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Issaquah Law Group: Experienced Counsel; Client Focus

PHILOSOPHY: Formed in 2014, Issaquah Law Group is a law firm with one focus: providing businesses and insurers with high quality legal representation with the responsiveness of a smaller firm. ILG was founded on the principle that strong client relationships are the key to successful legal representation and strong relationships are built upon clear and consistent communication. 

LITIGATION: We work closely with our clients to fully and accurately understand their goals, work collaboratively to formulate specific legal strategies, and execute the agreed plan of action utilizing methods most likely to result in the efficient and effective resolution of the matter. ILG attorneys have a broad base of litigation experience to draw on in all Federal and State courts from on-the-ground investigations to Supreme Court appeals in the areas of personal injury and wrongful death, product liability, commercial general liability, labor & employment, construction litigation, and catastrophic losses due to fire and explosion.

BUSINESS LAW: Rarely is the path from point A to point B a straight line, so our role in a business law practice is to find alternatives, devise workable strategies, and keep your business ideas, goals and objectives moving toward realization. ILG’s business attorneys help clients achieve their goals with respect to business formation, intellectual property, labor and employment, CAN-SPAM, copyright and trademark

COMMUNITY: In addition, the Lawyers at Issaquah Law Group remain active in the legal and civic community. A core commitment of our Issaquah Attorneys is community service. Our attorneys' civic involvement includes the King County Civil Rights Commission; the City of Issaquah Planning Policy Commission; the Northwest Screenwriters Guild, service as a pro tem judge. We live and work in the Pacific Northwest, and we aim to make it a better place.

In addition, through The Amateur Law Professor Blog and LinkedIn postings, we share pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Supreme Court, as well as the pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Courts of Appeal so that our clients can be as update to date on cutting legal issues as we are.

Washington Legal Roundup – Division I

S&K Motors, Inc. v. Harco Nat’l Ins. Co.

S&K Motors did business as Pinnacle Masada.  Pinnacle had a bad employee appropriately named Stephen Casino.  Mr. Casino had a gambling problem and stole a bunch of money from Pinnacle.

Pinnacle gave Casino a second and third chance to change his ways on the condition that he pay back the amount he stole out of his pay check.  Mr. Casino did not change his way and kept stealing.  Pinnacle finally fired him.

Pinnacle had insurance with Harco National Insurance Co.  Harco provided insurance coverage for employee theft, but only up to the point where the employer learns of the theft.

Harco provided coverage for the theft up to the time that Pinnacle learned about the theft, but did not provide coverage for the period during which Pinnacle gave Mr. Casino second and third chances. 

By the time Pinnacle submitted its claim to Harco, Mr. Casino had already paid back a good chuck of what he stole.  Pinnacle argued that it was entitled to recover the amount that Mr. Casino had re-paid. 

The Court of Appeals held that because the theft had continued, the “occurrence” included all of the thefts.  The court went on to say that even though Harco was not obligated to pay for the losses sustained by Pinnacle after it learned that Mr. Casino had stolen from it the first time, it also was not entitled to recover any money it paid until Pinnacle had been “made whole” under Sherry v. Fin. Idem. Co., 160 Wn.2d 611, 160 P.3d 31 (2007).

Harco also got dinged for attorney fees under Olympic Steamship v. Centennial Ins. Co., 117 Wn.2d 37, 811 P.2d 673 (1991).

Note to insurers: When there’s a doubt about coverage or subrogation, do yourself a favor by giving your customers the benefit of the doubt.  That’s what the courts usually do.

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