By

Kyle Farnam
In September 2017, a 15-year-old threw two fireworks into Oregon’s Eagle Creek Canyon, sparking a huge wildfire that destroyed several homes and impacted tourism in the area. The teenager pleaded guilty to reckless burning of public and private property, and was sentenced to community service and probation. The fire’s victims, which included homeowners and the...
A recent federal court ruling offers a reminder that subrogating carriers need to be careful when disclosing expert opinions. The case, Columbia Grain v. Hinrichs Trading et al. (D. Idaho 2015), involved a fire in a garbanzo bean elevator. The plaintiff’s expert opined that a failed bearing ignited garbanzo bean dust, which smoldered for two...
A recent Washington case shows that establishing a “taking” is just the beginning of an inverse condemnation claim. Like many jurisdictions, Washington allows landowners to bring an inverse condemnation claim—similar to a 5th Amendment eminent domain claim that the government can bring—when they can show that a governmental entity harmed their property interests. However, there...
 A recent Oregon case offers a reminder that subrogating carriers need to carefully examine personal jurisdiction before pursuing an out-of-state defendant. In Robinson v. Harley Davidson Motor Company (Oregon Ct. App. 2012), Oregon resident Robinson was riding her Harley Davidson motorcycle in Idaho when she noticed a problem with the front wheel. Although she had...
A recent 9th Circuit Court of Appeals case included favorable holdings for subrogating carriers on the types of damages recoverable in maritime cases. The case, Oswalt v. Resolute Industries, Inc., 2:08-cv-01600-MJP (June 16, 2011), stemmed from a fire on a vessel that originated at a heater that was being repaired by Resolute Industries. The vessel...
The Washington Court of Appeals recently ruled that a seller may be the sole party held strictly liable for a manufacturing defect if the product is sold under the seller’s brand or trade name. In 2007, Monika Johnson was riding in downtown Seattle when the carbon fiber fork of her bicycle (which attaches the frame...
In February 2011, the Oregon Court of Appeals reaffirmed that the doctrine of "inverse condemnation" is alive and well in Oregon. Inverse condemnation claims do not require a showing of negligence, and instead arise by showing that a government actor (e.g. a city) “substantially interfered” with an owner’s right to use his or her property,...
In a November 2010 decision, the Washington Supreme Court replaced the longstanding “economic loss rule” with a what it has termed the “independent duty doctrine.” The case, Affiliated FM Ins. Co. v. LTK Consulting Services, Inc. , stemmed from a fire in Seattle’s Monorail System. Prior to the fire, the City of Seattle had contracted...