW.

Community Transit spokesman Tom Pearce said that although several passengers were aboard the bus, no one was injured.

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February 25, 2008

Lawsuit by family of man who died in Tacoma gas explosion

The family of Charles McDonald, a truck driver who died when a propane hose leaked and caught fire while he pumped propane from his truck into Atlas Foundry Limited Partnerships tanks, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in superior court Tuesday. They allege that Atlas Foundry employees didn't use proper clamps when they helped McDonald reattach a disconnected hose before he began pumping the propane.

McDonald’s body was mostly burned by the first of two explosions. He took cover near a metal shed before the 8,000-gallon truck blew apart, propelling an axle hundreds of feet in the air in a massive burst. Additionally, pieces of metal rained down on people nearby. Covered in black soot, employees ran from the fire.

Four people besides McDonald were injured. McDonald was found by medics behind the shed two hours later and airlifted him to Harborview Medical Center. The 64-year-old died Oct. 16.

"The negligence of the Atlas Foundry employees led to the initial release of propane gas that rapidly enveloped Charles McDonald," said John Christensen, the family's lawyer. He faulted the employees for using clamps not meant for high-pressure propane.

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February 20, 2008

Sexual attack inside Children's Hospital alleged in lawsuit

A teenaged patient at Children’s Hospital in Seattle says she was sexually assaulted by another patient. According to the lawsuit, the alleged sexual assault happened while both the victim and her attacker were patients in the psych ward.

In August, 2006, a teenage girl was admitted as a patient to the psychiatric unit at Children's Hospital, suffering from depression.

According to the complaint, after her arrival "she was left in a conference room by herself" when "a large male patient, age 17, came into the conference room" and "sexually assaulted" her.

The complaint also says that during the girl's stay, she "was terrified of the male patient" who continually harassed her. In addition, the complaint states that the male patient was discharged from Children’s Hospital, then readmitted, and was placed in a room right next to the girl.

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February 19, 2008

MySpace page of car crash victim subpoenaed in lawsuit

Marissa Schneider was terribly injured in the Seattle car crash that wasn’t her fault. Her family sued both the driver and Chrysler, the makers of her car, with allegations that her injuries were, in part, to a design flaw in her Dodge Spirit.

But now the lawyers for the Chrysler Company have issued a subpoena for a court order to get inside her MySpace page and see her personal blogs, and her family wants to know why.

"Cyber-investigations" such as these are becoming more common in lawsuits.

The driver of the car in the Seattle Auto Accident, a 21 year old Arlington woman, is now in a nursing home because she can't talk or take care of herself. She was on her way to work when her car was hit by an on-coming vehicle that crossed the center line.

After denying the claim, Chrysler turned its attention on the victim, and issued a subpoena to get full access to Marissa's MySpace account, which includes private blogs which have been largely unchanged since her accident.

“It's what Marissa wrote and I don't see anything that has to do with it. It's just her private little messages to her friends," said her mother.

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February 14, 2008

Former court worker paid by Snohomish County to settle lawsuit

$85,000 has been paid by Snohomish County to a former court worker after she agreed not to file a civil lawsuit alleging that her demotion was retaliation for cooperation with a 2005 state investigation of a judge.

Sherree Marler, who had worked for that court for 26 years, filed a claim against the county, saying that her employment was "terminated" without notice in retaliation for her testimony before the state Judicial Conduct Commission. A lawsuit was prepared, but she continued to negotiate with the county and didn't file it, according to her lawyer, Jean Huffington of Seattle.

And agreement was reached by Marler and the county in November, and the county paid Marler the money last month, Huffington said.

Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Steven Bladek said that any claim can be a risk to an employer.

"It was determined, as a business decision, this is the best course of action for the county," Bladek said.

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February 12, 2008

Yellow license plate would be required for DUI drivers, under proposed WA bill

Drunk drivers in Washington State may soon have their own fluorescent yellow license plate.

Republican state senator Mike Carrell is sponsoring a bill that would require a person convicted of DUI to drive a vehicle with front and rear fluorescent yellow license plates.

The same thing was required in Ohio four years ago.

"I believe shame will keep people from doing it. Looking at somebody who is driving around with a fluorescent yellow license plate should be a good reason for others to decide 'I don't want to have my neighbors knowing that I'm a drunk,'" said Carrell.

Under the proposal, if someone is a convicted DUI offender and they’re caught driving without the special license plate, they could be charged with a Washington misdemeanor.

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February 11, 2008

Serious crash on I-5 Southbound in south Everett

Southbound traffic on I-5 in south Everett was blocked Friday morning by a serious Washington Bus Collision which left a man critically injured a man, said officials.

The crash happened at about 6:30am, near the Silver Lake rest area. A 30-year-old Everett man swerved his car into the carpool lane and was hit by a King County Metro Transit bus, said Kirk Rudeen, a Washington State Patrol spokesman.

Rudeen also said that the man was to be airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with serious injuries.

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February 7, 2008

Elderly pedestrian hit and killed by car

A 94-year-old Shoreline woman died Wednesday when she was hit by a car while crossing a street in an intersection in North Seattle/Shoreline, according to the State Patrol.

State Patrol reported that the woman, Ruby Blood, died in the Seattle pedestrian accident when a car making a left turn from Northeast 145th Street onto 15th Avenue Northeast hit her at about 11:15 a.m. The driver, a 77 year old Bothell woman, had a green light, according to a news release.

Another pedestrian, 67-year-old Shoreline resident Valentyna Shor, was also struck by the vehicle but did not have serious injuries. State Patrol trooper Jeff Merrill said that a preliminary investigation shows that Blood and Shor began crossing the street in a crosswalk with a green light but made it only about halfway before the light turned red.

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February 5, 2008

Woman killed in auto accident Eastside

According to the Washington State Patrol, the driver of an SUV, traveling on Washington State Route 202 between Redmond and Fall City, died last week after her vehicle left the road and rolled into a ditch filled with water.

Troopers believe the Washington auto accident occurred around 12:10 p.m. near the intersection with 264th Street S.E., said State Patrol spokesman Jeff Merrill.

A motorist who was passing by spotted the SUV and stopped to offer first aid, Merrill said. Unable to pull the 60-year-old woman out of the vehicle, the motorist called troopers.

"We don't think speed was a factor," Merrill said. "We're trying to determine what caused her to drift off the roadway."

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February 4, 2008

Smoker’s award upheld by court

For the third time, the Oregon Supreme Court has allowed a $79.5 million punitive-damages judgment against Philip Morris. This award was twice struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, which suggested it was excessive.

Jesse Williams was a longtime Malboro smoker. The money was for his family. Jesse, who started smoking during the Army in the 1950s, died of lung cancer in 1997.

According to www.Seattletimes.com, the Oregon court's decision this week did not contest the U.S. Supreme Court's latest ruling. This ruling said that when juries assess punitive damages, they can punish a defendant only for the harm done to the people suing. But the Oregon court said that a judge’s decision not to allow the jury instructions proposed by Philip Morris at the trial was correct. The instructions were regarding punitive damages, and have been in the middle of the legal battle over the suit brought by Williams' widow. The award was made by a Portland jury in 1999.

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