Kyle Riley

Kyle Riley

Partner

Biography

Kyle Riley manages the firm’s Seattle, Washington, office. He has deep expertise in Washington Bad Faith law, