About Us - Professional Details
John R. (Jack)
John R. (Jack) Connelly, a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and numerous Trial Lawyer organizations in the United States, is consistently named to the Best Lawyers in America, and ranked in the top lawyers in Washington State. Super Lawyers Magazine has included him in the top 100 lawyers in Washington since 2003 , and Seattle Metropolitan Magazine ranks him as one of the foremost attorneys in the Seattle region. A member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), past President of the Washington Association for Justice (WSAJ) and of the Damages Attorneys Roundtable (DART) a charter member of the Crime Victim’s Bar Association, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, Connelly has been honored as Washington State’s Trial Lawyer of the Year by WSAJ in 2000, by ABOTA in 2007, and was selected as Lawyer of the Year in 2015, and 2018 for Seattle by Best Lawyers in America. Jack’s advocacy for Plaintiffs in numerous high profile cases has resulted in landmark verdicts and positive changes in laws protecting vulnerable citizens. Jack has been practicing law in the Puget Sound Area for over 42 years, entirely in representation of plaintiffs.
All aspects of Plaintiffs Litigation; Wrongful Death; Police Misconduct; Sports Injuries; Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries; Civil Rights; Personal Injury; Products Liability; Highway Design; Professional Negligence; Medical Negligence; Governmental Liability; Commercial Litigation; Employment Litigation; Transportation Litigation;
ADMITTED TO PRACTICE IN
Mr. Connelly handles cases throughout Washington State. He has been invited to appear and handle cases in other states on behalf of Plaintiffs as well. All Washington Trial (State and Federal) and Appellate Courts; Federal Court: US District Courts for Western and Eastern Districts of Washington; Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals;
• Stanford University; B.A., Human Biology / Psychology, Palo Alto, CA. 1978;
Stanford Varsity Swim Team – Block S Award; (4 year letterwinner);
All-American Honors 1976, 1977 - Stanford 400 yd. Medley Relay;
• Univ. of California, San Francisco, Law, JD 1981
Editor, Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, 1980-1981
• Extern Law Clerk, Honorable William H. Orrick, U.S. District Court, San Francisco, 1981
• Lecturer and Instructor - Over 150 CLE and Trial Practice Courses over the past 39 years.
COMMUNITY AND PROFESSIONAL INVOLVEMENT
- Sovereign Order of Malta KM – Seattle Chapter
- Tacoma Rainiers Professional Baseball Team – Ownership Group
- President – Pacific Harbors Counsel BSA Board of Directors 2018 to present
- Bellarmine Preparatory School – Board of Trustees
- Gonzaga Law School – Advisory Board 2018 to present
- President – Tacoma City Libraries 2016-2019
- Board of Trustees – Tacoma Libraries – 2012-2019
- President – City Club of Tacoma 2016-2019
- Board of Trustees – City Club of Tacoma – 2013-17
- Board of Directors – Tacoma/Pierce Co. Sports Museum
- Tacoma Athletic Commission – Member
- Tacoma Rotary 8 – Corporate Member
- President, Washington State Ass'n for Justice (WSAJ) - 2005-06
- President, WSAJ Foundation - 2003-05
- Board of Governors - Washington State Ass'n for Justice 1994 - 2007
- Owner - The Highlands Golf Course
- Owner - McDuff’s Highlands Cafe
- Board Member - Healing the Culture
- Martin Luther King Housing Development Ass'n - Board
- Tacoma Baseball Foundation Board
- Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Ass’n Board of Trustees – 1991-1992
Former Board Member:
• Catholic Community Services SW
• Lakewood Communities in Schools
• Clover Park Vocational School Foundation
Candidate: Washington State Senate 27th District - 2012
Past Grand Knight - Council 809; Knights of Columbus
Past President Parish Council - St. Patrick's Church
REPRESENTATIVE HONORS AND AWARDS
- Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers
- Fellow, American Bar Foundation
- Best Lawyers in America – 16 years
- Washington Law & Politics - Top 100 Lawyers - Washington State
- Seattle Magazine's Best Lawyers; Seattle Area
- Puget Sound Business Journal - Best Lawyers
- Best Lawyers - Seattle Trial Lawyer of the Year 2015, 2019
- American Board of Trial Advocates ABOTA (Plaintiff and Defense Bar)
- ABOTA Trial Lawyer of the Year 2007
- Washington State Trial Lawyer of the Year (2000) (WSAJ)
- Washington Damage Attorneys Round Table (DART)
- President DART – 2016-17
- Rue Ratings Best Attorneys of America
- Platinum Member - The Verdict Club
- Washington Law & Politics Top 40 Personal Injury Lawyers in Washington State
- Washington Law & Politics, Super Lawyers 2003 – 2023
- National Trial Lawyer's Ass'n - Top 100 Lawyers
MEMBERSHIPS & AFFILIATIONS
- International Academy of Trial Lawyers
- Washington State Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- American Ass'n for Justice
- Washington State Ass'n for Justice
- Damages Attorneys Roundtable
- American Board of Trial Advocates
- National Trial Lawyer's Ass'n.
