Washington State Supreme Court Reverses Wrongful Death Ruling

The wrongful death of a DuPont, Washington worker recently resulted in the Washington State Supreme Court reversing on appeal the King County Superior Court’s dismissal of claims for wrongful death and negligence.

The King County worker was crushed to death when concrete blocks fell on him while he was investigating the source of a leak in subterranean pipes that burst and liquefied the soil in which he was working. The trial court dismissed the estate’s claim for wrongful death and negligence against the general contractor and the subcontractor who buried the pipes. The dismissal was based on what is known as the “completion and acceptance” doctrine, which stood for the proposition that once a design professional or contractor turned over work on a building to its owner, the design professional and contractor were exempt from liability for negligent design or faulty work.

washington state supreme court
The good news for Washington workers is that in reversing the King County Superior Court, the Supreme Court joined 37 other states and invalidated the “completion and acceptance” doctrine and held that the estate of a worker injured by improper design or faulty work on a building should be able to recover damages and that a special 6-year statute of limitations applied to lawsuits against design professionals and contractors.

If you want more information on this case or assistance with a wrongful death case, contact us at The Farber Law Group. With the help of the Farber Law Group, a Washington firm experienced and knowledgeable in handling wrongful death cases, you may be able to recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.