WA Supreme Court Rules Counties Can Be Liable

Washington’s Supreme Court says cities, counties and utility companies can be liable when faulty road design leads to injuries in car crashes – even when the driver is drunk. In an 8-1 ruling Thursday, the justices overturned a lower court’s decision in a case involving a crash near Anacortes. There, two people who had been drinking were injured when their car ran off the road and struck a utility pole that was reportedly closer to the roadway than guidelines dictated. The passenger, whose arm was disfigured, sued Skagit County and Puget Sound Energy. A lower court judge tossed the case, but the Supreme Court reinstated it, saying government entities owe a duty to ensure roads are reasonably safe for public travel, no matter whether the driver is at fault. Nevertheless, in her majority opinion, Justice Debra Stevens said a jury could limit or negate Skagit County or the utility’s liability on other legal grounds. Justice Jim Johnson dissented. He said the ruling will leave taxpayers on the hook when criminal activity results in car crashes. It is clear, government agencies in Washington State are continuing to look for ways to crack down on DUI related incidents. The noose keeps getting tighter. Now more than ever, one cited for DUI is well advised to hire a qualified Seattle DUI attorney as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence allegations in Washington State are extremely serious, and can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle DUI lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for DUI in Western Washington. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances.

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