WA Legal Roundup - Washington State Supreme Court
(Lutz tries to one up Frank and fails miserably)
Oh come on, you knew I was going to go for the easy 30 Rock joke. If you don't watch 30 Rock...well, I don't want to be your friend because I'm afraid you have no sense of humor and eat babies. Anyhow, it is surprisingly hard to find a decent picture of Lutz. I could only find a couple of him in character. And by in character, I mean playing a guy with the same name who does basically the same job as he does in real life. He's really the modern day Dick Van Dyke...you know, but without the success. I also tried hard to find a quote from the show for him, but all I could come up with was "Don't make me move back to Alaska." Taken out of context, its just not as funny. So instead, I'll give you a Dr. Spaceman quote:
"Is it 411 or 911? New York? Diabetes repair, I guess."
Okay, I suppose I should actually look at the opinion. Oddly enough, I was looking at the Court of Appeals decision on this the other day. Lutz is driving his motorcycle. Kappleman was on the back. Lutz hit a deer, and claimed sudden emergency doctrine for the ensuing lawsuit. The trial court gave the instruction. The supreme court first had to look at whether the instruction would be reviewed de novo or for abuse of discretion. Since it is based on factual matters, and not simply as a matter of law, the court gave the lenient abuse of discretion standard. Given the deer in the road situation, the court affirmed 9-0.
The one thing I wish the court would have addressed was the fact that Lutz was travelling over the 55MPH speed limit. Seems to me if it was just a bit over, may not have contributed to the emergency situation. However, if he was going 65, 75, or even 85 MPH, then the sudden need to stop and his ability to not maneuver away from the deer could have been a major factor contributing to the emergency, precluding applications.