Practice Area
Personal Lines
From the desk of Josh Hayward: Last year, the Washington Court of Appeals held that bicyclists were not considered pedestrians in the context of PIP coverage, because the plain meaning of the word “pedestrian” does not include cyclists. The Washington Supreme Court just re-examined the issue. What exactly did the court decide? And how did it arrive at this conclusion?…
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Wednesday January 20, 2021 By: Josh Hayward
From the desk of Cliff J. Wilson: The Washington Court of Appeals recently revisited the public policy lens as related to UIM exclusions in Washington automobile insurance policies.  In this case, the court examined Progressive’s decision to deny UIM benefits to a guest passenger injured by one of its insured drivers in a single-vehicle accident. Was Progressive’s denial of benefits…
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Wednesday December 30, 2020 By: Cliff Wilson
Smith Freed Eberhard is pleased to announce two of its attorneys have been recognized in the 2021 Edition of Best Lawyers in America, the oldest and most respected peer review publication in the legal profession. Additionally, one attorney was recognized in the 2021 Edition of Best Lawyers Ones to Watch, which recognizes the most promising newer lawyers in the US who…
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Monday December 28, 2020 By: Firm Authorship
From the desk of Josh Hayward: Washington’s Made Whole Doctrine establishes that a person with insurance must be fully reimbursed for their losses, or “made whole,” before the person’s insurance company can take from any third-party recovery proceeds to recoup what they paid out on a claim. This case addresses the question, really how much is required to be “made…
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Wednesday December 9, 2020 By: Josh Hayward
From the desk of Thomas McCurdy: Generally, if a driver loses consciousness and causes an auto accident, they are not held liable. The driver can be held liable, however, if they were aware that there was a possibility they could suddenly lose consciousness. This case addresses the question, does a driver’s prior knowledge of their multiple health conditions make them…
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Tuesday December 1, 2020 By: Thomas McCurdy
Smith Freed Eberhard Partners Jeff Eberhard and Bill Taaffe discuss major cases of the past year in Oregon, with a focus on Commercial Lines claims management during this one hour presentation. Why Watch This Webinar? This webinar is designed for claims professionals and provides a basic overview of significant cases over the last year and their impact on Commercial Lines claims management. This…
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Thursday November 19, 2020 By: Jeff Eberhard
From the desk of Josh Hayward: In UM and UIM claims, attorney fees may be recoverable by the insured. However, there is a statutory safe harbor provision that prevents an insured from being awarded fees if certain criteria are met. Part of the criteria is that the insurer must accept coverage and only contest liability of the uninsured and damages.…
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Thursday November 19, 2020 By: Josh Hayward
Claims Alleged:         False Imprisonment; Assault and Battery; and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress Injuries Alleged:       Concussion; Nasal Fracture; Facial Contusions and Abrasions; and Emotional Distress Admitted Liability:    No Amount Claimed:       $995,000 The Overview: Managing Partner at Smith Freed Eberhard, Jeff Eberhard, successfully defended an individual against claims of assault and battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction…
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Thursday November 19, 2020 By: Jeff Eberhard
From the desk of Cliff Wilson: The one constant in litigation is that the Plaintiff carries the burden to prove every element of their case.  In complex scenarios, however, sometimes Plaintiffs will argue to push their burden on to the Defendant, particularly in cases involving insurance company defendants, like cases involving underinsured motorist claims (UIM).  Recently, the Oregon Court of…
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Thursday November 12, 2020 By: Cliff Wilson
From the desk of Josh Hayward: How many cats is too many?  The jury is still out on that, but a recent Oregon Court of Appeals opinion suggests that it is probably not wise to allow a tenant to keep 100 cats.  In this case, Plaintiff filed suit against State Farm after the company denied coverage under a “domestic animal”…
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Friday October 23, 2020 By: Josh Hayward
Smith Freed Eberhard Partners Josh Hayward and Cliff Wilson discuss major Personal Lines cases of the past year in Oregon with a focus on the impact these cases will have on Personal Lines claims management. In this hour-long webinar presentation, Josh and Cliff discuss recent developments in Oregon law including: (HB 4212) The statute of limitations on most civil claims…
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Friday October 23, 2020 By: Josh Hayward
From the desk of Jeff Eberhard: Oregon Rule of Civil Procedure (“ORCP”) 54(E) provides that a defendant may serve an offer on the plaintiff for a judgment that can be entered against the defendant and the plaintiff has the right to decline the offer. However, if the ultimate judgment obtained by the plaintiff is not more favorable than the offer,…
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Tuesday October 13, 2020 By: Jeff Eberhard
From the desk of Joshua P. Hayward: To avoid attorney’s fees in a UIM case, an insurer must agree to binding arbitration and limit the issues to the liability of the uninsured/underinsured motorist and damages. If a proper safe harbor letter is sent, can an insurer allege that its own insured was at fault for causing the collision without injecting an…
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Thursday September 17, 2020 By: Josh Hayward
From the desk of Joshua P. Hayward: The Washington Court of Appeals recently considered a trial court’s ruling that denied PIP benefits to an insured claimant who sustained injuries while riding a bicycle after determining that the term “pedestrian” does not include bicyclists. Case Pointer: In this case from the Washington Court of Appeals, an insured argued that even though…
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Thursday September 10, 2020 By: Josh Hayward
From the desk of Jeff Eberhard: Hear Ye Hear Ye! Read all about it. The Oregon Supreme Court has issued a landmark opinion addressing once and for all a topic of heated debate between Oregon’s plaintiff and defense bars. No matter the side, plaintiff or defendant, attorneys will agree that parties who can prove they were injured by a defendant’s…
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Monday August 17, 2020 By: Jeff Eberhard
From the desk of Gordon C. Klug: It should come as no surprise that a lawyer is prohibited from representing a new client where that new client’s interests are adverse to the interests of a former client and the matters are closely related. From a business standpoint, lawyers are also well-served to avoid these scenarios; especially in the case of…
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Wednesday August 12, 2020 By: Gordon Klug
The Overview: Smith Freed Eberhard associate attorney Jessica Kamish recently achieved a significant victory for her client following a complex case that was tried in Seattle, Washington.  After Plaintiff decided she was unhappy with an arbitration award, she demanded a trial de novo, which even her own lawyer advised against.  At trial, Jessica leveraged the jury selection process to remove…
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Tuesday August 11, 2020 By: Jessica Kamish
From the desk of Thomas McCurdy: Washington has a track record of working to criminalize discrimination in public spaces.  Since the early 1900s, the state has been developing legislation prohibiting discrimination on a number of bases – the list of which continues to grow to this very day.  In 1957, the Washington legislature enacted the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) which made discrimination based on…
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Friday July 17, 2020 By: Thomas McCurdy
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