Category Archives: Civil Justice

Followup: Story of stolen Escalade, sold by police, crosses state lines

The stolen Escalade had traveled through two countries and across many state lines before it landed in Washington, where Bremerton police inadvertently sold it at an auction. 

We told you about this particular Cadillac Escalade in early October, after the unknowing purchaser of the SUV had it seized by the Washington State Patrol. In turn, he filed a lawsuit against the Bremerton Police Department.

The city’s lawyers have been digging into the case to figure out what happened. While the lawsuit continues, here’s what they’ve found out thus far: the Escalade was seized in a 2003 coke bust and, per Washington law, forfeited to the police department.

Police checked with the Washington State Department of  Licensing to see if it was stolen.

“There was no evidence that the vehicle was stolen,” Bremerton Assistant City Attorney Mark Koontz said in a statement. “The police department eventually sold the vehicle at  auction as authorized by state law.”

It wasn’t until summer 2011 that police here found out the Washington State Patrol had seized the SUV, finding it was stolen. State patrol officials informed the city the Escalade was stolen off an auto dealer’s lot in Canada in 2002, before it landed in Indiana, Missouri, Michigan and finally, Washington.

Much mystery still shrouds the how and why it went state to state, as it was never reported stolen in that time, city attorney said.

But state troopers were able to uncover its identity by finding more obscure locations of its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The number had been falsified in its more obvious locations on the dash board in in the driver’s side door.

Koontz said rarely does local law enforcement have specialized training at finding hidden VIN numbers and believes “the police department acted reasonably,” in backgrounding the SUV before auctioning it off.

“Even so, the city is hopeful that it can reach a resolution to this matter to the satisfaction of all parties,” he said.

I’ve not yet heard back from the lawyer for the plaintiff in the case, but I’ll let you know when I do.

Lawsuit: Man accuses Bremerton police of allowing stolen SUV to be auctioned

A man has filed a lawsuit against Bremerton police alleging that the department allowed a stolen SUV to be purchased at an auction. 

Why does he care? Because he bought the SUV.

His lawyer says in court documents that the Washington State Patrol came knocking this past summer after he’d purchased the SUV. Informing him it was stolen, they seized the vehicle — though he had paid for it.

The lawsuit says the SUV was seized “during the course of drug enforcement activity,” by Bremerton police. Eventually, it was put on the auction block.

“The Bremerton Police Department knew or should have known that the vehicle was a stolen vehicle prior to the point in time in which it offered the vehicle for sale at public auction to the general public,” the lawyer wrote in documents filed Sept. 21.

The city will provide a response to the lawsuit, according to assistant city attorney Mark Koontz. In the meantime, its attorneys are still gathering evidence, he said. I’ll keep you posted.

Lawsuit: If doc had diagnosed color blindness, plaintiff wouldn’t have pursued aviation career

A recent suit filed in Kitsap County Superior Court alleges a doctor failed to find an aspiring pilot was color blind after two eye examinations — leading the pilot to pursue a career in professional aviation. 

But in 2010, the lawsuit says the doctor did find he was color blind, stopping the plaintiff’s piloting career plans in their tracks.

At eye sight exams in 2005 and 2007, the aspiring pilot’s doctor gave him the  green light for an Federal Aviation Administration second class license, the lawsuit alleges. But in 2010, the doctor then diagnosed the plaintiff with hereditary color blindness and recommended only a third class license with “night vision and color signal restrictions.”

The plaintiff had “pursued a career in commercial aviation including the substantial expense of aviation flight school,” his lawyer alleges.

“Professional and/or commercial positions for a pilot with night vision and color signal restriction are precluded or substantially limited,” the lawyer wrote. “Had (the doctor) timely and correctly diagnosed (plaintiff’s) color blindness … (he) would not have pursued aviation school and training, to which he’d devoted considerable expense and time.”

The lawsuit was filed in August and the plaintiff is asking for arbitration. He is seeking “economic injury” damages for the costs of pursuing an aviation career after the alleged misdiagnoses in 2005 and 2007.

No response to the suit has yet been filed by the defendants.

Chiropractor’s neck adjustment leads to lawsuit

A Kitsap County woman is suing a local chiropractor after a neck adjustment she claims herniated discs in her spine, according to documents filed in Kitsap County Superior Court. 

The woman, who filed the suit in February, is a lawyer and filed it herself. She said in court documents that on Feb. 25, 2008, she was getting treatment for pain in her thigh.

While lying face down, she received an adjustment in which her “head was violently turned,” and she “experienced severe excruciating pain and heard loud cracks,” she claimed.

“Oh my god, what did you do?” she reportedly exclaimed.

The woman said she’s had continuous pain and that she can’t type with her right arm nor work for more than one to two hours. She’s seeking compensation for income lost as a result of not being able to work, medical bills and other damages.

Counsel for the defendants aren’t having it, however.

In court documents filed in June, they’re calling the plaintiff’s claims “frivolous,” and “without reasonable cause.” They say she came into the chiropractor experiencing severe pain to begin with.

They want attorney’s fees should the judge rule in their favor.

The case is ongoing in superior court.

Lawsuit: Acupuncturist ‘punctured plaintiff’s right lung’

Blogger’s note: This is the latest case in our ongoing series here at the blog showcasing suits filed in Kitsap County Superior Court. 

An April lawsuit alleges an acupuncturist at a North Kitsap clinic punctured a woman’s right lung “causing severe physical injury and conscious pain and suffering,” according to documents filed in Kitsap County Superior Court. 

