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September 12, 2013 at 10:50 AM
OLYMPIA (AP) — At least 1,500 people in Washington state who were victims of a timeshare and travel scam will receive up to $20,000 each under a settlement announced by Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
Ferguson announced Thursday that it has recovered $1.2 million from Jonathan Gibbs, who along with his wife, Christine, had claimed to handle over 30,000 timeshare transfers across the country.
The state sued the Olympia couple in June, and the attorney general’s office had said the Gibbses fooled consumers into paying them thousands of dollars to transfer ownership of their vacation timeshares to shell corporations.
Ferguson’s office says that Christine Gibbs denied any wrongdoing and cooperated by agreeing to facilitate the return of timeshare properties throughout the country. In exchange, she was dismissed from the case.
Jonathan Gibbs also denied any wrongdoing, Ferguson said, but has agreed not to sell or buy timeshares or travel-related products.
June 26, 2013 at 1:04 PM
OLYMPIA (AP) — The lawyer for the victims of a 2008 shooting spree in Skagit County says Washington state has agree to pay $9 million to settle claims that the violence could have been prevented.
Isaac Zamora killed six people and wounded four others. Lawyer Jack Connelly represents some of the surviving victims and estates of those killed. He says the Department of Corrections incorrectly classified Zamora as a nonviolent offender — instead of a mentally ill, violent one — following his release from the Okanagan County Jail shortly before the shootings.
Connelly says the community corrections officer assigned to his case also failed to monitor him — and if she had, she would have learned he had been keeping guns in the trailer where he was staying, resulting in Zamora’s arrest before the rampage.
A Corrections spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday.
June 21, 2013 at 2:23 PM
SPOKANE (AP) — The family of a pastor who was shot to death in 2010 by a Spokane County sheriff’s deputy has accepted a $2 million settlement offer on a wrongful death lawsuit.
The family of Scott Creach accepted the settlement offer Friday.
The Creach family originally filed the lawsuit in federal court in 2011 against Deputy Brian Hirzel, Spokane County and Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich. But only Hirzel remained as a defendant.
Creach, 74, was shot to death in the parking lot of his nursery business when he armed himself with a handgun and went out to investigate an idling car in the business’ parking lot. That car was an unmarked patrol cruiser driven by Hirzel, who shot and killed Creach.
May 31, 2013 at 9:55 AM
Tesoro Corp. has agreed to pay $1.1 million to settle claims it failed to test or monitor the production of gasoline for harmful pollutants at oil refineries in Washington state, Utah, Alaska and North Dakota.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says Tesoro violated requirements of the Clean Air Act at the refineries.
Tesoro, which has a refinery in Anacortes, says it’s resolving the problem and takes its environmental obligations seriously. EPA requires refineries to ensure that gasoline complies with fuel quality and performance standards.
The San Antonio, Texas-based company is being required to submit a plan to ensure it properly tests batches of gasoline at all seven of its western U.S. refineries.
April 3, 2013 at 10:06 AM
RICHLAND (AP) — A Hanford contractor has agreed to pay $1.1 million to settle a lawsuit with the federal government that accused it of using federal money to lobby for new government customers at a training facility for first responders.
Fluor Corp. denies it did anything wrong and says it decided to settle to avoid the distraction and costs of litigation.
The Tri-City Herald reports $200,000 will go to the employee who filed a whistleblower lawsuit in 2011.
Fluor Hanford operated the HAMMER training facility for the Energy Department from 1996 to 2009. Court documents say consultants were paid $669,000 to lobby other government agencies to use the Hanford training facility.
The Justice Department says the money was intended only for training, not lobbying.
January 9, 2013 at 10:07 AM
The Associated Press
TACOMA — Pierce County has agreed to pay $1.65 million to settle a wrongful-death lawsuit brought by the family of a Fircrest man who was hit by a sheriff’s patrol car.
The lawsuit contended the deputy was negligent and reckless in September 2011 when he struck 61-year-old Dale Neel as he was riding a moped home from his job as a bank teller.
The deputy was responding to a call, and the car’s lights and siren were activated.
Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer told The News Tribune the collision was a tragic accident.
October 16, 2012 at 10:12 AM
The Associated Press
UPDATE: 2:30 p.m. | WENATCHEE — The family of a student who drowned in a Wenatchee High School swimming pool has reached a $2 million settlement in a negligence lawsuit filed against the Wenatchee School District.
The body of 14-year-old Antonio Reyes was found at the bottom of the deep end of the pool last Nov. 17, after he participated in a physical education class.
According to his parents, Reyes could not swim. He may have been underwater for as long as 40 minutes before his body was discovered by classmates.
The family filed a $15 million lawsuit contending the school failed to follow reasonable safety procedures and was grossly negligent, creating the conditions that led to Reyes’ death.
“This was a horrible accident that was completely preventable,” said Sim Osborn, attorney for the boy’s family.
School officials were not immediately available for comment.
Osborn said the settlement allowed the family to move on with their lives.
The settlement also called for some reforms, including that the district will have a certified lifeguard on duty when people are in the pool, and that greater efforts will be made to evaluate the ability of students to swim.
Reyes was among 26 students in a physical education class when the drowning occurred. The group was supervised by a teacher and there was no separate lifeguard present, according to the Wenatchee police report.
According to The Wenatchee World, the boy was in the pool’s deep end during a treading-water exercise when he drowned. Reyes had not been given a swimming test given to all the students the previous week, the newspaper reported.
September 28, 2012 at 10:50 AM
The Associated Press
SPOKANE — The city of Spokane has finally settled with a golfer who sprained an ankle in 2007 when he stepped through a sprinkler lid on the 12th hole at the Esmeralda Golf Course.
Stan L. Peterson is getting $215,000 plus free golf at Spokane city courses for as long as the 72-year-old lives.
The Spokesman-Review reports neither Peterson nor a city spokeswoman is commenting on the settlement that ended a five-year legal case.
The terms were in documents the city council reviewed earlier this week before approving the settlement.
September 26, 2012 at 12:16 PM
The Associated Press
KODIAK, Alaska — A settlement fund set up to pay plaintiffs from lawsuits stemming from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill still has about $1 million left to disperse.
KMXT reports about 900 people haven’t claimed money from the Exxon Qualified Settlement Fund.
Plaintiffs’ attorney Dave Oesting of Anchorage says there will be one last push to find these people.
If these people can’t be found, the money will have to be turned over to the states from their last known address. The claimants are from many places in the Lower 48, including California, Oregon and Washington state.
Oesting also says if a claimant has died, his or her heirs are entitled are the settlement funds.
June 5, 2012 at 1:58 PM
The Associated Press
Washington State University will pay $650,000 to settle a race discrimination lawsuit brought by two employees of Chinese descent.
The settlement in the federal case pays $325,000 each to Dr. Ying Li, and Lizhong Yang, who are husband and wife.
It also calls on the Pullman school to enact policies to prevent future cases of discrimination and retaliation.
The plaintiffs contended that while working in WSU’s Laboratory for Bioanalysis and Biotechnology, they were subjected to overt discrimination by the lab supervisor based on their race and national origin. They contended they were precluded from speaking Chinese at work, and were segregated into an all-Chinese seating arrangement and excluded from numerous meetings.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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