Holding Tort “Reform” Unconstitutional

The Center for Justice & Democracy posted their fact sheet on “Cases Where ‘Tort Reforms’ Have Been Held Unconstitutional,” highlighting each state. What did it have for Washington?

Washington – Schroeder v. Weighall, 316 P.3d 482 (2014) (eliminating the tolling of the statute of limitations for minors in medical malpractice claims violates the equal protection clause of the state Constitution).  Putnam v. Wenatchee Valley Medical Center, 216 P.3d 374 (Wash. 2009) (medical malpractice certificate of merit statute ruled unconstitutional); Sofie v. Fibreboard Corp., 771 P.2d 711 (Wash. 1989) (cap on non-economic damages for personal injury at a rate of 0.43 times average annual wage and life expectancy violates jury trial guarantee).

You’ll remember we posted earlier this autumn about the Sofie v. Fibreboard case; we celebrated its 25 year anniversary at our annual Amicus luncheon in late October. ICYMI, you can read the recap here.

The case found that tort deform violated our right to trial by jury. WSAJ continues to advocate for open access to the courts and justice.


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