Randall T. Thomsen

Partner

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  • Phone: (206) 623-1700
  • Fax: (206) 623-8717
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Randall Thomsen has a well-deserved reputation as a creative litigator, handling complex cases in state and federal courts. He has successfully litigated cases on a wide-variety of topics, including those involving business and shareholder disputes, governmental entities, class actions, breach of contract, real property, personal injury, wrongful death, antitrust actions, and employment. Randall represents both plaintiffs and defendants.

Washington Law and Politics has selected Randall as a Super Lawyer annually since 2012. Benchmark Litigation also has identified him as a top Washington lawyer and a Local Litigation Star. 

He previously served on the Washington State Bar Association’s Judicial Review Committee and was a member of the Lewis Powell Chapter of the Inns of the Court. He is a graduate of Gonzaga University. While at Gonzaga he was a member of Gonzaga’s national debate team and, during law school, received the prestigious Thomas More Scholarship granted to those with outstanding academic achievement and a commitment to public service. Randall also has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Washington’s School of Public Affairs. Randall joined the firm in 1997 after serving as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Dennis J. Sweeney of the Washington State Court of Appeals.

 

Representative Cases

Randall, along with other firm’s lawyers, is currently defending Snohomish County in six consolidated lawsuits arising from the March 2014 Oso Landslide in which 43 people were killed. The lawsuits involve over forty plaintiffs who assert claims against the County for wrongful death, personal injury and property damage. In the first consolidated lawsuit, the trial court dismissed all claims by all plaintiffs against the County. Plaintiffs have appealed the dismissals and the case currently is pending in the Washington State Court of Appeals. The second consolidated lawsuit is stayed pending the outcome of the appeal.

Successfully represented the State of Washington in a class action lawsuit involving over 100,000 class members and $7 billion in claims. Class members alleged that the Legislature’s repeal of a cost-of-living adjustment for State employees under the State’s pension system was an unconstitutional impairment of contracts. The superior court granted summary judgment in favor of the class members, and the State successfully obtained direct review of the superior court’s decision. In a unanimous 9-0 opinion, the Supreme Court reversed the superior court’s decision and held that the Legislature’s repeal of the cost-of-living adjustment was constitutional. See Washington Educ. Ass’n v. Dept. of Ret. Sys., 181 Wn.2d 212, 332 P.3d 428 (2014).

Randall, along with other firm’s lawyers, represented the City of Mercer Island in its widely publicized fight to mitigate the impacts of the closure of the center express lanes of I-90, as part of Sound Transit’s expansion of light rail to Seattle’s Eastside. The case involved intense litigation in multiple forums. Just ahead of a hearing on the City’s request for an injunction, the City Council accepted a settlement offer of $10.1 million in mitigation payments from Sound Transit.

Complex Civil Litigation

Defended King County against $250 million in claims by a regional water and sewer districts related to the operation and funding of the County’s Wastewater Treatment Division. After a six-week trial in Pierce County Superior Court, the Court ruled in favor of King County. The Washington Supreme Court affirmed the decision in King County’s favor in a unanimous opinion. See Cedar River Water & Sewer District v. King County, 178 Wn.2d 763, 315 P.3d 859 (2013).

Defended the Port of Seattle against claims by taxpayers seeking to invalidate the Port’s $81 million purchase of the Eastside Rail Corridor in 2009. Plaintiffs alleged that the purchase was outside the Port’s authority and a misuse of public funds. After extensive discovery, the trial court denied class certification. The trial court then dismissed all of the plaintiffs’ substantive claims on summary judgment. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision in a unanimous opinion. See Lane v. Port of Seattle, 178 Wn. App. 110, 316 P.3d 1070 (2013).

Defended an owner of one of the region’s largest data centers against claims asserted by a Fortune 500 company for fraud and breach of contract in a claim in excess of $200 million. After considerable discovery and motion practice, the case was successfully resolved with plaintiff dismissing the claims and agreeing to abide by the terms of the lease agreement.

Defended an Internet entrepreneur against a $460 million business fraud claim. The case was resolved by a nominal settlement during trial, following a series of successful summary judgment motions that dismissed virtually all of the plaintiff’s claims.

Defended an owner of a large regional shopping mall in Spokane County against claims brought by a national Real Estate Investment Trust alleging fraud and negligent misrepresentations in the sale of the shopping mall in a $120 million transaction. The claims were successfully dismissed by way of summary judgment before trial.

