Nicholas P. Scarpelli, Jr. (206) 607-4124 Assistant: Ann Durkin (206) 607-4172
Civil & Commercial Litigation  Insurance Defense  Class Actions

Nick Scarpelli has held the position of managing partner and head of the litigation department. He has been associated with the firm since 1974 and practices in the area of civil litigation. He has extensive jury trial experience.

Honors and Recognitions

Mr. Scarpelli was recognized by Seattle Metropolitan Magazine and Seattle Business Magazine as one of King County’s “Top Lawyers” in 2010, 2013 and 2014.  They cull their listings from Martindale-Hubbell and Super Lawyers.


  • JD, Gonzaga University School of Law, 1974
  • BA, University of Notre Dame, 1970

Bar and Court Admissions

  • State of Washington
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. Claims Court

Representative Matters

Fogle v. Clark Public Utility et al.  Mr. Scarpelli successfully defended Clark Public Utilities against claims that a utility pole was placed too close to a roadway, and in the “clear zone,” resulting in a severe brain injury to plaintiff who was a passenger in a car that struck the utility pole.  The pole was three feet from the traveled portion of the road.   A public entity co-defendant settled with plaintiff for $2,000,000.  After a three-week trial, the jury returned a defense verdict for Mr. Scarpelli’s client, and a verdict in excess of $4,000,000 against the remaining defendant.

Cummings v Budget Tank Removal & Environmental Services., LLC. 163 Wn. App. 379, 260 P. 3rd 220 (2011). Mr. Scarpelli obtained awards in excess of $1.8 Million for his clients in a suit against an environmental remediation contractor based on consumer protection violations by the contractor. The decision was affirmed on appeal.

Howk v. Vasseur and Lewicki.  Mr. Scarpelli obtained a $5 Million settlement for his client who sustained paralyzing injuries when he fell 10 feet off a retaining wall into a construction site adjacent to a rental duplex where his client was attending a Cinco de Mayo party.  The settlement was funded by both the contractor and landlord.

Higgins v. Intex Recreation Corp., 123 Wash. App. 821, 99 P.3d 421, Prod.Liab.Rep. (CCH) P 17,188 (Wash.App. Div. 3, Oct 26, 2004) (NO. 22140-7-III).  After a four-week trial, a jury returned a verdict in excess of $7,000,000 for Mr. Scarpelli’s client, Tom Higgins, who sustained paralyzing injuries when he was struck by a snow tube sledding device while attempting to rescue a young boy from the oncoming tube.  A theory of defective design was alleged against the manufacturer that the tube had a tendency to rotate, turning a rider backwards such that a rider could not see downhill to avoid obstacles on the slope.  Verdict was affirmed on appeal.

Lopez v. Union Pacific Railroad and State of Washington. Mr. Scarpelli achieved a settlement of $3.4 Million against the railroad and State for the wrongful death of a truck driver who was killed when struck by a train at a railroad crossing.  The case was the subject of a July 11, 2004, front-page Sunday New York Times article related to the destruction of evidence by railroad companies in civil litigation.

Rider v. Washington Logging. This was a products liability case where a logger was badly injured when he was caught between the rotating upper superstructure and stationary undercarriage on a logging yarder machine.  After a ten-day trial the jury returned a defense verdict for Mr. Scarpelli’s client.

Barrett v. Lucky 7 Saloon, Inc., 152 Wash.2d 259, 96 P.3d 386 (Wash., Aug 24, 2004) (NO. 72984-I).   Mr. Scarpelli defended the Lucky Seven Tavern in a liquor liability case brought by Mr. Barrett, who had been severely injured when hit in a head-on collision by an intoxicated patron of the Lucky Seven. Mr. Barrett claimed the tavern over-served the patron four pitchers of beer.  After a four-week trial, the jury returned a defense verdict for Mr. Scarpelli’s client. The Court of Appeals affirmed, but the Supreme Court reversed, and changed the standard for liquor liability in the State of Washington.

Deming v. Estate of Deming, Not Reported in P.3d, 105 Wash.App. 1032, 2001 WL 310341 (Wash.App. Div. 2, Mar 30, 2001) (NO. 25555-3-II). Mr. Scarpelli represented the Estate of Deming in a suit against Mark Deming, a former Pierce County judge. The Estate claimed that Judge Deming had breached the contract he made with his mother to pay full price for the family home. The jury agreed with Mr. Scarpelli and the Estate, and found against Judge Deming.

Ondras v. Snohomish County School District.   Mr. Scarpelli achieved a $6.5 Million settlement for a high school football player who sustained quadriplegic injuries in a tackling drill.

Olson v. Island County.  Mr. Scarpelli obtained a $3 Million dollar settlement for a woman who sustained paralyzing injuries when she lost control of her vehicle on an icy roadway.

Sheridan v. Kitsap County and State of Washington. After a twelve-day trial Mr. Scarpelli obtained a jury verdict in favor of his client, Kitsap County, in a case where plaintiff suffered quadriplegic injuries and alleged defective highway design and maintenance.

Reich v. Mt Baker. Mr. Scarpelli obtained a defense verdict for his client in a wrongful death action involving a snowboarder who was killed when a large slab of snow fell on him while snowboarding.

Jackson v Kitsap County.  This case involved a teenage boy who committed suicide in a County juvenile facility.  Mr. Scarpelli defended Kitsap County in the case brought by the father of the boy.  The father alleged the County had notice of the deceased’s suicidal condition and did nothing.  The case was defended on the basis that the County’s precautions were reasonable.  Jury returned a defense verdict for Mr. Scarpelli’s client.

Professional Associations

  • American College of Trial Lawyers
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • King County Bar Association
  • Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Association
  • Washington State Bar Association