Facts: Petitioner Delbert Williams was injured while working on a construction project in Idaho for which respondent Leone & Keeble, Inc. was the general contractor. After reporting his injuries to the Idaho State Insurance Fund, which deemed the injury compensable, Williams began receiving workers’ compensation payments. Williams subsequently filed suit against Leone & Keeble in the Superior Court for Spokane County, which granted Leone & Keeble’s motion to dismiss the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Upon appeal, the Washington Court of Appeals affirmed. Williams appealed this decision to the Supreme Court of Washington.
Questions: Does Williams’ receipt of benefits from the Idaho State Insurance Fund bar him from asserting claims against Leone & Keeble in Washington?
Conclusion: Justice Chambers’ opinion for the Court reversed the Washington Court of Appeals and remanded the case for trial, concluding that Williams’ receipt of benefits from the Idaho State Insurance Fund does not bar him from asserting claims against Leone & Keeble in Washington as there has been no final decision by the Idaho Industrial Commission regarding Williams’ eligibility for benefits and the preclusive effect of such a decisions would in any event limited to the issue of whether Williams was injured in the course of his employment, which Williams concedes.
Petitioner: Delbert Williams
(Counsel: Richard Leslie McKinney)
Respondent: Leone & Keeble, Inc.
(Counsel: Andrew Christian Bohrnsen)
Argument: Thursday, February 17, 2011 9:00am
[Source: TVW, http://tvw.org]
Audio: Washington Supreme Court
Decided: Thursday, June 9th, 2011
Prevailing Party: Leone & Keeble, Inc. (Respondent)
Court: Madsen2 Court (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.