Represented the State of Washington in two companion lawsuits brought by a sitting Washington State Supreme Court justice. One action involved a claim under Washington’s Public Disclosure Act and the second sought indemnification for attorneys fees incurred by the justice in defending against a disciplinary proceeding. The State prevailed by summary judgment in both actions at the trial court. At both the Court of Appeals and the Washington Supreme Court, the appellate courts affirmed the superior courts’ decisions in all material respects. See Honorable Richard Sanders v. State of Washington, 169 Wn.2d 827, 240 P.3d 120 (2010) (affirming trial court’s dismissal of Public Records Act claims asserted by Supreme Court justice against Washington State Attorney General’s office); Honorable Richard Sanders v. State of Washington,166 Wn.2d 164, 207 P.3d 1245 (2009) (finding no entitlement to indemnification for attorneys fees incurred by Supreme Court justice charged with ethical violations involving acts outside the scope of a judge’s official duties).

Represented a money transmission company in defending over a dozen separate claims, lawsuits, and proceedings brought by various private plaintiffs, state and federal regulatory authorities, and the Department of Justice.  The company, financially crippled by the great recession, was beset by multiple claims throughout the United States and being actively investigated by federal prosecutors and regulatory authorities for violations of federal consumer protection laws and money transmission requirements.  Randall successfully resolved all the matters, including a substantial class action proceeding brought by a national law class action law firm, by negotiating over a dozen agreed settlements or outright dismissals.  As a result of his efforts, the company was able to be wound down by its principal managing member without any tail liabilities or financial exposure of any individuals.

Represented clients in the following additional published decisions:

Gorlick Distribution Centers, LLC v. Car Sound Exhaust, LLC, 723 F.3d 1019 (9th Cir. 2013) (dismissing antitrust claims against an auto parts distributor based on allegation of distributors receipt of favorable prices from exhaust manufacturer);

Strain v. West Travel, Inc.,117 Wn. App. 251, 70 P.3d 158 (2003) (holding that the federal Fair Labor Standards Act preempted Washington’s Minimum Wage Act in class action lawsuit by cruise employees for overtime wages);

Professional Marine Co. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyds,118 Wn. App. 694, 77 P.3d 658 (2003) (holding that the assignee of a default judgment was entitled to maintain claim against Lloyd’s of London for policy benefits provided to insured);

Fluke Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indem. Co., 145 Wn.2d 137, 34 P.3d 809 (2001) (holding that Washington’s public policy against awarding punitive damages does not bar insurability of punitive damages awarded in a California lawsuit against a manufacturer);

Sabey v. Howard Johnson & Co., 101 Wn. App. 575, 5P.3d 730 (2000) (holding that common law right of indemnity existed for an individual incurring liability to Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation because of actions of actuary).

Employment

Represented a salesperson of a Fortune 500 company in pursuing claims against his former employer for breach of the salesperson’s commission agreement and wrongful termination. The company, represented by a national law firm, vigorously defended against the claim. After considerable discovery and motion practice, the case was successfully resolved with the company agreed to pay a settlement in the high six figures to the salesperson.

Defended a prominent local cruise ship company in a class action brought by hundreds of customer service representatives.  The class alleged that the company violated Washington’s Minimum Wage Act by failing to pay minimum wages to crewmembers during their employment on the company’s vessels.  After extensive discovery, the court dismissed the claims by holding that federal maritime preempted Washington law.  The trial court’s decision was affirmed on appeal.

Represented the State of Washington defending claims by a class of approximately 9,000 part-time and seasonal employees for wrongful denial of healthcare benefits.  Plaintiffs sought damages in excess of $500 million.  The case was settled in mediation following a series of favorable trial court rulings that both substantially narrowed the class and the amount of awardable damages.

Represented the president of a company that owned and operated a collegiate football bowl event in his breach of contract claims against the company.  The CEO summarily terminated the president and the company refused to pay wages and other benefits owed.  After a series of successful motions in the federal court, Randall obtained a six-figure judgment against the company and its CEO.

Represented a pharmaceutical employee wrongfully terminated after she became pregnant.  Without filing any lawsuit, the case was resolved in a mediation with the employer that resulted in a substantial settlement for the employee.

Represented a salesperson of a major defense contractor after he was terminated and denied sales commissions he had earned under his commission agreement.  After filing the lawsuit and without the need for discovery, the parties successfully negotiated a sizeable settlement with the contractor, who agreed to comply with the terms of the commission agreement.

