Facts: Petitioner Michael Jones filed suit against the respondent state of Washington in the Superior Court for Snohomish County following the suspension of his pharmacy license. The trial court granted partial summary judgment for the state but refused to dismiss Jones’s claims that Washington State Board of Pharmacy inspectors had violated his right to due process and were therefore liable in their individual capacity under 42 U.S.C. §1983, that the state had been negligent in supervising its employees, and that his business expectancy had been tortiously interfered with. Upon appeal, the Washington Court of Appeals reversed, ruling that the inspectors were entitled to immunity and that Jones’s other tort claims were barred by his failure to exhaust administrative remedies. Jones appealed this decision to the Supreme Court of Washington.
Question(s): Were the Washington State Board of Pharmacy inspectors entitled to immunity from liability for violating Jones’s right to due process?
Did Jones exhaust his administrative remedies prior to filing suit?
Conclusion: Justice Fairhurst’s decision for the Court reversed the Washington Court of Appeals, holding that the Washington State Board of Pharmacy inspectors were not entitled to immunity from liability under 42 U.S.C. §1983 as the fabrication of evidence relied upon to deprive Jones of his pharmacy license would constitute a violation of Jones’s right to due process and a genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether such fabrication occurred. The Court also concluded that Jones had exhausted his administrative remedies prior to filing suit despite the fact that Jones waived his right to a hearing and negotiated a settlement in order to prevent the permanent revokation of his license as the Washington State Board of Pharmacy had reached a final decision regarding his case when it accepted the settlement. Thus, the Court remanded the case for trial.
Petitioner: Michael S. Jones, R.Ph.
(Counsel: D. Murphy Evans)
Respondent: State of Washington
(Counsel: Catherine Hendricks and John Robert Nicholson)
Argument: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 1:30pm
[Source: TVW, http://tvw.org]
Audio: Washington Supreme Court
Decided: Thursday, November 4th, 2010
Prevailing Party: Michael S. Jones, R.Ph. (Petitioner)
Court: Madsen1 Court (2010-2011)
Note: We post only slip opinion(s) as published at the time of the decision. Please consult Washington Reports printed volumes for the opinion(s) in their final form. Each opinion should appear next to the Justice who authored it.