Civil Law is a body of laws governing the private rights of individuals, as opposed to laws regulating criminal, political, or military matters.
A new law school in Tacoma! What a great idea. It’s been 15 years since the University of Puget Sound quietly sold its Tacoma law school to Seattle University. I am working with a group to re-establish a law school presence in our community at the University of Washington, Tacoma campus. The move got a big push this week, when the state Senate included $400,000.00 of start-up money to help get the project off the ground. Students are already lined up to apply. Buildings currently utilized for the Tacoma campus will be employed for night classes, and since the school will be part of the already accredited main law school of UW in Seattle, it will have instant certification and credibility. The school will start small, with 30 students and five professors but a start it is. The Tacoma News Tribune said in a February 26, 2014 editorial:
There’s obviously a demand for a South Sound law school. In 1999, the year that Seattle University moved the campus from Tacoma, it had 850 law students. A new UWT program would be a modest reboot that almost certainly would be deluged with applicants.
When aspiring attorneys have to go somewhere else for their degrees, often they don’t come back. That makes it hard for local law firms and prosecutors to recruit, but it also leaves a hole in the community’s social and civic fabric. A UWT law school would help address that gap.
To that, we can only add a resounding “Amen!”
If you or a loved one uses a Respironics Trilogy Ventilator, take note that on February 11, 2014, Respironics, Inc., a Philips Healthcare company, announced a worldwide recall of approximately 600 Philips Respironics Trilogy Ventilators, Models 100, 200 and 202, shipped between December 31, 2013 and January 30, 2014. Countries where affected devices have been shipped include the United States, France, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Korea, Kuwait, Netherlands, and Singapore.
The models have been recalled due to a potentially faulty element on the power management board. If not corrected, the machine could fail to deliver mechanical breaths, and reduce the functionality of the alarm that indicates ventilatory failure. Though there have been no reports thus far, these defects could potentially result in serious and undesirable health consequences or death.
The Philips Trilogy Ventilator provides continuous or intermittent ventilatory support for the care of individuals who require mechanical ventilation. The devices are intended to be used in home, institution/hospital, and on portable equipment such as wheelchairs and gurneys.
Customers are instructed to remove affected devices from service and return them to Philips for replacement. All distributors, providers, and customers with potentially affected Trilogy devices will have their units replaced.
If you still have questions about the recall or you need more information, you may call Philips Respironics at their Customer Care Center: 1-800-345-6443, which is open 24/7.
Adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product may be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.
- Complete and submit the report online here.
- Download form here or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178.
It’s been 20 years since Nancy Kerrigan’s knee was injured in an attack with a police baton during the U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Cobo Arena in Detroit. This attack was found to have been planned by skating rival Tonya Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, along with a co-conspirator. Though Kerrigan was forced to withdraw from the Championships, she persevered and went on to win the silver medal in the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics.
Athletes don’t need the violent act of another to injure their knees. It happens all the time. Skier Lindsey Vonn knows this all too well as she was forced to give up her spot on the U.S. Olympic team after suffering a right knee injury. Injuries to the knee are the most common athletes endure, making up 55% of all sports-related injuries.
There are a variety of ways in which an athlete can suffer knee damage. It can occur with a sudden change of direction, an abrupt stop, or a land from a jump. Injury may also transpire when the outside of the knee joint is struck during contact sports. Overuse injuries resulting from repeated action or continuous pressure on the knee are also a concern for athletes.
Knee injuries are common in most sports because it is the largest joint in the body, but the athletes most susceptible to knee injuries are gymnasts, skiers, snowboarders, wrestlers, cyclers, runners, swimmers and those who play soccer, ice and field hockey, lacrosse, water polo, and rugby.
Here are some of the most common knee injuries for athletes:
ACL injury: A tear to the anterior cruciate ligament.
Symptoms of an ACL injury:
- Loud popping sound and immediate pain when the ligament tears.
- Swelling occurs within an hour or two.
- Knee feels unstable and it is difficult to walk.
MCL injury: A tear of the medial collateral ligament.
Symptoms of an MCL injury:
- Grade 1: Partial tear of the MCL. Aathletes may feel pain when pressure is put on the MCL.
