Articles Posted in Personal Injury

Pike Place Market Pedestrians
In the United States every year thousands of pedestrians are injured or killed.  In 2013, 4,735 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes across America.  In addition, in 2013, there were more than 150,000 non-fatal crash-related injuries of pedestrians that were treated in emergency rooms.  Those whom are most at risk as pedestrians are older adults (ages 65 and older), children, and those impaired by alcohol.  In 2013, 19% of all pedestrian deaths were those 65 and older.  In addition, in traffic crashes that resulted in pedestrian deaths, 49% involved either an intoxicated pedestrian or driver (or both).

Pedestrian safety is a serious issue nationwide.  In the fall of 2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance released a “Pedestrian Safety Index,” ranking America’s 15 safest cities for pedestrians based on published government data and resident’s perceptions of safety for pedestrians.  The number 1 ranked safest city in the United States for pedestrians is Seattle, Washington, followed by Boston, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. at number 2 and 3.

In Seattle, we are fortunate to have a relatively safe environment for pedestrians, due in large part to safety measures that have been implemented in recent years.  Among those Seattle residents surveyed, 96 percent felt the city is safe for pedestrians and 97 percent found the city proactive when it comes to pedestrian safety.  These sentiments are likely the result of such measures as “Safest Route to School,” which created 501 new cross walks in Seattle to ensure children traveled to school safely, as well as the city of Seattle’s new master plan to make Seattle the most walkable city in the nation.  The city of Seattle hopes to achieve improved pedestrian safety and walkability through taking the following measures: 1) Install sidewalks, curb ramps, and marked crosswalks; 2) Install and maintain pedestrian and school crossing signs; and 3) Construct curb bulbs and crossing islands at pedestrian crossing locations.  Other safety measures that could be taken to increase safety include adequate traffic signs, adequate signal time to cross streets, and ample street lighting.

With the collapse of the Interstate 5 bridge over Skagit River on May 23, 2013, we should all stop to be thankful that there were no serious injuries or deaths in this incident. However, is this incident a large canary in the coal mine? What should be done to prevent this from happening again? In an era of budget cuts and political gridlock, is the government providing sufficient funding for maintenance of our bridges and roads?

The bridge at issue was built in 1955 and listed by the Federal Highway Administration as “functionally obsolete.” This is a category for bridges that have narrow lanes, shoulders or spans, and do not provide enough vertical clearance for tall trucks or oversized loads. Is that the kind of bridge that should span a river on a major interstate in our state? This is not some back road – this is a major interstate.

Commenting on the problem, Governor Jay Inslee stated in a news conference: “We have some work to do on our bridges whether or not this accident happened, and we have some discussions in Olympia . . . about making sure that we make investments in bridges to prevent this kind of thing from happening.”

A smoky fire that killed an Edmonds apartment resident was caused by a reading lamp falling onto bedding.

Snohomish County Fire District 1 spokeswoman Leslie Hynes says a clamp came loose and the light fell on the bed.

Neighbors who saw smoke reported the fire Monday night. Firefighters put out a small fire and found the victim already deceased.

When lawyers for a watchdog group were combing through state files involving people with developmental disabilities, they stumbled onto a disturbing case: A paid caregiver allegedly had assaulted a resident of a state-funded group home. An examination revealed bruising around the man’s genitals.

The July 2010 incident was disturbing on its own, said attorney Susan Kas, who works for the watchdog group, Disability Rights Washington (DRW). But even more troubling was what happened next.

“People witnessed this; he had an injury to the groin that was documented. And yet the abuse was unsubstantiated by state investigators,” Kas said. “I was dumbfounded.”

The Seattle PI reported today that a former quality control inspector says the quality of the first pontoons built in Aberdeen by Kiewit Construction was so shoddy that it’s a “disaster waiting to happen,” and that once built he would not drive on the bridge due to safety concerns. At the same time, a scathing internal audit shows that the state failed to hold contractor Kiewit accountable.

The inspector interviewed by the PI was an onsite quality inspector at Kiewit Construction’s pontoon casting basin in Aberdeen last winter. He was there during construction of the first six massive concrete pontoons designed to hold up the new 520 bridge. He was part of a Quality Assurance subcontractor team, O’Neill Environmental, hired by contractor Kiewit to ensure correct pontoon construction. The QA, as it’s called, is required by the state Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) contract with Kiewit.

He’s been an inspector for 10 years and the new 520 Floating Bridge project is the worst he has seen with respect to quality of work. The inspector confirmed what two expert insiders had previously told the PI, that construction of the first pontoons was so shoddy it undermines the structural integrity and safety of the new 520 bridge.

An Oregon lawyer Thursday will post a searchable database of 1,250 Boy Scout volunteers from across the country accused of sexual abuse between 1965 and 1985.

For more than 80 years, the Boy Scouts of America has maintained a confidential list of “Ineligible Volunteers” – adults tossed from Scouting because they’re suspected of pedophilia and other offenses. Some people call them the “perversion files.” And the Scouts have fought hard to keep the records a secret. The Scouts began keeping the files shortly after their creation in 1910, when pedophilia was largely a crime dealt with privately. The organization argues that the files helped them track offenders and protect children. But some of the files released in 1991, detailing cases from 1971 to 1991, showed repeated instances of Scouts leaders failing to disclose sex abuse to authorities, even when they had a confession.

Today, some of those files will be opened broadly to the public, when an Oregon lawyer posts a 20,000 page a searchable database of 1,250 accused Scout volunteers from across the country. It is an unprecedented glimpse into the magnitude of sexual-abuse allegations surrounding an organization that prides itself on a squeaky-clean image.

Michael Saffioti turned himself in after a warrant was issued due to him having missed a court date. However, after one night in jail, he was dead.

Saffioti knew dairy could kill him. He grew up reading labels and carrying medication, and still suffered severe reactions whenever he was merely near dairy protein. The stress made him anxious to the point of needing medication.

“Ultimately, he found and thought he was better functioning using marijuana,” said his mother, Rose Saffioti.

A Clark County Public Health spokesman says the number of salmonella cases linked to a Vancouver, Wash., restaurant continues to climb.

The number of people sickened after eating at On the Border has now reached 13 confirmed and 33 probable cases. Most of the ill are adults. Three people have been hospitalized and two of them have since returned home.

Health officials are still trying to determine the source of the bacteria. They closed the restaurant temporarily on Tuesday as a precaution.

A three-alarm fire in Laurelhurst destroyed one home, damaged five others and injured three people Monday afternoon, after a furnace exploded in a house under construction.

Investigators have determined that the fire started after paint fumes ignited when a furnace was turned on. The house under construction, which belonged to Adam Selipsky, the vice president of product management at, was a complete loss. Three homes on Northeast Latimer Place had roof fires. A fourth home had siding damage. A home south of the fire site also suffered serious damage.

A construction worker suffered serious facial burns and was taken to Harborview Medical Center. Two firefighters were also treated for heat exhaustion.

According to reports, Donald Hatch, a 76-year-old retiree from Edmonds, was killed Friday afternoon when a yacht collided with his small fishing boat off Seattle’s Shilshole Bay in clear weather.

Hatch was fishing with John Johnson of Mount Lake Terrance. Hatch and Johnson had taken Hatch’s skiff about a mile off Shilshole on Friday. At about 4:10 p.m., the cabin cruiser SHELMAR collided with the skiff. Hatch and Johnson were thrown into the water, according to Eric Cookson, Coast Guard command duty officer.

The two occupants of the SHELMAR pulled the men from the water, Cookson said. Police performed CPR, but couldn’t revive Hatch. Johnson was taken to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center, and later released. His injuries were not immediately known.

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