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6A WAPRAC WPI 155.02.01Washington Practice Series TMWashington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil

6A Wash. Prac., Wash. Pattern Jury Instr. Civ. WPI 155.02.01 (7th ed.)
Washington Practice Series TM
Washington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil
July 2019 Update
Washington State Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions
Part XI. Workers' Compensation
Chapter 155. Workers' Compensation
WPI 155.02.01 Issues
(Name of party)claims that the findings and decision of the Board are incorrect in that:
(Set forth in simple form the exact issues raised or claims asserted by the appealing party and the contentions of the responding party when appropriate. These should avoid undue emphasis or repetition or restatement of the findings.)
This instruction should be adapted to fit the facts of the case. The opposing party may propose an issue or contention instruction—particularly when there is a cross appeal.
In many cases a simple and clear statement of the exact contentions of the parties may be helpful even though WPI 155.02 (Board's Findings) has set forth specific Board findings as required by RCW 51.52.115.
For example, the contentions in a case might be phrased:
  • (1) Jane Doe contends that she sustained an industrially-related hearing loss as a result of exposure to noise during her employment with Widget Corporation.
  • (2) The [Department] [and] [Widget Corporation] contend[s] that Jane Doe had a hearing loss that pre-existed her employment with Widget Corporation and that any increase in her hearing loss during such employment resulted from the progression of an unrelated neurological condition.
Practitioners should carefully draft the statement of contentions to accurately describe the Board's conclusions of law and applicable statutes. For example, a jury instruction patterned after WPI 155.02.01 was held to be erroneous because it described a party's contention regarding temporary total disability in terms of whether the worker's condition had returned to pre-injury status, when the applicable standard under RCW 51.32.090 is whether earning capacity has been restored. Chunyk & Conley/Quad-C v. Bray, 156 Wn.App. 246, 255–56, 232 P.3d 380 (2010).
It may also be important to instruct the jury on the parties' stipulations as well as their contentions. The Bray court reversed the trial court for failing to include in its instructions the parties' stipulation regarding the conditions that resulted from the injury, thereby allowing the jury to speculate that an accepted condition was not, in fact, a residual of the injury. For further discussion of stipulations in civil cases, see WPI 6.10.01 (Stipulations).
[Current as of November 2016.]
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