Nathan Furman is Senior Counsel in Tyson & Mendes’ Seattle office. His practice focuses on defending general liability and personal injury cases including auto liability, UIM/UM, premises liability, construction accidents, and construction defect claims.
Mr. Furman has extensive litigation experience, including the defense of motorists, insurance companies, general contractors, subcontractors, school districts, grocery stores, convenience stores, home improvement supplies retailers, small businesses, and individuals in state courts throughout Washington. He obtained dismissal of a wrongful death lawsuit to British Columbia on forum non conveniens grounds. See Klotz v. Dehkhoda, 134 Wn. App. 261, 141 P.3d 67 (2006), rev. denied, 160 Wn.2d 1014 (2007). He defended a general contractor in a lawsuit by a plaintiff utility owner after the contractor struck the utility’s underground line. The plaintiff dismissed its lawsuit after a hearing before an industry group’s dispute review panel.
Mr. Furman is admitted to practice law in Washington, the United States District Court for the Western District and Eastern District of Washington, and the Ninth Circuit. Mr. Furman obtained his J.D. from the University of Oregon in 2001, where he served on the University of Oregon Law Review. After graduation, Mr. Furman was a judicial law clerk to The Honorable C.C. Bridgewater of the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division II. Mr. Furman obtained his B.A. from the University of Washington in 1996. He is a member of the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers and the King County Bar Association.
Mr. Furman, his wife, and their two sons like to explore the Pacific Northwest. He hopes to one day take his family on a backpacking trip around Mt. Rainier.
Loss of consortium is a term used to refer to the deprivation of the benefits of a family relationship due to injuries caused by a tortfeasor. Proving loss of consortium can be very difficult because it is not easy to put a value on pain and suffering and the requirements vary by state. The discussion below focuses on the current law in Washington in this area with respect to different types of plaintiffs.
Under the doctrine of respondeat superior, an employer is subject to vicarious liability to third parties for torts committed by the servant (read: “employee”) within the scope of employment. To establish respondeat superior, plaintiff must establish the relationship of employer-employee and that the tort was committed within the scope of employment.
A recent decision from the Supreme Court of Florida, Barnett v. State of Florida, Dep’t of Financial Services, No. SC19-87, ___ So. 2d ___, (Fla. Sep. 24, 2020), addressed Florida’s statute on waiver of sovereign immunity in tort actions. Barnett arose from a 2010 mass shooting in which a Florida woman’s estranged husband fatally shot her and four of her children and seriously injured a fifth child.
The Washington Supreme Court has held that children under six years of age are incapable of” “fault.” As a matter of law, no issue of such a child’s negligence can be submitted to the jury. Price v. Kitsap Transit, 70 Wn. App. 748, 856 P.2d 384 (1993), aff’d, 125 Wn.2d 456 (1994).
Smelser v. Paul, 188 Wn.2d 648, 398 P.3d 1086 (2017) holds that when a parent’s negligent supervision causes injury to their child, the parent is not immune. Rather, the parent’s conduct is simply not tortious. Consequently, no fault can be apportioned to the parent.
Plaintiff was hurt while riding his bicycle. A motorist who parked on the street did not see plaintiff approach and opened his door, striking plaintiff. Plaintiff had an auto policy that provided PIP benefits of up to $5,000 in medical expenses sustained by an “insured.” The policy defined “insured” in relevant part as “a pedestrian when struck by” a motor vehicle. The policy did not define the term “pedestrian.”
American Southern Home Ins. Co. v. Lentini, 286 So.3d 157 (Fla. 2019), arose from a fatal accident between the insured, who operated his motorcycle, and an uninsured motorist. The insured’s estate made a claim for uninsured motorist (UM) benefits under the reduced-premium policy issued on the insured’s collector vehicle, a 1992 Chevrolet Corvette.
Nadeem v. Maurer, No. 36630-8-III, 2020 WL 730683 (Wash. Ct. App. Feb. 13, 2020) (unpublished), arose from a motor-vehicle accident involving Mohammed Nadeem and Kendra Maurer. Nadeem was born in Iraq and was not fluent in English, though he understood English for basic transactions. Shortly after the accident, Nadeem made a bodily injury claim to Maurer’s insurer.
In Boesiger v. Desert Appraisals, LLC, 444 P.3d 436 (Nev. Jul. 3, 2019), a married couple bought a home and financed the purchase through a mortgage on the property. The mortgage lender contracted with an appraisal company to perform an appraisal. The appraiser valued the property at $340,000, with 3,002 square feet of gross living area. The appraiser’s report noted a discrepancy between the square…
Grosser v. Korsmo and First Transit, Inc., No. 17-2-06113-1 (King County Sup. Ct. 2017), arose from a bus versus pedestrian accident. The elderly plaintiff sued the bus driver and the bus driver’s employer for personal injury. At the accident scene, the bus driver collected eyewitnesses’ names and contact information on forms that his employer had provided him.