Practice Area
Personal Lines
Legal Alert
Listen to our Legal Alerts on the following platforms: Listen on Apple Podcasts Listen on Spotify Listen on SoundCloud From the desk of Jeff Eberhard: The Washington Supreme Court granted direct review (i.e., bypassing the court of appeals) on a claim of injury due to a pit bull. There were concerns this case might be the court’s opportunity to rewrite…
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Monday May 10, 2021 By: Jeff Eberhard
Legal Alert
From the desk of Cliff Wilson: In disputes over insurance policies, there is the potential that the insured can recover attorney fees from the insurer. However, when the dispute is over uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits, the insurer can protect itself from paying these attorney fees if it meets certain statutory safe harbor requirements. One of these requirements is that…
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Wednesday April 28, 2021 By: Cliff Wilson
Legal Alert
From the desk of Gordon C. Klug: Washington has recognized a cause of action for tortious interference with a dead body for over 100 years. This tort allows plaintiffs to pursue compensation for the emotional distress they suffer after learning that their loved ones’ remains were mistreated. Washington never clarified WHO can bring this type of lawsuit . . .…
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Tuesday March 30, 2021 By: Gordon Klug
Legal Alert
From the desk of Jeffrey D. Eberhard: In certain circumstances, if a plaintiff is successful, they can recover attorney fees. However, ORCP 54 (the offer to allow judgment rule) limits a plaintiff’s recovery of fees to those incurred prior to the date of an offer of judgment, provided the offer was more than the plaintiff’s ultimate award. Does this limit…
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Thursday February 11, 2021 By: Jeff Eberhard
Legal Alert
From the desk of Cliff J. Wilson: Cellphones are essential to everyday life. However, in Oregon, we all know that we should not use, or even handle, our cellphones while driving due in part to the state’s harsh penalties for doing so. But what happens if a defendant in a civil case admits to using her cellphone immediately prior to…
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Wednesday February 10, 2021 By: Cliff Wilson
Webinar
Smith Freed Eberhard partners Josh Hayward and Melanie Rose discuss significant cases of the past year in Washington, with a focus on Personal Lines claims management. 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 Personal Lines claims management. This webinar will prepare you…
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Friday January 29, 2021 By: Josh Hayward
Legal Alert
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
Legal Alert
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
Legal Alert
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
Legal Alert
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
Webinar
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
Legal Alert
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
Success Story
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
Legal Alert
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
Legal Alert
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
Webinar
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
Legal Alert
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
Legal Alert
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
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