Hawkins Parnell Protects Defense Verdict in Washington Appeals Court

April 5, 2024 – Press Release

April 5, 2024 (Seattle, WA) – Hawkins Parnell & Young successfully defended their client in plaintiff's appeal from a defense verdict in which they sought approximately $85 million from a jury.

In April 2023, Hawkins Parnell obtained a defense verdict and judgment that the plaintiff take nothing in the trial of Leonard Olson, as Executor of the Estate of Gary D. Olson in the Superior Court of Washington in King County. The plaintiff claimed Gary Olson's exposure to asbestos from brakes caused his death from mesothelioma, among other alleged sources.

After the jury returned a defense verdict for Hawkins Parnell's client, the plaintiff appealed to the Washington Court of Appeals, Division I. The plaintiff argued that the trial court erred in finding no ongoing duty to warn under Washington negligence law and thus failed to instruct the jury properly. Hawkins Parnell's client argued that the trial court made no error in rejecting the plaintiff's proposed jury instruction on duty to warn because the plaintiff's proposed instruction misstated the law. The appeals court agreed and affirmed the trial court's judgment.

Hawkins Parnell's appellate chair, Rob Gilbreath (Dallas), and Daira Waldenberg (Seattle) handled the appeal. David Marshall (Atlanta), Douglas Simek (Dallas), and Daira tried the case. Evelyn Davis (Atlanta) participated in the strategies in the trial and appeal as national coordinating counsel.

About Hawkins Parnell & Young

Hawkins Parnell & Young is a national defense litigation firm that has represented many of the largest and most well-known companies in high-risk litigation and business disputes. The 250-strong litigation team works with clients to develop winning defense strategies and, if necessary, try cases to verdict in all 50 states.