- Grade 2: Incomplete tear of the MCL. Athletes may feel that their knee is unstable when they try to change direction or turn quickly. There is pain when pressure is put on the MCL.
- Grade 3: Complete tear of the MCL. Patients are often unable to fully straighten their knee and there is substantial pain and swelling. The knee feels very unstable and may give out.
Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursa (a fluid sac that provides cushioning for movement and pressure).
Symptoms of Bursitis:
- Swelling in the front of the kneecap.
- Warmth and tenderness.
- Redness in the overlying area of the knee.
- Pain during activity.
Patellar Tendinitis, also called Jumper’s Knee: Inflammation or irritation of a tendon often caused by overuse.
- Grade 1 – Pain after activity, without functional impairment.
- Grade 2 – Pain during and after activity, athlete is still able to perform satisfactorily in his or her sport.
- Grade 3 – Prolonged pain during and after activity, with mounting difficulty in performing at an acceptable level.
- Stage 4 – Complete tendon tear requiring surgical repair.
Chondromalacia, also called Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome or Runner’s Knee: Iinflammation of the underside of the patella and softening of the cartilage.
- Pain behind or around the kneecap, especially where the thighbone and the kneecap meet.
- Pain when you bend the knee — when walking, squatting, kneeling, running, or even sitting.
- Pain that’s worse when walking downstairs or downhill.
- Popping or grinding sensations in the knee.
Is there something you can do to prevent knee injuries? Of course there is. Here are a few basic tips:
- Don’t do too much too soon. Runners are particularly susceptible to injury when they increase their mileage too rapidly. Limit training increases to 10% each week. This includes, time, weight, distance or any other factor you’re looking to increase.
- Get strong! Certain muscles give your knees support (quads, hamstrings, calf), and offer you stability. By strengthening these muscles, you can help prevent knee injury. Don’t forget your core. Core strength enhances your overall stability which also helps reduce the risk of injury.
- Be flexible. The more flexible you are the better. This is especially true if you’re an athlete involved in sports that entail stop and go’s and cuts and turns. Flexibility in the quads and hamstrings is extremely beneficial to knee health.
- Coordinate. Coordination and proprioceptive training have been found to help athletes protect themselves from injuries, including knee injuries, by improving their strength, coordination, muscular balance, and muscle-reaction times.
- Put your best foot forward. Shoes are not created equally. If you play a sport 3 or more times a week, you need a shoe designed for your specific sport. Your shoe should be made to absorb your sport’s distinctive stresses and protect you from injury. Go to a store where the sales people are knowledgeable about the shoes they sell and when in doubt, ask for help.
We know this information and advice isn’t a guarantee to keep you from injury, but hopefully it will help lower your risk and give you a better understanding of what you may be facing when out on the field or the ice.
If you think there’s a possibility that your injury was caused by the negligence or carelessness of another, once you get medical attention, speak to a personal injury attorney to find out if you have a claim — even if your injury is caused by a crazy man wielding a police baton!
Enjoy your sport and stay out of harm’s way.
Photo of Nancy Kerrigan by Gianluca Platania click here for license.
As Washingtonians statewide who have left their homes in the past couple of days are undoubtedly aware, winter weather has not left us just yet! Instead, we’re under a winter storm warning. According to The News Tribune, the Department of Transportation (DOT) ”closed Interstate 90 at the summit of Snoqualmie Pass Tuesday morning for avalanche control. The highway was reopened before noon, but eastbound lanes were closed again within an hour near Denny Creek due to multiple spinouts and disabled vehicles.”
A major part of DOT’s function is to keep travelers on Washington’s roads safe from unreasonable harm. Today’s pass closures are a great example of the measures the state is obligated to take when certain conditions are present. DOT is one of many agencies with its own policies, procedures and statutory requirements. As Washington citizens, we pay taxes for the purpose of funding DOT to carry out its obligations to protect the public. Fortunately, we have the comfort of knowing that there are hard working men and women manning plows, designing safer highways, evaluating risks and taking action to reduce our chances of getting hurt while we drive along.
