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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 Legal Roundup: Division II

Glacier Nw. Inc. v. Walker

Mr. Walker appeals the trial court’s decision in favor of his previous employer, Glacier Nw. Inc., wherein the trial court held that RCW 51.32.090(4), governing an employer’s ability to terminate time-loss benefits, applied to his case. 

Walker was an employee of Glacier Nw. Inc. and was injured on the job when his cement truck tipped over after he turned sharply.  As a result, Glacier fired Walker for causing the truck to overturn and failing to follow the safety guidelines in operating the cement truck.  Walker was injured in the collision.  L&I directed Glacier (a self insured company) to pay Walker’s lost wages and medical benefits.  Upon Walker’s release to light duty from his treating physician, Glacier denied Walker the light duty position available and requested termination of time-loss payments to Walker.  L&I ordered Glacier to continue payments because the light duty position, while available, was not made available to Walker.  Glacier exhausted its remedies through L&I and sought the superior court’s review.

The superior court agreed with Glacier, ruling that Glacier met its duties under RCW 51.32.090(4) because they had available light duty work that would have been offered to Walker but for his termination from the company.  Walker disagrees and argues that the court erred because his termination was not “wholly unrelated” to his injury and that RCW 51.32.090(4) does not apply  The Appeals Court agreed with Walker, after considering the latter argument only, reversed, and remanded. 

The Court reasoned, after interpreting the statute, that RCW 51.32.090(4) allows an employer to terminate time loss payments whenever the employer offers the injured employee other work and the physician certifies that the injured employee is able to perform the same but only after the employee begins the other work.  Here, the Court held that Glaciers argument conflicts with the plain language of the statute because Glacier never intended for Walker to begin working for it.  The Court, although sympathetic to Glacier’s position, ruled that the result was not absurd wherein Glacier failed to take advantage of other opportunities the statute offers such as invoking L&I’s vocational rehabilitation services  and forcing Walker to look for modified work elsewhere. 

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