Education
  • Gonzaga University
    • J.D., magna cum laude, Thomas More Scholar, Member of Law Review, Winner of Linden Cup, 1995
  • University of Washington
    • M.A. Public Administration, 1992
  • Gonzaga University
    • B.A. Political Science; B.A. Speech Communication, cum laude, Member of National Debate Team, 1990
Experience
  • Harrigan Leyh Farmer & Thomsen LLP
    • 1997 – Present
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Dennis J. Sweeney, Chief Judge
    Washington Court of Appeals
    • 1995 – 1997
Admitted to Practice
  • Washington
  • U.S. Court of Appeals
    • Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court
    • Western District of Washington

Randall Thomsen has a well-deserved reputation as a creative litigator, handling complex cases in state and federal courts. He has successfully litigated cases on a wide-variety of topics, including those involving business and shareholder disputes, governmental entities, class actions, breach of contract, real property, personal injury, wrongful death, antitrust actions, and employment. Randall represents both plaintiffs and defendants.

Washington Law and Politics has selected Randall as a Super Lawyer annually since 2012. Benchmark Litigation also has identified him as a top Washington lawyer and a Local Litigation Star. 

He previously served on the Washington State Bar Association’s Judicial Review Committee and was a member of the Lewis Powell Chapter of the Inns of the Court. He is a graduate of Gonzaga University. While at Gonzaga he was a member of Gonzaga’s national debate team and, during law school, received the prestigious Thomas More Scholarship granted to those with outstanding academic achievement and a commitment to public service. Randall also has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Washington’s School of Public Affairs. Randall joined the firm in 1997 after serving as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Dennis J. Sweeney of the Washington State Court of Appeals.

 

Representative Cases

Randall, along with other firm’s lawyers, is currently defending Snohomish County in six consolidated lawsuits arising from the March 2014 Oso Landslide in which 43 people were killed. The lawsuits involve over forty plaintiffs who assert claims against the County for wrongful death, personal injury and property damage. In the first consolidated lawsuit, the trial court dismissed all claims by all plaintiffs against the County. Plaintiffs have appealed the dismissals and the case currently is pending in the Washington State Court of Appeals. The second consolidated lawsuit is stayed pending the outcome of the appeal.

Successfully represented the State of Washington in a class action lawsuit involving over 100,000 class members and $7 billion in claims. Class members alleged that the Legislature’s repeal of a cost-of-living adjustment for State employees under the State’s pension system was an unconstitutional impairment of contracts. The superior court granted summary judgment in favor of the class members, and the State successfully obtained direct review of the superior court’s decision. In a unanimous 9-0 opinion, the Supreme Court reversed the superior court’s decision and held that the Legislature’s repeal of the cost-of-living adjustment was constitutional. See Washington Educ. Ass’n v. Dept. of Ret. Sys., 181 Wn.2d 212, 332 P.3d 428 (2014).

Randall, along with other firm’s lawyers, represented the City of Mercer Island in its widely publicized fight to mitigate the impacts of the closure of the center express lanes of I-90, as part of Sound Transit’s expansion of light rail to Seattle’s Eastside. The case involved intense litigation in multiple forums. Just ahead of a hearing on the City’s request for an injunction, the City Council accepted a settlement offer of $10.1 million in mitigation payments from Sound Transit.

Complex Civil Litigation

Defended King County against $250 million in claims by a regional water and sewer districts related to the operation and funding of the County’s Wastewater Treatment Division. After a six-week trial in Pierce County Superior Court, the Court ruled in favor of King County. The Washington Supreme Court affirmed the decision in King County’s favor in a unanimous opinion. See Cedar River Water & Sewer District v. King County, 178 Wn.2d 763, 315 P.3d 859 (2013).

Defended the Port of Seattle against claims by taxpayers seeking to invalidate the Port’s $81 million purchase of the Eastside Rail Corridor in 2009. Plaintiffs alleged that the purchase was outside the Port’s authority and a misuse of public funds. After extensive discovery, the trial court denied class certification. The trial court then dismissed all of the plaintiffs’ substantive claims on summary judgment. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision in a unanimous opinion. See Lane v. Port of Seattle, 178 Wn. App. 110, 316 P.3d 1070 (2013).

Defended an owner of one of the region’s largest data centers against claims asserted by a Fortune 500 company for fraud and breach of contract in a claim in excess of $200 million. After considerable discovery and motion practice, the case was successfully resolved with plaintiff dismissing the claims and agreeing to abide by the terms of the lease agreement.

Defended an Internet entrepreneur against a $460 million business fraud claim. The case was resolved by a nominal settlement during trial, following a series of successful summary judgment motions that dismissed virtually all of the plaintiff’s claims.

Defended an owner of a large regional shopping mall in Spokane County against claims brought by a national Real Estate Investment Trust alleging fraud and negligent misrepresentations in the sale of the shopping mall in a $120 million transaction. The claims were successfully dismissed by way of summary judgment before trial.

