McDevitt v. Harborview Med. Ctr.

The King County Superior Court relied on "Waples v. Yi," (234 P.3d 187 (2010)) in invalidating RCW 7.70.100(1) as applied to lawsuits against the State, including governmental agencies such as Harborview Medical Center. This case stemmed from a paragliding accident Petitioner Glen McDevitt suffered, for which he underwent surgery at Harborview. Petitioner sued Harborview for malpractice in relation to his treatment. Harborview moved for summary judgment based on the fact that Petitioner failed to comply with the 90 day presuit notice requirement of RCW 7.70.100(1). Harborview requested that Petitioner's lawsuit be dismissed with prejudice. In response, Petitioner argued that our decision in "Waples" invalidated the presuit notice requirement against both private and public defendants. Harborview then argued that the Supreme Court did not have occasion to consider the constitutional validity of the presuit notice requirement as applied to lawsuits against the State. The King County Superior Court denied Harborview’s motion for summary judgment. Harborview then appealed to the Supreme Court. Upon review, the Supreme Court reversed the superior court on the grounds that the legislature could establish conditions precedent, including presuit notice requirements, to inform the State of future cost and delay associated with court resolution of an issue. "[W]e hold that the presuit notice requirement of RCW 7.70.100(1) as applied to the State is a constitutionally valid statutory precondition for suit against the State because it was adopted by the legislature as provided in article II, section 26 of the Washington Constitution. View "McDevitt v. Harborview Med. Ctr." on Justia Law