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Record-Breaking Judgement

Carter settles negligence case against DSHS for 2.85 million dollars

Carter settles negligence case against DSHS for 2.85 million dollars

Amber came to me in early 2007 concerned about how DSHS handled her case. I requested her records and determined that Amber had good reason to be concerned. Realizing the gravity of DSHS' failure, I associated David Moody and Marty McLean on the case--two attorneys with a long history of holding DSHS accountable in situations like Amber's.

The three of us made up Amber's litigation/trial team and we spent the next few years working to prove DSHS' negligence. On May 4, 2012, after many years of hard fought litigation that saw the parties in state court, federal court, at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and back down to state court, DSHS finally admitted that it failed Amber and agreed to a judgment of 2.85 million dollars. You can read here about how the lawsuit helped to change the way DSHS/Child Protective Services conducts investigations.

During the course of the above-mentioned litigation, we filed a separate lawsuit against DSHS for violating the state's Public Records Act (PRA). As reported earlier (see below), Marty and I tried that case to The Honorable Frederick Fleming in Pierce County Superior Court. After two days of trial, Judge Fleming ruled in favor of Amber and entered a judgment against DSHS in the amount of roughly $650,000.00-- the largest PRA judgment in state history.  The judgment is currently on appeal.