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ISSAQUAH LAW GROUP

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.

WA Supreme Court: Definition of Latent in Recreational Use Statute Does Not Include Easily Photographable Objects

Jewels v. City of Bellingham

In the recent Washington Supreme Court opinion in Steven Jewels v. City of Bellingham, the Court interpreted and applied the Recreational Use Statute, RCW 4.24.210.  In short, the statute states that landowners who open their land to the public for recreational purposes, free of charge, are generally not liable for unintentional injuries to such users. However, the statute creates an exception where an injured party may overcome this immunity by showing either: (1) a fee for the use of the land [was] charged; (2) the injuries were intentionally inflicted; or (3) the injuries were sustained by reason of a known dangerous artificial latent condition for which no warning signs were posted. Davis v. State, 144 Wn.2d 612, 616 (citing RCW 4.24.210(1), (3)).  When applying the third exception, all four elements (known, dangerous, artificial, latent) modify the word “condition” and must be present in the injury-causing condition for liability to attach to the landowner.

In determining whether an unpainted portion of a speed bump (otherwise painted yellow) which acted as a water diverter was “latent” under the statute, the Court clarified the line between a latent and an obvious defect:

[W]e derive the following principles on latency: if an ordinary recreational user standing near the injury-causing condition could see it by observation, without the need to uncover or manipulate the surrounding area, the condition is obvious (not latent) as a matter of law. The latency of the condition is not based on the particular activity the recreational user is engaged in or the particular user's experience with the area from earlier visits or expertise in the specific recreational activity. . . .

[T]he fact that the condition can be easily photographed is an acknowledgment that the condition is obvious.

As a result, the Court upheld summary judgment dismissal of the plaintiff’s cause of action against the City.

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