Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

Payouts on lawsuits and other legal claims cost Washington taxpayers nearly $60 million in fiscal year 2015. That’s according to a state report issued Thursday.

U.S. Army

Two psychologists who worked for the Air Force out of Spokane are being sued by the American Civil Liberties union. 

The Washington Supreme Court has ruled a lawsuit against can move forward. The six-to-three ruling means the lawsuit can proceed in Pierce County Superior Court.

Lawsuits against the Washington Department of Natural of Resources and Snohomish County over the deadly Oso landslide can go forward.

Group Challenges Public Employee Unions With Lawsuit

Aug 14, 2015

An Olympia-based libertarian group called the Freedom Foundation is laying down stakes in Oregon by filing a lawsuit against the state’s largest public employee union.

ACLU Sues Idaho Over Public Defense System

Jun 17, 2015

The American Civil Liberties Union says Idaho’s public defense system is defective and unconstitutional.  The ACLU is now suing the state over the issue.

The civil rights group contends that Idaho officials have known for at least five years that high caseloads, low budgets and a system that changes from county to county means that low-income defendants aren't being fairly represented in court.

The ACLU says the system consistently denies defendants’ rights guaranteed in the US Constitution’s 6th amendment. 


A new lawsuit in Idaho claims the same legal argument that paved the way for gay marriage in the state should also make it illegal to refuse to hire gay people.

An Oregon judge has proposed awarding a same-sex couple $135,000 in damages after a bakery refused to make a cake for their wedding.

Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest Public Radio


The Washington State Supreme Court is weighing changes to the way farmworkers get paid. At issue are rest breaks, just 10 or 20 minutes out of the workday. The verdict could have far-reaching impacts on the state’s fruit industry.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has accused a mobile home park owner of a scheme to evade inspections.


Supporters of a food labeling measure in Oregon sought a court order to block the certification of the election results. The group filed a request for a temporary injunction Monday.

Measure 92 would require food manufacturers and retailers to label genetically engineered foods. It fell just 800 votes short in the November election.

Northwest News Network


The fate of a human trafficking lawsuit against is now in the hands of the Washington Supreme Court. The justices heard oral arguments Tuesday in a case that involves three underage victims of sex trafficking.

The lawsuit alleges the Washington girls were pimped-out through ads posted to Erik Bauer is a lawyer for the victims. He argues Backpage has created a sex marketplace where human trafficking can flourish.

Snohomish County / Flickr

43 people lost their lives in the Oso landslide in March. The six-month anniversary is Monday, September 22nd. So far, nearly 60 legal claims have been filed against the state of Washington stemming from the slide.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

When you approach your golden years, who doesn't look forward to peace and quiet surrounded by a supportive community? That desire led some retirees to relocate to a tiny town deep in the woods of southwest Washington. Ryderwood bills itself as the nation's first seniors-only retirement village. But the tranquility that lured people there went missing during a long and divisive lawsuit. The case questioned whether this 400 or so strong community could be so exclusive. It came replete with allegations of shunning, death threats, uncollected garbage and the tossing of a headless rabbit. Correspondent Tom Banse reports on the relief that has followed a settlement.

One of the victims of an alleged crowdfunding scam says he’s not counting on getting his money back. But he’s glad Washington’s attorney general has filed a consumer protection lawsuit. It’s believed to be the first state action against a crowdfunding project sponsor. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins has details.

DNR Files Lawsuit In Taylor Bridge Fire

Jun 10, 2013
Courtney Flatt / EarthFix

The Washington Department of Natural Resources has filed a lawsuit against two companies it says caused a massive wildfire outside Cle Elum, Washington, last summer.

Courtney Flatt / EarthFix

Northwest conservationists are suing Washington State University. They say the groundwater used to irrigate the University’s golf course is draining the region’s aquifer. But this case is about more than just watering the fairways and putting greens. It could change how cities and towns manage water for future development. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

An anti-whaling group has filed a lawsuit in Oregon court in an effort to freeze the assets of a Japanese whaling fleet. EarthFix reporter Amelia Templeton says it’s the latest twist in a legal battle that began with a confrontation at sea.

Second Year Medical Program Nearly Funded In Spokane

Nov 26, 2012
Photo Credit: WSU Riverpoint Campus Webpage

Dreams for a complete medical program in eastern Washington are becoming reality after Spokane’s Riverpoint campus received more than a million dollars from private sector donors. Construction for a medical sciences building is underway, meaning classrooms for a new second year medical program in the Fall.

The man who sued the Seattle police department over a racially charged threat has settled his case. The city of Seattle will pay him $150,000 but admit no wrongdoing. Martin Monetti’s case helped prompt Justice Department scrutiny of Seattle police. KUOW’s Amy Radil reports.

The daughter of a north Idaho miner killed in a tunnel collapse last year says federal regulators are failing to hold the company responsible. She says new fines do not do justice to her father’s death. The federal government is proposing $360,000 in penalties related to an accident that killed Larry Marek. Correspondent Jessica Robinson reports.

Photo by Amelia Templeton / Northwest News Network

The Supreme Court is being advised not to take on a controversial logging pollution lawsuit that began in Oregon. Amelia Templeton explains.

The Spokane City Council Monday night voted unanimously to approve a $1.67 million settlement between Otto Zehm’s family and the city. Paige Browning reports.

Conservation Groups Sue to Stop Logging Project

May 8, 2012

Conservation organizations will proceed with a legal challenge of the Goose Logging Project in the McKenzie River Watershed in the Willamette National Forest. KLCC's Christina Kempster has more on the story.

Photo by Anna King / Northwest News Network

A Hanford whistleblower lawsuit is underway in federal court in Yakima. A former high-level manager on a nuclear treatment project is asking for a jury trial, but the judge hearing the case said Thursday that’s unlikely. Correspondent Anna King was there.

Photo credit: © BP p.l.c. / BP

Oregon has filed a securities lawsuit against the petrochemical giant, BP.  The state wants to recover investment losses triggered by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill two years ago.

The lawsuit alleges that investors, like the state, were misled about the safety of deep water drilling. Lawyers say BP made 'materially false' and 'misleading' statements. James Sinks of the Oregon State Treasury says state lawyers did their due diligence before filing, and are confident.

Photo courtesy

EUGENE, Ore. - Environmental lawyers are trying a new legal tactic, hoping to force the government to take more aggressive steps against global warming. They’re bringing lawsuits on behalf of kids – including young plaintiffs in the Northwest. The cases use a legal theory put forth by a University of Oregon professor. Correspondent Jessica Robinson explains.

Photo by Wikimedia User Jim.henderson / Wikimedia Commons

Oregon seeks to co-lead a class action lawsuit against Bank of New York Mellon. The bank was allegedly involved in a foreign currency exchange manipulation scheme.

Photo Source: Oregon State Legislature

SALEM, Ore. – Business partners suing Oregon State Senator Brian Boquist asked a judge Friday to dismiss their own lawsuit. They originally accused the Republican lawmaker of fraud. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Today in northeastern Washington, state attorneys will try a man accused of buying gall bladders that were taken from bears. Authorities say the organs are popular items on the black market. The practice of buying and selling bear parts is illegal in Washington, as Inland Northwest Correspondent Doug Nadvornick reports.