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Personal Injury

Happy Client Satisfied with John Durkin

On Friday, October 30, the firm was pleasantly surprised to receive this beautiful gift basket and card from a happy client.  The client had just concluded her case with John Durkin.  John, congratulations on a job well done!

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Mike McKasy Given Service Award by Tacoma-Pierce County Bar

 

On October 31, 2014, the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association selected Mike McKasy to receive its 2014 Service to the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association award. 

 

The award recognizes local attorneys whose efforts make the community a better place through “pro bono” work, innovative ideas that help others, work that improves others’ lives, or outstanding service to the bar association.  For the last four years, Mike has been volunteering as Chair of the Continuing Legal Education committee of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, working to provide high-quality, low-cost seminars to association members.

 

Mike will be featured in the January/February issue of the Pierce County Lawyer magazine, and will be recognized at the Lincoln Day Banquet on February 6, 2015.

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Disabled Veteran Receives Settlement for Injuries Caused by Four Wrecks

In June, Shelly Speir obtained a $101,000 settlement for a disabled veteran who suffered neck and back injuries in a series of four car wrecks.

Our client had a complex medical history.  He had been involved in four accidents before the car wrecks, including two falls from ladders.  One of the falls had caused fractures in his spine.  He had also had surgery to correct bulging disks in his lower back before the wrecks.  He had complained of chronic neck and back pain before the wrecks.  Yet in spite of his pre-collision injuries, he was still able to work as a locksmith.

An attempt was made to negotiate a settlement before filing a lawsuit, but the insurance companies for each of the drivers disagreed about which of the four wrecks caused the most damage.

The case was also complex because of the parties’ insurance coverage.  One of the drivers who hit our client was not insured at all.  Another of the drivers only had minimal policy limits of $25,000.  Our client had to file suit against all four drivers plus his own underinsured motorist (“UIM”) carrier.

Once the case was filed, there were delays caused by the Veteran’s Administration.  The VA took over a year to provide our client with copies of his complete medical records and bills.  Our office had to contact Senator Patty Murray’s office for assistance in getting the records and bills turned over.  The original trial date had to be rescheduled because of the delay.  Finally, after nearly 18 months, the records and bills were received and our client was able to present proof of his damages.

The parties held a joint mediation to see if a settlement could be reached prior to trial.  Ultimately, the case was resolved outside the courtroom.  TCLMDS then helped resolve all of the outstanding liens and medical bills, and our client was able to collect his share of the settlement.

 

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TCLMD Congratulates its 2014 Super Lawyers

Every year, Washington lawyers are invited to nominate the top attorneys who they have observed in action. The research staff at Thomson Reuters, a national publisher, also searches for lawyers who have attained certain honors or results.

The candidates are then evaluated based on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Candidates are then grouped according to their primary practice areas, then by categories based on firm size. The attorneys with the highest totals from each category are selected.

In the end, only the top 5% of attorneys nominated are named “Super Lawyers.”

Tacoma Personal Injury Lawyers Named “Super Lawyers”

This year, TCLMDS is proud to announce that three of its attorneys made it on the list: Mike McKasy, John Durkin, and Shelly Speir.  Congratulations, Super Lawyers!

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TCLMDS Congratulates its 2014 Super Lawyers

 

Every year, no more than five percent of Washington attorneys receive a special honor for demonstrating excellence in the practice of law and distinguishing themselves in their legal practice.  They are called Super Lawyers, and TCLMDS is proud to announce that three of its attorneys have made the cut.  Mike McKasy, John Durkin, and Shelly Speir are the firm’s 2014 Super Lawyers.

Congratulations!

 Tacoma Personal Injury Attorney “Super Lawyers”

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Jury Verdict Stands in Gorman v. Pierce County

 

On January 9, 2014, the Washington Supreme Court rejected Pierce County’s request for review of Gorman v. Pierce County.

 

Our client, Sue Gorman, filed suit after she suffered permanent injuries in a life-threatening attack by two pit bulls.  Sue was asleep in her bed when the pit bulls entered her bedroom and began biting her arms, hands, face, and chest.  A Jack Russell terrier that was on Sue’s bed was killed in the attack, which lasted 30 minutes.

 

Sue claimed that Pierce County was negligent for not enforcing its animal control laws.  There had been 14 complaints to Pierce County about the owners of one of the pit bulls because the owner did not keep dogs confined to her property.  Her pit bull had threatened others, including children, who were using the public street or who were on their own property.

 

Although animal control officers and Pierce County sheriffs had responded to some of the prior complaints, the pit bull was never declared dangerous and the owners were never sanctioned.  Pierce County did not take any action to confiscate the pit bull even after Sue complained twice.  This pit bull and another pit bull left their property and entered Sue’s home through a doggie door on the morning of the attack.

 

Mike McKasy and Shelly Speir tried the case before a jury in July 2011.  The jury agreed that Pierce County and the dog owners were at fault, awarding Sue $2.2 million for her injuries.

