The Suits This Week

A new weekly roundup of local litigious activity.

Once in a while, a lawsuit like Brown v. Board of Education comes along that forever changes the judicial landscape. But most lawsuits don't. Here, in the inaugural edition of what will be a recurring feature, The Cutting Room pays homage to the ambulance chasers, the contract breachers, and the unabashedly litigious who make up the nuts and bolts of the civil courts.• Jeffrey Hansen filed suit against Amtrak on April 17 for forcing him to wash windows and luggage racks, as well as clean seats and carpets, which required "lifting and dragging the 10 to 15 lb. vacuum cleaner, and other frequent tasks that put undue strain on plaintiff's extremities." The adverse conditions he faced as a custodian of the rail giant permanently disabled his shoulder, he claims.• Higher up on the judicial food chain, the state appellate court ruled that just because the evidence used to convict Bertha Bashaw of selling methamphetamines within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop outside Republic, Wash., was anecdotal didn't make it inadmissible. Her conviction was upheld.• Robert Failey was convicted of entering a KeyBank in Spanaway on April 7, 2006, placing his hand in his pocket as if he had a gun, and asking the bank teller to give him $10,000 "because I'm robbing you." But at sentencing, the trial court decided a prior conviction from 1974 was a lower class of felony that shouldn't count toward sentencing him as a repeat offender. The state appealed, and the court ruled the 1974 incident should have been included, so Failey can look forward to some extra time behind bars.• Susan Nordstrom of Snohomish County drives a car that people just can't help being drawn to. On April 22, 2005, Brandon Jones rear-ended her in Kirkland. On Dec. 12, 2005, Katherine King did the same thing. Matthew Gosline failed to yield the right of way in Ballard on July 1, 2006, and Anna Isakova rear-ended her in Bellevue on Dec. 10, 2007. All that bumping and jostling has given her a host of injuries, and with no way to tell who caused which problems, she filed suit against all of them in King County Superior Court on April 17.

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