Represented the State of Washington in two companion lawsuits brought by a sitting Washington State Supreme Court justice. One action involved a claim under Washington’s Public Disclosure Act and the second sought indemnification for attorneys fees incurred by the justice in defending against a disciplinary proceeding. The State prevailed by summary judgment in both actions at the trial court. At both the Court of Appeals and the Washington Supreme Court, the appellate courts affirmed the superior courts’ decisions in all material respects. See Honorable Richard Sanders v. State of Washington, 169 Wn.2d 827, 240 P.3d 120 (2010) (affirming trial court’s dismissal of Public Records Act claims asserted by Supreme Court justice against Washington State Attorney General’s office); Honorable Richard Sanders v. State of Washington,166 Wn.2d 164, 207 P.3d 1245 (2009) (finding no entitlement to indemnification for attorneys fees incurred by Supreme Court justice charged with ethical violations involving acts outside the scope of a judge’s official duties).

Represented a money transmission company in defending over a dozen separate claims, lawsuits, and proceedings brought by various private plaintiffs, state and federal regulatory authorities, and the Department of Justice.  The company, financially crippled by the great recession, was beset by multiple claims throughout the United States and being actively investigated by federal prosecutors and regulatory authorities for violations of federal consumer protection laws and money transmission requirements.  Randall successfully resolved all the matters, including a substantial class action proceeding brought by a national law class action law firm, by negotiating over a dozen agreed settlements or outright dismissals.  As a result of his efforts, the company was able to be wound down by its principal managing member without any tail liabilities or financial exposure of any individuals.

Represented clients in the following additional published decisions:

Gorlick Distribution Centers, LLC v. Car Sound Exhaust, LLC, 723 F.3d 1019 (9th Cir. 2013) (dismissing antitrust claims against an auto parts distributor based on allegation of distributors receipt of favorable prices from exhaust manufacturer);

Strain v. West Travel, Inc.,117 Wn. App. 251, 70 P.3d 158 (2003) (holding that the federal Fair Labor Standards Act preempted Washington’s Minimum Wage Act in class action lawsuit by cruise employees for overtime wages);

Professional Marine Co. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyds,118 Wn. App. 694, 77 P.3d 658 (2003) (holding that the assignee of a default judgment was entitled to maintain claim against Lloyd’s of London for policy benefits provided to insured);

Fluke Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indem. Co., 145 Wn.2d 137, 34 P.3d 809 (2001) (holding that Washington’s public policy against awarding punitive damages does not bar insurability of punitive damages awarded in a California lawsuit against a manufacturer);

Sabey v. Howard Johnson & Co., 101 Wn. App. 575, 5P.3d 730 (2000) (holding that common law right of indemnity existed for an individual incurring liability to Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation because of actions of actuary).

Employment

Represented a salesperson of a Fortune 500 company in pursuing claims against his former employer for breach of the salesperson’s commission agreement and wrongful termination. The company, represented by a national law firm, vigorously defended against the claim. After considerable discovery and motion practice, the case was successfully resolved with the company agreed to pay a settlement in the high six figures to the salesperson.

Defended a prominent local cruise ship company in a class action brought by hundreds of customer service representatives.  The class alleged that the company violated Washington’s Minimum Wage Act by failing to pay minimum wages to crewmembers during their employment on the company’s vessels.  After extensive discovery, the court dismissed the claims by holding that federal maritime preempted Washington law.  The trial court’s decision was affirmed on appeal.

Represented the State of Washington defending claims by a class of approximately 9,000 part-time and seasonal employees for wrongful denial of healthcare benefits.  Plaintiffs sought damages in excess of $500 million.  The case was settled in mediation following a series of favorable trial court rulings that both substantially narrowed the class and the amount of awardable damages.

Represented the president of a company that owned and operated a collegiate football bowl event in his breach of contract claims against the company.  The CEO summarily terminated the president and the company refused to pay wages and other benefits owed.  After a series of successful motions in the federal court, Randall obtained a six-figure judgment against the company and its CEO.

Represented a pharmaceutical employee wrongfully terminated after she became pregnant.  Without filing any lawsuit, the case was resolved in a mediation with the employer that resulted in a substantial settlement for the employee.

Represented a salesperson of a major defense contractor after he was terminated and denied sales commissions he had earned under his commission agreement.  After filing the lawsuit and without the need for discovery, the parties successfully negotiated a sizeable settlement with the contractor, who agreed to comply with the terms of the commission agreement.

Harrigan Leyh Farmer & Thomsen LLP

999 Third Avenue, Suite 4400 | Seattle, Washington 98104

Tel: (206) 623-1700 | Fax: (206) 623-8717

999 Third Avenue, Suite 4400
Seattle, Washington 98104

Tel: (206) 623-1700
Fax: (206) 623-8717

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Harrigan Leyh Farmer & Thomsen LLP