How soon do we have to get our answer in?
You have 20 days from the date the Complaint is served to file an answer.Can we ask for a continuance?
To file an answer you mean? Yes. Although it is not guaranteed. It may be simpler/more practical to retain counsel and file an answer. An answer may be supplemented later.The job is actually over today also. Will the hearing still go on?
Yes, as the lawsuit may still pertain to what happened already, even though it is not happening now.Also, the two petitioners were actually carrying the one we hired them for and two others for two other campaigns, how come we are the only ones sued - could we file a joinder of some kind?
No. One cannot join another third party to a lawsuit unless in very specific circumstances. If the Plaintiff chose to go after one party only as Defendant, that does not give that Defendant the right to join other parties as other Defendants. That is the Plaintiff's decision.Do we have counterclaims?
To sue in a state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract
," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state because they all stem from the same common law. A pleading in Court needs at least one
cause of action, although it is not unusual to have more than one.
Unless they did some kind of legal wrong, i.e. tort
, there is no counter-suit, I am afraid.What defenses (although I have read a lot about the subject, so I have some idea of what that entails related to a number of WA State and even federal cases about the rights of signature gatherers working on initiatives and that it depends in part on the type of location that the individuals are at.
for an introduction. I cannot say what specific defenses may be argued since I am not involved here and this is general information only and not legal advice. However, it seems that affirmative defenses
would be most useful here.But, what about the fact that we contracted the job out and have individual independent contractor contracts with everyone, i.e. we cannot direct where they work and that we have not created any kind of agency relationship with them?
This may be a good argument because the main party is not liable for contractors, only employees
However, they worked under law of agency, i.e. being your agents. "This court has recognized that a special relationship giving rise to a duty to control a party with known dangerous propensities may exist where there is a "`definite, established and continuing relationship between the defendant and the third party.'" Taggart, 118 Wash.2d at 219, 822 P.2d 243 (quoting Honcoop v. State, 111 Wash.2d 182, 193, 759 P.2d 1188 (1988)). Such a duty exists, however, only where the actor has authority to control the third party's conduct. The Court of Appeals recognized this principle. Funkhouser, 89 Wash.App. at 654, 950 P.2d 501 (though stating that the authority must be legal authority)." CJC v. Corporation of Catholic Bishop, 985 P. 2d 262 - Wash: Supreme Court 1999
. As such, the Defendant might still be liable - this is up to the Court to decide.
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