- Fellow - American Bar Foundation
- Best Lawyers in America
- National Crime Victim's Bar Ass'n - Charter Member
- Connelly Law Offices; Principal - 2006 – Present
- Gordon Thomas Honeywell, Associate 1981-86; Partner 1981 - 2006; Board Chair 2001-02;
REPRESENTATIVE CASE HIGHLIGHTS
Jack Connelly has handled numerous cases throughout the State - both through trial to verdict or through settlement. Below are examples of some of the different cases Mr. Connelly has handled.
Vanscoy v. Pierce County (Pierce Co.)
$3.9 million judgment upon jury verdict for 35 year Prosecutor wrongfully discharged in violation of public policy after he filed a whistleblower complaint due to actions taken by Pierce County Executive’s Office in violation of Washington law, the Pierce Co. Charter and Pierce Co. Code.
Harris v. Federal Way School Dist. (King Co.)
$5.2 million settlement – On behalf of tudent football player who died of sudden cardiac arrest; School District failed to train, know, have and follow plan to resuscitate victims of SCA.
Confidential v. Confidential
$14.8 million confidential medical malpractice settlement.
Molgard v. Strider Construction Co. Inc. et al. (King Co.)
$20 million settlement on behalf of worker injured in jobsite explosion due to poorly manufactured charges used in blasting boulders.
Carol Mitchell v. Pierce Co. (Pierce Co.)
$1.7 million settlement against Pierce Co. on behalf of administrator discriminated against for working to stop discrimination and wrongfully terminated.
Cesar Beltra-Serrano v. City of Tacoma (Pierce Co.)
$6 million settlement for Police wrongful shooting of mentally disabled individual;
Peschek v. Avalon Contracting Inc.
$5 million settlement for individual injured in crosswalk when struck by a Avalon van.
Roose v. Michaelis Trucking LLC (Pierce Co.)
$2.065 million settlement for elderly couple whose home was struck by a semitruck.
Harding v. Kaiser; Oral Health Specialists, Janakievski, DDS, PLLC; (King Co.)
$10 million medical malpractice settlement for woman who suffered a stroke when given improper advice regarding medication administration.
Malo v. Franciscan Health System (Pierce Co.)
$3.0 medical malpractice settlement for man who had to colostomy bag due to failure to recognize infection caused by nurse perforating rectum during administration of enema.
Hutchison v. Pierce Co.
$1.052 million discrimination settlement for three jail workers subjected to racial discrimination;
Thomas v. State (Pierce Co.)
$5.3 million settlement for wrongfully abused child;
Confidential v Confidential
$1.45 million employment discrimination Settlement;
Barber /Estate of Tyler Peterson v. Paratransit Services Inc. / Access 4 Care, Inc. (Pierce Co.)
$1 million policy limit wrongful death settlement for patient improperly secured in transport van;
Westbrook v. Wanna Lift Systems Inc. (King Co.)
$1 million settlement for injury due to defective tram construction.
Sestrom/Anderson v. Ferndale School Dist. (Whatcom Co.)