Sadly, however, many of the policies and rules the DOT is subject to have come about because of tragic accidents. When the DOT fails to uphold its duty and someone is injured, the law only allows one way to hold the DOT accountable to the public — a civil tort claim. MBC has handled many precedent-setting cases in the areas of roadway maintenance, highway design, and other cases where DOT’s negligence has led to serious injuries or death. Read about some of our significant cases.
Here are a few tips you should be aware of:
- Ice can be more likely to form on overpasses and bridges, near bodies of water and around underpasses – always use caution when merging onto or off a highway or freeway;
- Studded tires can be helpful, but are only allowed from November 1 to March 31 (find out more about rules applying to studded tires here);
- When snow and ice are present, pressing the gas pedal slowly is the best way to get or regain traction, and the sooner you start your deceleration the better when you are stopping or slowing to turn;
- Staying home is probably the most helpful thing you can do when conditions turn ugly – even if you’re a snow-machine pro, not everyone is necessarily as gifted.
Snowboarders Kaitlyn Farrington, Jamie Anderson, and Torah Bright may be tearing it up at the Olympics, but the course in Sochi, Russia was designed by professionals and specifically sculpted into the slopes of Rosa Khutor. They also have sponsors who send them the finest in winter gear, medical staff on hand in case of injuries, and personal trainers to keep them fit.
When we grab our boards and take to the slopes, we’re not so lucky to have professionals build specifically sculpted courses. We’re stuck with the lay of the land. Also, it’s up to us to make sure we’re dressed appropriately and stay safe on the slopes.
Luckily, mortality rates among snowboarders are low: 5 deaths per million snowboarder visits, according to the Western Journal of Medicine. However, they do sustain a number of injuries; the most common being sprains and fractures. Many times this is caused by trying to break a fall by reaching out with the arms and hyperextending the wrists. Other times it’s caused by collisions at high speeds, attempts at aerial feats and ski lift mishaps.
Here are a few tips on how to stay safe when snowboarding:
Wear the right gear.
- Always wear a helmet. So they’re not cool; neither is brain damage. There are a variety of different helmets to choose from, some even come with built in speakers and wireless internet. Just make sure you can still hear what’s going on around you.
- Though you’re taught to fall on your rear or your chest, many still try to break falls with their hands, which can be very damaging to the wrists. It’s very important to wear or gloves with internal wrist protection or wrist guards.
- Protect your eyes from the snow, wind, sun, ice, tree branches and any other hazards that may cause them harm by wear goggles. They will help you in any kind of weather condition. Make sure they have an anti-fog system to prevent moisture from getting trapped inside and obstructing your view.
- Wear knee, elbow, hip and rear end pads to protect yourself if you hit hard objects, such as trees, rocks, or hard packed snow to keep from bruising. They also offer added fortification against the cold.
Don’t forget your skin.
We’ve all seen those skiers and snowboarders who come back from a weekend on the mountain looking like a red raccoon. Remember to protect exposed skin with sunscreen that has a high sun protection factor (SPF)
Know what you’re doing.
Take a few lessons and learn the basics. A certified instructor will help you learn your stance, teach you how to safely board and disembark a ski lift, and they will take you on your first few runs to get you acquainted with snowboarding. Knowing the basics will give you an idea of what takes place out on the slopes which can play a part in keeping you injury-free and helping you stay safe. It’s not a good idea to go into any sport blind.
Keep it leashed.
A runaway board can be a serious hazard to the boarder as well as others on the course. Though the probability of you slipping out of your bindings is slim at best, you should never discount faulty equipment. You don’t want to see your board sliding out of control on its way to become a pile of splinters, or worse, cause serious injury to another snowboarder or skier. Better to keep it leashed than to take chances.
The size is right.
Ensure that all your equipment is fitted properly, not just for comfort’s sake, but for safety’s sake. Your boots should fit snugly and should fit securely in your bindings. The bindings need to fit correctly into your board’s inserts. Too much room could cause you to lose control, leading to injury.
No matter how good you are, you’re always susceptible to injury. Boarding with at least one friend will ensure that someone will be there to summon the ski patrol if necessary. It’s always a good idea for you and your friend to be trained in first aid and CPR.
Follow the rules and course etiquette.
