Lori Hurl is a director with Betts Patterson Mines. Her practice focus is primarily in complex litigation and insurance defense. Her practice covers professional liability, transportation, employment, premises liability and general business litigation. Lori has tried several cases to verdict, and is a graduate of the IADC Trial Academy at Stanford University.
- Obtained a defense verdict in a legal malpractice case on behalf of a dissolution attorney. Plaintiff alleged that he incurred approximately $1.3 million in damages due to his former attorney’s negligence in drafting and advising him to sign a property settlement agreement. After an eight day trial, the jury returned its defense verdict after deliberating for approximately four hours.
- Obtained Partial summary judgment in a legal malpractice lawsuit. The claim involved whether an attorney could recover emotional distress damages against his former legal malpractice defense attorney after the jury reached an unfavorable verdict.
- Represented IEC, an electrical apprenticeship program, in a lawsuit brought by a former apprentice. The plaintiff claimed IEC engaged in employment discrimination under: (1) Title VII of the Civil Rights of 1964; (2) the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; (3) Washington’s Law Against Discrimination; (4) Washington’s Age Discrimination statute; and (5) 42 U.S.C. § 1981. We prevailed on summary judgment arguing that not only was plaintiff unable to prove their client engaged in any discrimination, but that plaintiff’s claims must be dismissed because four of the five pled causes of action did not apply to an apprenticeship program. The U.S. District Court granted IEC’s motion for summary judgment on all claims and the Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court’s dismissal.
- Represented trucking company in an admitted liability dispute. The plaintiff was involved in a five vehicle collision that was caused by the trucking company. The plaintiff self-reported to her chiropractor that she felt 90-95% pre-accident status after eight months, yet she continued to treat for an additional 4 years. The jury agreed with the defendant that plaintiff’s additional treatment was not reasonable or related to the accident (except a few months of physical therapy) and awarded plaintiff approximately 6% of what plaintiff asked for in closing.
- Obtained a defense decision in a premises liability claim against a church. The plaintiff claimed the church failed to warn her of the existence of stairs and as a result, she fell and broke her shoulder. After an all-day arbitration, the arbitrator found that the church was not negligent and dismissed all claims.
- Defended an accountant in malpractice suit. Obtained dismissal on summary judgment.
- Defended a commercial property owner in a landlord/tenant dispute. Plaintiff leased property from our client, the landowner, to store its sports equipment. Due to water damage caused by a leaking roof, the plaintiff filed a breach of contract claim against our client for damage to its inventory and equipment. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that the landowner breached its contract by making modifications or allowing modifications to be made to the building in such a way as to allow water or other materials to enter the building. We prevailed on summary judgment because we were able to show that under the lease agreement, the landowner was not liable for any property damage.
- Defended a property owner who leased property to a retirement home in a premises liability matter. Plaintiff filed a negligence claim against our client for injuries that occurred while the plaintiff was working at a retirement home. The plaintiff fell through an open sewer/septic tank and was seriously harmed as a result. Our client owned the property at issue and leased it to plaintiff’s employer. Plaintiff alleged that our client was negligent in failing to provide adequate lighting in the area. Our client was dismissed on summary judgment. We were able to show that our client, as the lessor of the property, did not breach a duty owed to the plaintiff because it did not maintain the premises, nor did it fail to disclose a latent or hidden defect.
- Defended a church in a premises liability matter. Plaintiffs brought a claim against their church for injuries that occurred on the church’s property. As the plaintiffs were parking their car before church service, a few tree branches fell on their car during an incredible wind storm. The plaintiffs suffered injuries as a result, and brought a lawsuit against their church. They alleged their church was negligent in failing to inspect the trees on its property. This case was submitted to mandatory arbitration. The arbitrator found that the church did not breach any duty owed to the plaintiffs, and zero liability was assessed against our client.
- Defended attorney in a professional malpractice matter. Plaintiff sued her former attorney alleging malpractice. Our client, her former attorney, missed the statute of limitations, and the plaintiff’s underlying claim was dismissed on summary judgment. We prevailed on summary judgment as we were able to show the plaintiff discovered or knew of her malpractice claim more than three years before filing suit against her former attorney.
- Represented a Seattle business in a breach of contract matter. Obtained favorable arbitration award in a dispute for unpaid monies.
- Defended a Canadian wood product manufacturer in a transportation law matter. The case involved a longshoreman who was injured at the Port of Tacoma when an ocean shipping container, in tow behind the power unit he was operating, overturned. The Shipper had loaded the container with bundles of stacked lumber planks. The longshoreman sued the Shipper claiming that the container overturned because its cargo had not been properly stowed. His attorneys asked the jury for an award of over $1.3 million in special and general damages. The jury found that the Shipper had committed no negligent act in loading the container. On that basis, the longshoreman’s claim was dismissed pursuant to a defense verdict.
- Represented a condominium owner in a construction defect case. Obtained favorable arbitration award in a claim brought against Homeowners' Association.
Publications & Presentations
- Moderator, The Business Case for Diversity and Tools for Long Term Profitability, PLUS, (August 2016)
- Moderator, Judicial Panel on Improving the Legal System, Mother Attorney Mentoring Association, (May 2016).
- Presenter, Malpractice Issues, Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association Annual Year End Potpourri, (December 2015).
- Presenter, Avoiding Malpractice Pitfalls, Pierce County Bar Association Tort Law Update, (October 2015).
- Presenter, Avoiding Malpractice: Tips for Young Attorneys, KCBA Young Lawyers Division, (February 2014)
- Presenter, Subrogation: Medicare, ERISA, Auto and Workers’ Compensation Challenges, Medicare Issues in Personal Injury Litigation, NBI, (June 2013)
- Publication, And The Defense Wins, The Voice, DRI Weekly Newsletter, (May 8, 2013).
- Author, DRI Collateral Source Compendium, Washington State, Defense Research Institute, (March 2012)