$1.1 million settlement for child killed by motorist outside school;
Jerri Woodring-Thueson v. Harborview Medical Center- 2018 King County
• $25.3 million medical malpractice verdict on behalf of woman who suffered a small stroke in Montana, was transported to Harborview Comprehensive Stroke Center, and who demonstrated additional symptoms of impending stroke but did not receive appropriate treatment and suffered permanent injury.
Estate of Leonard Thomas v. Lakewood Police Dept. et al. 2018 Federal Ct. Western District of Washington; Hon. Barbara Rothstein; 2017
• $15.3 million Civil Rights verdict on behalf of unarmed African American father who was holding his four year old child when shot by a municipal SWAT team sniper. Connelly represented estate of Leonard Thomas; Case tried with Tim Ford, Tiffany Cartwright and David Whedbee of McDonald Hogue and Bayless firm who represented child and parents.
Meline v. Western State Hospital et al. Pierce Co. Superior Ct. 2017
• $2.9 million verdict and confidential settlement on behalf of father killed by mentally ill son/patient who had been improperly released from mental hospital.
Jessica Ortega v. Pierce Co. Sheriff’s Dept. Pierce County Superior Court 2018
• $7.9 million settlement for family of social worker slain by felon. Deceased had called police requesting assistance. Sheriff’s responded but failed to take felon into custody, failed to take appropriate precautions to assist deceased, failed to act in timely manner in accordance with applicable police standards and, instead, left for three day weekend. Murder occurred over the weekend.
Sorenson v. State of Washington -Grays Harbor County 2020
• $4.0 million settlement on behalf of mother of three killed when State DOT sanding truck turned across her lane of travel.
Confidential v. Confidential Hospital - King Co. 2020
• $8.0 million medical negligence settlement on behalf of woman who died during childbirth as a result of medical negligence.
Estate of Regina Annas v. Pierce County Sheriff’s Foothill Detachment Pierce Co. 2019;
• $3.0 million settlement on behalf of woman killed after Sheriff’s provided gun and ammunition to her estranged husband after domestic violence call.
Smith v. OK Boys Ranch (and subsequent cases)(2004)
• Over $70 million in settlements on behalf of children abused in OK Boys Ranch group home in Olympia Washington. Case resulted in investigations and major changes in group home care throughout the state and U.S.
Davis et al v. Clark County
• $10.5 million settlement and stipulated judgment for $35 million; Wrongful convication case on behalf of two men wrongfully convicted who served 17 years in prison. (Representaion of Plaintiff Davis)
Salvini v. Ski Lifts Inc. (2007)
• $31 million jury award for quadriplegic youth injured on defective ski jump. Reduced by 55% for combination of comparative fault and the inherent risks of the sport of skiing.
Joyce v. State of Washington
• $22.4 million jury award to family of mother killed by felon who was not properly supervised by D.O.C. (Supreme Court Opinion affirmed cause of action under sentencing reform act, remanded due to jury instruction. Case settled.)
Harris v. Alefaio
• $21 million court award against gang members who killed teenager from Virginia.
Couch v. State of Washington
• $15 million jury award to family of mother killed by a felon on D.O.C. supervision (later reversed on duty issue)
Clay v. Seattle School District
• $21 million settlements for wrestler injured during improperly supervised wrestling practice. C - 4, C- 5Quadriplegia injury.
Mendez v. Pacific Evangelical Conference and Member Churches
• $14.5 million recovery for youth who attended summer camp. Injured during obstacle course relay race when asked to go through mud pit obstacle. C -4, C -5 quadriplegia.
Said Aba Sheik v. State of Washington
• $13.3 million result; including $10.3 million jury verdict and $4.5 million settlement against King County for failure to supervise youths on probation; $10.3 million verdict. $8.3 million against DSHS for failure to properly monitor placement (DSHS portion reversed on appeal)
Renniger et al. v. State of Washington
• Lead Counsel in $12.5 million settlement on behalf of families of police officers killed at a Forza Coffee Shop in Lakewood, Washington. State of Washington Department of Corrections had warrant that would have held him in jail but released him.
Albertson v. City of Tacoma, City of Seattle & State
• $11 million settlement for children abused in foster care placement. Police misconduct.
Confidential v. Confidential
• $10.5 million settlement - spinal injury.
Thomas v. Puyallup School District
• $7.5 million settlement and injunctive relief to families of children who suffered racial discrimination in the Puyallup School District. Injunctive relief provided mechanisms within school district to address and reduce complaints of racial discrimination as well as to provide training to staff and students to prevent similar incidents. Injunctive relief and program used as model for other school districts nationally.
Kenneth Wessling v. Marathon Equipment Company
• $6.9 million settlement for worker who lost non-dominant arm in baling machine; Products Liability case. 30% comparative fault.
J.T. v. Trinity Glass Corp
• $6.5 million settlement for brain injury as a result of industrial accident.
McFarland v. State of Washington
• $6.3 million jury award for high school cheerleader killed by felon released by D.O.C. and improperly supervise.
Confidential Estate v. Seattle Hospitality Inc.
• $6.0 million settlement for student drowning.
Brown v. Martin Pang/City of Seattle
• $5.6 million award for firefighter killed in arson fire started by Martin Pang. Jury determined that fault for death should be apportioned 75% to the City of Seattle for its negligence and 25% to the arsonist.
Child P.C. v. Confidential Hospital
• $5 million medical malpractice settlement on behalf of child born with cerebral paulsy.
Toney v. Department of Corrections
• $4.5 million settlement against Department of Corrections for failing to render aid to prisoner having mental breakdown in State Prison. Prisoner hung himself.
Child J.S. v. State of Washington D.O.C.
• $4.5 million settlement for child raped by offender improperly released before term expired.
Child J.F. v. Safeco
• $4.5 million award against Safeco for bad faith. (On motion)
Child J.F. v. State of Washington and confidential manufacturer
• $2.4 million settlement for child killed when hung by blind cords in day care. Negligent licensing.
V.S. v. Confidential
• $4.0 million for truck intersection collision, wrongful death.
Confidential Products Liability Case
• Settlement on behalf of Woman whose child died as a result of defective infant carrier.
Williams v. State of Washington
• $3.0 Settlement on behalf of victims executed by improperly supervised felon.
Corey v. Pierce County Pros. Atty.
• $3.07 million jury verdict for wrongful termination, defamation, outrage, invasion of privacy.
Passanante v. H.E.R.E. (Hotel, Motel, Employees International and Local Union)
• Class action case brought on behalf of retired union members against Unions who had promised them life membership and burial benefits but then tried to renege on promise. (Retired members prevailed in trial and successfully defended appeal to Washington Supreme Court.)
Child L.R. v. Child Restraint Manufacturer
• Products Liability; Confidential Settlement on behalf of child quadriplegic injured due to faulty child restraint seat (settlement after one week of trial).
Deborah Funk v. State of Washington DOC supervision.
• Failure to supervise felon who broke into apartment and murdered young, single woman in her bathtub. Case settled during trial for $2.6 million.
Farstad v. Lake Washington School District
• $2.4 million settlement for children abused by basketball coach.
Allen v. Specialty Surplus
• $2.5 million insurance bad faith settlement.
Kennedy v. City of Ridgefield
• $2.8 million settlement for woman shot by youth. (Section 1983 action due to police failure to protect informant – state created danger)
Gilmore v. State of Washington D.O.C.
• $2.25 million settlement family of young man killed by offender who was supposed to have been supervised.
Child A. E. v. John Doe M.D.’s
• Medical negligence settlement on behalf of child who lost almost all vision as a result of failure to diagnose and treat brain tumor.
Estate of E.V. v. Jane Doe Apartments
• $2.0 million settlement for family of elderly woman murdered by failure to provide proper security
Estate of E.V. v. Jane Doe Apartments
• $2.0 million settlement for family of elderly woman murdered by failure to provide proper security.
A.K. v. State of Washington
• $2.0 Settlement on behalf of two young women who were sexually molested as children in a state licensed foster care placement.
Boldt v. Boys Ranch/DSHS
• $2 million settlement for family of youth who died at juvenile youth ranch.
Estate of Darlene Clark v. Korean Women’s Ass’n
• $2 million settlement – wrongful death of quadriplegic mother. (quadriplegia from another cause preexisting death)
Child AJ v. Grays Harbor Transit
• $1.6 million settlement on behalf of family of child hit after exiting bus. Failure to supervise.
