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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 III

 

Myers v. State

This is a very sad example of the State just screwing things up.  Pamela Myers took care of her sister, LL, who was classified as a “vulnerable adult.”  DSHS paid Myers for 112 hours per month (roughly 26 hours/week) for in-home care of LL.  The opinion doesn’t say how much Myers got paid for caring for her sister.  DSHS and Myers had a contract for these services. 

LL twisted her ankle at Myers’ home.  The resulting injury was quite minor.  Myers iced the ankle and had LL elevate it.  Evidence showed that other witnesses did not notice that LL was limping anymore than normal.  Staff members at a facility where LL volunteered noticed that LL’s ankle was swollen and bruised and LL stated that the ankle was painful. 

LL used the local paratransit van for transportation.  LL told one of the other passengers on the van that Myers had dismissed the injured ankle and threatened to scold LL if she complained about the injury.  LL also voiced her displeasure with her sister’s decision to move their residence. This passenger did not see LL’s ankle.  This passenger reported the incident to DSHS.  DSHS investigated.

The investigator talked to the case manager who stated that LL tended to exaggerate when she didn’t get her way and had issues with power and control.  The investigator talked to LL and examined the ankle.  The investigator talked to Myers and Myers then agreed to take LL to see a doctor.  The doctor ultimately concluded that “the injury was not serious, required no aggressive treatment, and would heal on its own.”

The investigator then talked to LL’s mother and father and they reiterated that LL tended to act out when she didn’t get her way.  They also stated that LL was particularly unhappy with Myers’ decision to move her residence. 

Based on the investigator’s findings DSHS terminated their contract with Myers due to neglect of a vulnerable adult.  Well there certainly was abuse here, but it appears that the abuse was by the State.  Now here’s the shocking part.  Myers appealed the decision and the AL judge reversed the finding of neglect.  The DSHS Board of Appeals twice rejected DSHS's attempt to reinstate the finding of neglect!

So what is the case about?  Myers sued DSHS for breach of contract.  Her case was dismissed because the contract stated, "If it is later determined that the Contractor was not in default, the termination shall be considered a termination for convenience."   Convenience!  What a great contract clause.  I’m going to have to include that one in my next contract.

Division III recognized the fact that Myers made a persuasive case in that she did nothing wrong.  Myers was cleared by the AL judge.  But the contract allowed for “termination for convenience.”  Convenient to who?  He who made the contract that’s who! 

So Myers gets screwed even though she was successful at proving there was no neglect. 

Where does this leave LL and Myers?  Myers will receive no more funding for taking care of her sister.  She will probably be forced to seek employment doing something else, which means that someone else will have to take care of LL.  Everyone happy?  Hey DSHS got their way.  Even though DSHS lost, they still won.  Sounds like a deal with the devil! 

Devil

“No neglect?  Well, we’re going to have to punish you anyway…for convenience!”

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