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Celebrating Successes in 2019

December 28, 2019

TMLG would like to thank its co-counsel, clients, and coalition partners for working toward justice during 2019. Together we achieved many successes, including the following:

Combatting the Criminalization of Poverty

Partnered with the ACLU to file suit on behalf of a Montana family whose home was attacked by a paramilitary group a bail bondsman hired after our client inadvertently failed to appear on traffic violations. The court denied a motion to dismiss RICO and tort claims and declared unenforceable oppressive provisions in a form bail contract. Mitchell v. First Call Bail & Surety.

Partnered with the ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, and S.C. Appleseed Legal Justice Center to file suit on behalf of more than 100,000 people in South Carolina who had their driver’s licenses indefinitely suspended for nonpayment of traffic fines and fees without proper notice or a hearing. White v. Shwedo.

Enforcing Worker Rights Through Class/Collective Actions

Defeated a motion to compel arbitration in a class action brought on behalf of pizza delivery drivers, and defended the order on appeal in Burnett v. Pagliacci Pizza, Inc., 9 Wn. App. 2d 192 (2019). The Washington Supreme Court will hear the case in 2020.

Obtained class or collective action certification in wage and hour cases brought on behalf of delivery drivers in Valencia v. HomeDeliveryLink and Tschosik v. Northwest Freight & Parcel as well as pest control service specialists in Duckett v. Rentokil North America, Inc.

Holding Corporations Accountable & Ensuring Access to Justice

Filed suit against Seattle City Light on behalf of residents who received astronomical electricity bills after being converted to a new billing system and digital meters. Deien v. Seattle City Light.

Sued Virginia Mason Health System on behalf of patients whose queries about health conditions, treatments, and doctors were redirected to Facebook, Google, and other third parties without the patients’ knowledge or consent. Doe v. Virginia Mason Medical Center.

Filed suit on behalf of the family of Damaris Rodriguez, who was arrested after her husband called 911 for medical assistance because his wife was experiencing a mental health episode. She never received treatment and died in custody four days later. Dawson v. South Correctional Entity (SCORE).

Helped defeat Comcast’s attempt to force arbitration in a TCPA case and, in the process, obtained a ruling from a AAA arbitrator that Comcast’s arbitration agreement “cannot plausibly be read to include the claims alleged.” Lacy v. Comcast Corp.

Improving the Law Through Appeals

Successfully opposed U.S. Supreme Court review of a Ninth Circuit decision reversing the dismissal of a complaint alleging that Washington’s landlord-tenant law violates due process by permitting evictions without a hearing. Moore v. Johanknecht.

Joined Public Justice to file an amicus brief on behalf of Amazon Flex drivers in Rittmann v., Inc. The brief addresses the transportation workers exemption in the Federal Arbitration Act.

Supported a constitutional climate lawsuit against the U.S. government by filing an amicus brief on behalf of businesses whose operations are being threatened by climate change. Juliana v. U.S.

This year, in recognition of the valued relationship we have with our clients and colleagues, we made a donation to support the emergency shelter run by Real Escape from the Sex Trade.

TMLG proudly supports and partners with organizations like Public Justice, ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, Fair Work Center, National Consumer Law Center, NW Consumer Law Center, Towards Justice, Unemployment Law Project, Consumer Federation of America, and Public Citizen. We look forward to continuing to partner with you to protect workers, consumers, and other individuals and groups whose rights have been violated.