PLG produces a $60 million settlement
John Phillips was the lead trial lawyer for Plaintiffs in the Oso Landslide case that produced a $60 million settlement against the State of Washington and a timber company on October 10, 2016. John co-counseled with Corrie Yackulic in representing sixteen plaintiffs. These sixteen plaintiffs represented twenty-two individuals who lost their lives or who were themselves injured in the March 22, 2014 landslide that destroyed the community of Steelhead Haven. For articles regarding resolution of the case, see State Settles Oso Mudslide Lawsuit For $50 Million, Timber Company Reaches $10 Million Settlement In Oso Landslide Suit, and DNR must rethink logging and landslides.
PLG obtained historic Compensatory and punitive sanctions against State of Washington
PLG obtained compensatory and punitive sanctions against the State of Washington for destruction of expert emails and then covering up such willful destruction of documents over the course of Oso Landslide case, in which PLG co-counseled with Corrie Yackulic in representing sixteen plaintiffs. These sixteen plaintiffs represented twenty-two individuals who lost their lives or who were themselves injured in the March 22, 2014 landslide that destroyed the community of Steelhead Haven. On October 10, 2016, Judge Roger Rogoff awarded sanctions totaling $1,182,996.06.00, the largest such sanction ever levied against the State of Washington. The Court’s Sanction Order may be read here, and you may read a newspaper article and editorial regarding the sanctions.
PLG Garners Appellate Victories
PLG has represented mesothelioma victims whose cases were dismissed in the Superior Court and obtained reversal of the dismissal and remand for trial against the defendants. PLG also recently obtained an appellate affirmance of its summary judgment victory on behalf of a pharmaceutical company sued on alleged product defect claims.
PLG Wins Significant Victory for Asbestos Plaintiff in Washington Supreme Court
In a case that received national news coverage, PLG argued and obtained reversal in the Supreme Court of dismissal of an asbestos plaintiff’s claim against manufacturers of respirator masks who argued that they could not be responsible because they were not in the chain of distribution for the asbestos that coated their masks after use and which found its way into the plaintiff’s lungs causing him to suffer from mesothelioma. See Macias v. Saberhagen Holdings, Inc., 175 Wash.2d 402, 282 P.3d 1069 (2012).
PLG obtain dismissal of “outrage” claims, affirmed on appeal.
In a Lasik surgeon’s “outrage” suit against another Lasik surgeon who was convicted of attempting to arrange the plaintiff surgeon’s murder.
PLG and our co-counsel from Columbia Legal Services won a landmark case in the Washington Supreme Court for over 600 Washington farm workers who were illegally fired and replaced by guest workers from Thailand. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held that the Farm Labor Contractors Act requires minimum statutory damages of $500 per plaintiff per violation when such damages are awarded. The Ninth Circuit previously reached the same conclusion in a decision finding that the farm workers should be paid nearly $2 million in damages for multiple violations of the Act. See Perez-Farias v. Global Horizons, ___ Wn.2d ___, 286 P.3d 46 (2012) and Perez-Farias v. Global Horizons, 447 Fed. Appx. 843 (9th Cir. 2011).
PLG Wins Preliminary Injunction Enforcing Trademark Rights
PLG won a preliminary injunction against a car dealership that was using the name of the plaintiff car dealership and trading on the established company’s good will. See Korum Automotive Group, Inc. v. Salstrom Motors Inc., 2012 WL 135414 (W.D. Wash. Jan. 17, 2012).
PLG Successfully Prosecutes Intellectual Property Rights in Jonathan Livingston Seagull
PLG has repeatedly and successfully prosecuted copyright and trademark infringement claims for Richard Bach, the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, including claims successfully prosecuted against a multi-level marketing company and claims against a Peruvian author against whom PLG obtained a comprehensive injunction. See Richard Bach and Russell Munson v. Forever Living Products 473 F. Supp. 2d 1110 (W.D. Wash. 2007) and 473 F. Supp. 2d 1127 (W.D. Wash. 2007) and Richard Bach v. Sergio Bambaren, No. C09-1787 (W.D. Wash. May 9, 2011) (permanent injunction).
Hospital Unfair Pricing Cases
In the first suit of its kind nationally, PLG obtained a class action judgment against a major hospital system (Virginia Mason) for grossly differential pricing of outpatient procedures when performed at its hospital-based clinics instead of at its non-hospital or neighborhood clinics. That suit was followed by a class action settlement for patients of University of Washington Medical Center who brought similar claims. An article describing the importance of this litigation can be found at For the Record – Under Seige Class Action Frontier. For an article from the health care journal Health and Business Policy and other commentary discussing the Virginia Mason and UWMC cases as “groundbreaking,” click here.
In 2013, PLG settled two class actions against Hospital systems in St. Louis, obtaining refunds and changes in disclosure for patients. The Kansas City Star article regarding that successful litigation can be seen here: Kansas City Star-Facility fees add billions to medical bills.
Hospital Charges to Uninsured Patients
In the first settlement of its kind against a non-profit hospital system, PLG negotiated a class action settlement on behalf of all uninsured patients at Providence’s Oregon hospitals—the largest non-profit hospital system in Oregon, entitling those patients to refunds or adjustments in their past bills and lower charges for hospital services in the future. Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Marilyn Litzenberger granted final approval to the class action settlement on June 23, 2006. For an article in the ABA Journal discussing these cases, click on this link. http://abajournal.com/magazine/exerting_their_patients/. Thereafter, PLG negotiated a similar settlement with Legacy Hospital System, the second largest non-profit hospital system in Oregon, on behalf of all its uninsured patients.