Jeffrey Laveson, a principal, joined Carney Badley Spellman in 2002. Before joining the firm, Jeff was a partner at the Seattle law firm of Lane Powell, where he focused on insurance coverage law. He has practiced law in the Pacific Northwest for over 32 years. Before practicing law, Jeff was a career Navy Pilot.
Jeff’s practice at Carney Badley Spellman focuses on insurance coverage law and commercial litigation. He handles all phases of resolution, mediation, trial and appeal. Special practice areas include appellate, aviation, environmental, premises liability, and professional liability law.
Jeff represents both London market and domestic insurers’ interests in complex multi-party insurance coverage claims. Jeff has tried jury and non-jury trials in both state and federal courts.
Jeff has represented a wide range of aviation interests throughout the US. Past aviation clients include Delta Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, the Experimental Aircraft Association, Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, and U.S. Specialty Insurance Co.
Bar and Court Admissions
- State of Washington
- State of Oregon
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington
- U.S. District Court, District of Oregon
- Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Representative Appellate Cases
Harshbarger v. Klamath County, 2994 Or. App. 631, 432 P.3d 363 (2018)
Mr. Laveson defended Klamath County in this timber trespass litigation. Following a jury trial, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the County, holding that the property owner did not present legally sufficient evidence to prevail on his timber trespass claim. The Oregon Supreme Court denied review.
Gull Industries v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, 181 Wash. App. 463 (2014)
Mr. Laveson is defending an excess insurer in this ongoing litigation. In a matter of first impression, the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the insurers, holding that a letter from the Department of Ecology that does not communicate a threat of immediate and severe consequences is not the functional equivalent of a “suit” for purposes of triggering the insurers’ duty to defend.
Good Samaritan Hospital v. Lexington Ins. Co., 539 Fed Appx. 768, 2013 WL 4532248 (2013)
Mr. Laveson defended a primary insurer against a bad faith claim brought by a hospital seeking malpractice coverage as an additional insured. The hospital claimed misrepresentation based on broker-issued Certificate of Insurance that did not disclose the applicable SIR. On appeal from a summary judgment ruling in favor of the insurer, the Ninth Circuit again held in favor of the insurer finding there was no duty to affirmatively disclose the SIR where there was no fiduciary or quasi-fiduciary relationship between the hospital and the insurer.
Estate of Corbitt v. Experimental Aircraft Ass’n., 146 Wn. App. 1073, P.3d, 2008 WL 4542871 (Div. 1, 2008)
Mr. Laveson defended the EAA and NWEAA against a wrongful death claim brought by the Estate of the decedent pilot. The Estate’s negligence claim focused primarily on premises liability law, asserting a duty to rescue. On appeal, the Court of Appeals held there was no legal duty to rescue the pilot following the crash, reversed the jury verdict, and remanded for entry of judgment in favor of the defendants. The Washington Supreme Court denied review.
Olympic Pipe Line Co. v. Pacific Employers Ins. Co., 128 Wn. App. 1003, P.3d, 2005 WL 1406125 (Div. 1, 2005)
Mr. Laveson defended an excess insurer against coverage claims for environmental damages in excess of $450 million arising from the catastrophic failure of the Olympic Pipe Line in Bellingham, Washington. The trial court ruled in favor of the excess insurers on summary judgment, finding that OPL was not an intended insured under policies that had been issued to the joint venture owners. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling.
West v. Kelley, 109 Wn. App. 1032, 2001 WL 1521994 (Div. 2, 2001)
Mr. Laveson defended a property owner against a neighbor attempting to extinguish various easements. The trial court upheld the validity of the easements and awarded attorneys’ fees and costs to the defendant property owner under Washington’s frivolous lawsuit statute. On appeal, the Court of Appeals upheld the trial court decision and award of attorneys’ fees. The Washington Supreme Court denied review.
First State Ins. Co. v. Kemper Nat. Ins. Co., 94 Wn. App. 602, 971 P.2d 953 (1999)
Mr. Laveson represented an excess insurer seeking to recover, from the primary insurer, the “excess” portion of the jury verdict in a wrongful death case, based on the primary insurer’s refusal to enter into good faith settlement negotiations prior to trial. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the jury verdict and remanded for entry of judgment in favor of the excess insurer.
Hurlbert v. Gordon, 64 Wn. App. 386, 824 P.2d 1238 (1992)
Mr. Laveson defended a Washington law firm that escrow provided legal services in closing a commercial purchase and sale transaction, against a malpractice claim brought by the sellers. The seller had been represented by independent legal counsel. On appeal, the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the law firm, reversing the jury verdict; and imposed sanctions against the sellers’ attorneys.