Stay in boundary areas and out of restricted areas. These are marked off limits for a reason. They may be unpatrolled or have hazardous risks within the areas. Don’t take chances. Also be sure to heed all warning signs. Also remember that you are not the only one on the course. Know the right of way when it comes to other boarders and skiers. Never stop in the middle of a trail. Let others know when you’re coming up behind them to pass.
Know where you are at all times in case you need to guide ski patrol to your location. Before heading out to the slopes, pre-program your cell phone with the ski patrol phone number in case of an emergency. Don’t use drugs or alcohol when snowboarding.
Using drugs or alcohol before snowboarding is like getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking or using drugs. Your motor function will be impaired and reaction time will slow. You could seriously hurt yourself or someone else.
These guidelines may be a lot to take, and might seem like a lot of work, but your safety and the safety of others on the slopes depend on them. Now go gear up and have some fun!
The attorneys of MBC all attended the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association (TPCBA) Lincoln Day Banquet last Friday night, where two of our own received separate honors.
James McCormick received the Outstanding Service Award on behalf of the Volunteer Legal Services Committee for his dedication to the legal community. James has received numerous awards for his volunteerism and service including the Thurston County Bar Association Volunteer Attorney of the Year, The Thomas Neville Pro bono Award, and the Washington State Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Service Commendation, among others.
A formal announcement was also made at the banquet naming MBC attorney John Christensen as Vice President/President Elect as selected by his peers. John has been with MBC since 1994, and partner since 2006. He has shown his dedication to the legal community by serving as a Trustee with the TPCBA, Chairman of the Judicial Qualifications Committee, serving on the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, his membership as a Double Eagle with the Washington State Association for Justice, and by his commitment to finding justice for his clients.
The attorneys and staff here at MBC are proud to have these honorable men on our team of legal experts.
Tomorrow the MBC attorneys will attend the Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association (TPCBA) Lincoln Day Banquet. This will be the organization’s 106th annual celebration of the event. The evening will include an award presentation and a keynote address from Governor Jay Inslee.
The TPCBA was founded in 1883 by twenty members of the local Bar. The association is now 1,400 strong with twenty committees and three sections: Young Lawyers, Family Law, and Criminal Law. They offer a number of services to members and the public.
Their mission is to, “maintain the dignity and honor of the legal profession; to promote the administration of justice; to cultivate a feeling of goodwill among its members; and to recommend, advocate and work for the enactment of laws which promote good government.”
You may contact them by phone at (253) 272-8871 or by email.
Ms. Zanowski earned undergraduate degrees in Journalism and Psychology from the University of Arizona in 2007, graduating summa cum laude. She continued her education at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, graduating cum laude in 2010.
Prior to joining the MBC legal team, Ms. Zanowski served as the judicial law clerk for Kitsap County Superior Court Judges Jay B. Roof, Jeanette Dalton, Jennifer Forbes, and Sally F. Olsen. She also completed a fellowship with the Northwest Justice Project where she assisted low and no-income individuals with Medicare and disability claims.
Anyone who follows NFL football knows that the Seattle Seahawks will be playing in the Super Bowl this weekend. MBC Attorneys and staff are huge fans of the Hawks and are excited they will represent us in the big game.
MBC founding partner John Messina has owned season tickets since the team joined the NFL in 1976. He graciously shared those tickets with the law firm many years ago so that all the partners and staff could show their 12th Man pride and experience the electrifying environment at a game at the loudest stadium in the NFL, CenturyLink.
While the Seahawks have been to the playoffs many times, having won eight division titles, this is only their second time Super Bowl bound. The first time was back in 2006 against the Pittsburg Steelers with Matt Hasselbeck at the helm. Of course, if you’re a Seahawk fan, you know how that game turned out. We don’t like to talk about it much. We have higher hopes for the game this Sunday.
Messina Bulzomi Christensen wants to wish Coach Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks the best of luck in New Jersey this weekend. We will be cheering on the offense, led by Russell Wilson and our Legion of Boom, while waving our 12th Man flags, wearing our NFC Championship shirts, and eating hot wings. Win or lose, our 12th Man spirit will remain intact as we have faith, as all Hawks fans probably do, that we’ll be back in this very place again soon.
Have a great weekend. GO HAWKS!