The lawsuit says the woman was getting treatment in April 2010 when the incident occurred. The suit seeks compensation for medical care, attorney’s fees, general damages, and other damages the court deems just and equitable.

In response to the suit, lawyers for the acupuncturist deny the allegations, and also claim the patient plaintiff had signed a consent and release form, assuming the risk of injury. The case is ongoing in superior court.

Lawsuit: Defendant dentist ‘extracted teeth that did not require extraction’

Blogger’s note: This is the latest case in our ongoing series here at the blog showcasing suits filed in Kitsap County Superior Court. 

A local woman has filed a lawsuit alleging a wide range of indiscretions against a Kitsap County dentist, including that he “extracted teeth that did not require extraction,” and crowned the woman’s two front teeth with porcelain crowns “that dramatically increased their size,” according to documents filed in Kitsap County Superior Court. 

The suit, filed in late July, says the woman was getting dental work as part of the creation of a partial denture. But the lawyer representing the woman says the dentist took out teeth that could have been saved, made crowns and fillings that later fell out and caused her pain stemming from procedures he conducted in 2008. The woman had to go on pain medication as a result as well, the lawsuit says.

For such “outrageous and extreme conduct,” the plaintiffs are seeking “treble” damages for the costs and disbursements of the procedures, interest and attorney’s fees, as well as “further relief the court deems just.”

Lawsuit: North Kitsap grocery store ‘knew of the danger’ motorized cart driver posed

A North Kitsap grocery store “knew of the danger” a motorized cart driver posed when the driver hit a woman putting groceries into her car, a plaintiff alleges in a March lawsuit filed in Kitsap County Superior Court.

The woman struck by the motorized cart driver is suing the grocery store and the cart’s driver, who has since died. The woman claims that on Nov. 17, 2010, she had “just placed a few items into her cart” when the cart driver hit her, pinning her between the cart and her own shopping cart. She apparently suffered injuries to her hops hips, neck, right wrist and left leg.

The grocery store bears fault, the plaintiff says, because the cart’s driver “had previously injured one of the Defendant’s employees within the last year,” by hitting her with a cart.

The plaintiff is asked for damages, reasonable attorney’s fees, interest and other relief “the court deems just and equitable.”

Lawsuit: ‘Defendant Knew Disease ‘Could be Transmitted Through Sexual Intercourse’

Is a person who is infected by a sexual partner with herpes — when that partner knew full well he or she had the virus —  entitled to monetary damages?

That’s the question posed in a lawsuit filed in February in Kitsap County Superior Court.

The plaintiff and defendant had been in a “monogamous, intimate relationship” between 2006 and 2010. At some point prior to their relationship, the defendant got Herpes, the documents say.

“Defendant knew that he had been infected with HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus) for years prior to starting his relationship with plaintiff,” the lawsuit says. “Defendant further knew that the disease could be transmitted through sexual intercourse with another. ”

“Defendant failed to inform plaintiff of the existence of his disease until several months after the parties had engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse,” the lawsuit says.

The plaintiff is asking for an “amount that will fairly compensate (her) for all damages sustained, costs and reasonable attorney’s fees, interested calculated at the maximum amount allowable by law, and other relief the court deems just.”

What do you think?

Lawsuit: Bainbridge Couple Alleges Assault by Seahawks Fan in Ferry Lot

Blogger’s Note: This is a continuing feature on the blog that will provide synopses to recently filed Kitsap County lawsuits.

A Bainbridge couple is suing a Kitsap County man after an altercation in the island’s ferry parking lot on January 5, 2008 following a Seattle Seahawks game, according to documents filed in Kitsap County Superior Court.

The plaintiffs allege that they’d had dinner in Seattle and were walking off the ferry when they encountered the defendant, who was returning from the city as well after attending a Seahawks game. Plaintiff and defendant did not know each other. The defendant had been drinking, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit claims the defendant “made physical contact” with the husband (in the plaintiffs’ party) and “threw or pushed him to the ground.” When the husband got back on his feet, the defendant allegedly said something like, “You want me to do that again?” the lawsuit said.

The plaintiffs bring several causes of action in the case, including assault, battery and negligence. The husband suffered a fracture of his spine in the incident, the lawsuit alleges, and has “incurred expenses for medical treatment … and has experienced pain, suffering, disability, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and other damages all in an amount to be proven at trial.”

The wife in the plaintiff’s party “feared for her physical well-being and safety,” and “suffered emotional distress.”

The plaintiffs did not include an exact amount of money they were seeking.

Kitsap County prosecutors did file an assault charge against the defendant in the lawsuit on Jan. 10, 2008 in Bainbridge Island Municipal Court. But it was later dismissed, according to court staff.

Lawsuit: ‘There Were No Signs Posted Advising of the Unsecured Shelf’

Blogger’s Note: This is a continuing feature on the blog that will provide synopses to recently filed Kitsap County lawsuits.

A woman has filed suit in Kitsap County Superior Court against against Ross Stores, Inc. after a December 2008 incident in which she was hit in the neck by an “unsecured shelf.”

The lawsuit, filed in September, states the woman was shopping there and going down an isle on Dec. 13, 2008, when “the shelf gave way causing the shelf to fall and hit her neck and causing pain in her neck and head area,” court documents say.

“There were no signs posted advising of the unsecured shelf,” the documents say.

The woman’s lawyer says she endured “damage, physical pain and suffering, and (sic) well as emotional pain and suffering, and incurred medical expenses all in the amount to be proven at the time of trial.”

Her attorney says they’re suing for negligence and “prays for judgment … as the court deems just and equitable.”