After 7 Years, City Of Everett And Former Firefighter Reach Agreement In Cancer Claim

October 14, 2021

Everett Government

The dispute had been going on for more than 7 years.

Wednesday night the Everett City Council approved (without discussion as part of their consent agenda) a settlement with a former City of Everett Firefighter for more than $1.2 million dollars. The Firefighter claimed that he developed cancer as a result of his employment. The City denied that his employment was to blame for the cancer. Here’s a link to the complete agreement as presented to the Everett City Council for their consideration and approval.

Firefighter Agreement with City of Everett

Below is the view of the first three points of the agreement to provide some context.

This is an agreement (“Agreement”) between Michael W. Weaver and his marital community, Amy Weaver, (referred to in this agreement as “you”), and the City of Everett (referred to in this agreement as the “City,” “us,” or “we”). This Agreement is dated for reference purposes the ___ day of September, 2021, which is the date we delivered this Agreement to you for your consideration. The terms of this Agreement are contingent on approval by the City of Everett City Council.

RECITALS

Whereas, Michael W. Weaver was employed by the City of Everett Fire Department beginning in 1996;

Whereas, in 2011 Michael W. Weaver was diagnosed with melanoma on his upper scapula, and following diagnosis, Michael W. Weaver made an occupational disease claim against the City of Everett under RCW 51 et seq.;

Whereas, during that claim Michael W. Weaver was represented by Ron Meyers and Associates and following a hearing, on February 11, 2013, the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals determined that Mr. Weaver’s condition, diagnosed as melanoma, did not arise naturally and proximately out of the distinctive conditions of his employment with the City of Everett Fire Department, the statutory presumption of RCW 51.32.185 had been rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence, his melanoma was not an occupational disease under RCW 51.08.140, and the Department of Labor and Industries correctly rejected the claim;

Whereas, in January 2014, Michael W. Weaver received a diagnosis of malignant melanoma, after his medical team discovered that he had metastatic brain cancer originating from his prior melanoma;

Whereas, Michael W. Weaver filed a second occupational disease claim with the City of Everett under RCW 51 et seq., alleging that his malignant melanoma was the result of his employment with the City of Everett;

Whereas, the above-referenced malignant melanoma claim became the subject of extended litigation between Weaver and the City, culminating in the decision of the Washington Supreme Court in Weaver v. City of Everett, 194 Wn.2d 464, 450 P.3d 177 (2019), in which the Supreme Court determined that Mr. Weaver’s second malignant melanoma claim was not foreclosed by the rejection of his originating melanoma claim;

Whereas, since the time of the Supreme Court decision, Weaver and the City have endeavored to resolve all disputes between them since, on the one hand, Mr. Weaver believes and continues to assert that his malignant melanoma was the result of exposures which occurred during his employment by the City of Everett, and the City of Everett has continued to assert that Mr. Weaver’s malignant melanoma was not related to any exposures which occurred while Mr. Weaver was working for the City of Everett, and

Whereas, as a result of further discussions between Weaver and the City, and in the spirit of compromise, the parties now seek to resolve all disputes of any kind, past, present or future, by the settlement agreement which follows.

AGREEMENT

1. Settlement Request. On December 19, 2019, you requested that the City consider settling your appeal from the Department’s rejection of Claim No. SH-28667, BIIA Docket No. 15-19203, presently pending in Snohomish County Superior Court under Superior Court Cause No. 16-2-02373-6 following the Supreme Court’s Mandate on November 14, 2019. Other than this referenced claim and appeal, you warrant by this agreement that no claims or charges have been filed with any state or federal agency or court pertaining to the claim or your employment with the City. You also warrant by this agreement that you have no conditions for which a workers’ compensation claim for an industrial injury or occupational disease could be filed that have not already been filed and passed upon by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries.

2. Payment. In exchange for your agreement to release all claims and other terms in this Agreement, including the Stipulated Judgment, Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order, attached as Exhibit A, we will make a settlement payment to you in the amount of $1,200,000.00 (One million two hundred thousand U.S. Dollars and No U.S. Cents). In exchange for your agreement to not seek future employment with the City, we will make a settlement payment to you in the amount of $250.00 (Two hundred fifty U.S. Dollars and No U.S. Cents) less standard withholding and without award of attorneys’ fees or costs. The $1,200,000.00 Settlement Payment will be made in two parts. The first payment of $600,000.00 (Six hundred thousand U.S. Dollars and No U.S. Cents) will be made within thirty-five (35) calendar days of (a) Everett City Council approval of this Agreement, or (b) within thirty-five (35) calendar days of the 8th day after execution of the Agreement, or (c) within thirty-five (35) calendar days the Snohomish County Superior Court entry of the Stipulated Judgment, Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Order in Superior Court Cause No. 16-2-02373-6, whichever is later made payable to the “Keane Law Offices Trust Account f/b/o Michael W. Weaver.”

The second payment of $600,000.00 (Six hundred thousand U.S. Dollars and No U.S. Cents will be made no later than 180 (one hundred eighty) days after the first payment is made and made payable to the “Keane Law Offices Trust Account f/b/o Michael W. Weaver.” You acknowledge that we are not obligated to make these payments to you, your survivors, or your estate unless you agree to the terms in this Agreement, or if you revoke this Agreement per the terms below.

3. Settlement Compromise. The Parties hereto have been engaged in the claim and litigation process for over seven years. Nothing about the past contests between the parties, nor this Agreement, should be interpreted to mean that either party has admitted, or conceded, that the factual, medical, and/or legal position of the other party is correct, or has been adjudicated in favor of the other party. In fact, both parties hereto continue to maintain that their factual, medical, and legal positions are correct, and that the factual, medical and legal positions of the other party are incorrect, and without merit. The parties have simply agreed to resolve their dispute applying tort law principles.



About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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