 

But after the jury trial, Pierce County filed an appeal with Division 2 of the Court of Appeals, arguing that the trial court had given incorrect jury instructions and applied the wrong law.  Shelly Speir responded, and the Court of Appeals rejected Pierce County’s arguments.  Our jury instructions, which the Court found to be correct, were published in Washington Practice, a reference book for Washington attorneys.

 

After the Court of Appeals concluded its review, Pierce County requested that the Washington Supreme Court take a second look at the case.  Shelly Speir again submitted briefing to respond to Pierce County’s arguments.  On January 9, 2014, the Washington Supreme Court issued an order denying review, making the Court of Appeals decision final.

 

We are happy that our client can finally bring her case to a close.  Congratulations, Sue!

 
TCLMDS included in Civil Jury Instruction Handbook
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Mike McKasy Receives Distinguished Alumni Award 

We are pleased to announce that Michael J. McKasy has received a College of Education and Human Development Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Minnesota.

Personal Injury Attorney in Tacoma

Mike was nominated for the award in recognition of his “commitment to justice as a top U.S. trial attorney and dedication to community service in the field of education.”

The award was created to honor alumni who have distinguished themselves in their careers and communities.  Award recipients are alumni from diverse academic disciplines, but who have made a positive difference in the lives of children, youth, families, schools, institutions, and organizations.

The award will be presented in Minneapolis in November.

Congratulations, Mike!

UM Distinguished Alumni Award 8.13.13

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Client Attorney Reviews On Line

TCLMDS cares about and appreciates its clients. If you have been our client, we would like to hear what you thought of your experience with our firm—the staff, service, and results.

We now have a quick and easy way for you to submit a review. On our website, go to the home page and look at the bottom of the menu on the left-hand side. Click in the box that says, “Post Reviews.”

From there you will see a series of boxes where you can input your information, including your review. Please let us know what you thought, and the more specific the information you share the better!

If you have not been our client, but are thinking about hiring an attorney, you are welcome to browse the reviews that others have written. We hope that you will consider TCLMDS as your legal services provider.

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Congratulations to our 2013 Super Lawyers

Every year, Washington lawyers are invited to nominate the top attorneys who they have observed in action. The research staff at Thomson Reuters, a national publisher, also searches for lawyers who have attained certain honors or results.

The candidates are then evaluated based on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Candidates are then grouped according to their primary practice areas, then by categories based on firm size. The attorneys with the highest totals from each category are selected.

In the end, only the top 5% of attorneys nominated are named “Super Lawyers.”

Tacoma Personal Injury Lawyers Named “Super Lawyers”

This year, TCLMDS is proud to announce that three of its attorneys made it on the list: Mike McKasy, John Durkin, and Shelly Speir.

Congratulations!

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Tenant Receives a Brain Injury on Unsafe Stairs in Rental Unit

On October 31, 2009, our client, Connie Moreno, was walking down a set of stairs in the rental unit where she lived. The stairs were very steep, and the treads were so narrow Connie’s feet did not fit on them. When she reached the bottom stair, she lost her footing and fell backwards, hitting the back of her head and neck on a metal railing.

Connie did not have any cuts on the outside of her skin, so she thought she would be okay. She got up and continued with her day. Connie did not know that the fall had caused tears in her vertebral arteries and that the blood supply to her brain was partially blocked.

Over the next six weeks, Connie began having severe headaches, and she became sensitive to light and sound. She started having trouble speaking and she became easily confused by projects that used to be easy for her. She felt tired, but couldn’t get good sleep because laying down hurt her head.

Brain Injury Attorney In Tacoma

Finally, in December, Connie’s headaches were so bad that she went to the doctor in tears. She vomited and collapsed while at the doctor’s office. Connie was taken to the hospital, where imaging studies revealed the damage to her arteries and the blocked blood supply to her brain.

Connie was placed on medication to help restore proper blood flow to her brain, but permanent damage was already done. Imaging studies showed that the lack of oxygen had caused tissue in Connie’s thalamus to die, causing an “infarct” or stroke. Connie was ultimately diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and post-concussive syndrome.

Connie hired Shelly Speir to represent her in a claim against her landlords.

Our investigation revealed that the stairs where Connie fell were not up to code. They were too narrow, and the treads on the individual stairs were different sizes. This was dangerous because the size of individual stairs helps us gauge our gait when we go down stairs, and any irregularities in the stairs interrupts the gait, creating a trip hazard.

We also discovered that Connie’s landlord was a contractor. He testified that before he rented the property to Connie, he measured the stairs. He claimed they were up to code, and did nothing to fix them before he had Connie sign a lease.

Connie and Shelly mediated the case in April 2013, and a settlement of $250,000 was reached.

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Ladenburg McKasy Durkin, Inc. P.S.
6602 19th Street West, Tacoma, WA 98466
253-777-1900

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