B.C. v. Manufacturer
• Products Liability; Confidential Settlement on behalf of family of father injured in conversion van rollover.
Romero v. West Valley School District
• $1.8 million jury verdict for child killed in poorly designed loading area. Yakima County.
Sauls v. King County and Pierce County
• Failure to provide appropriate psychiatric treatment for inmate who subsequently was released and murdered mother of two young children. $1.7 million.
Confidential v. Confidential Adult Home
• $1.7 million settlement for two elderly woman who died as a result of negligent care.
McMahon v. Tacoma Community College
• $1.3 million jury verdict for PTSD suffered by child attacked by food service worker in bathroom. $400,000 additional settlement with Tacoma School District.
Powell v. DSHS
• $1.5 million wrongful death settlement due to failure to supervise juvenile offender.
Anderson v. Bates
• $1.25 million settlement for educational fraud. Vocational School provided denturist program but teacher was not properly trained and failed to teach class. Students were forced to try to teach themselves.
Jane Doe v. John Doe DDS
• Confidential dental malpractice award for right sides facial paralysis.
Doe v. Pierce County Auditor
• $1.05 settlement for wrongful employment practices.
Montgomery v. McNeil Island
• $1 million medical malpractice settlement for prisoner who was denied treatment for hepatitis C.
Hulbert v. Thurston Co, City of Aberdeen and Confidential
• $1.2 million settlement for improper water hookup. Impure drinking water.
L.C. v. State/ Kiwanis
• $1.3 million settlement for abuse in group home.
K.C. v. State/ Kiwanis
• $1.3 million settlement for abuse in group home.
A.O. v. Confidential
• $1.7 for facial injury.
Child J.F. v. State of Washington and confidential blind cord manufacturer
• $2.5 million settlement; child wrongful death.
S.G. and S.H. v. State of Washington/ Kiwanis
• $1.575 settlement – abuse in group home (two children)
Hemley v. Renaissance Fair
• $1.1 million settlement – Brain Injury.
M.S. v. King Co. Dept. of Corrections
• $600,000 for Negligent Supervision of Sex Offenders.
Christensen v. Foss Waterway Marina
• $631,000 settlement – maritime case.
McDonald v. Pierce Transit
• $675,000 settlement – bus accident injury.
Whyms v. Grays Harbor County
• $750,000 for brain injury and death – sanding accident.
- v. Confidential Hospital
• $700,000 settlement for suicide. Failure to supervise lock down unit.
Schmidt v. State of Washington
• $630,000 jury verdict for logging yarder accident and personal injury.
Hagemeyer v. U.S. Forest Service
• $400,000 settlement for PTSD due to failure to clear campground after notice of approaching fire (30 mile fire). Campers left on own in campground after order given to clear campground. Order not followed.
Firefighters v. Confidential
• Confidential settlement for families of firefighters killed due to inadequate fire protection.
Rooney v. Confidential
• Confidential product liability settlement for man struck by falling liftgate on SUV.
Moser v. Pierce County
• $300,000 jail sexual encounter. Negligent placement of vulnerable inmate with known sexual offender.
Schmidt v. Burlington Northern Railroad
• Confidential settlement on behalf of teenage driver killed by train. Negligent signing.
Bailey v. Town of Forks
• Appeal handled on behalf of passenger on motorcycle hit by drunken motorist. Case established exceptions to the public duty doctrine. Case ultimately settled with Town of Forks. Plaintiff prevailed on new theory before Washington Supreme Court.
Confidential v. Confidential
• Case handled against multinational sales organization setting up pyramid scheme and taking funds from members through fraudulent description of program.
• Numerous arbitrations handled on behalf of victims of negligence: Underinsured Motorists Claims, Agreed Arbitrations; Mandatory arbitrations; Cases involved motor vehicle collisions; medical negligence; products liability; highway design; wrongful death; civil rights; general negligence; professional negligence.
• Numerous ethics hearings handled for the Washington Ass’n of Realtors and member organizations assisting establishing fair hearing process for the benefit of citizens who had ethics complaints against realtors.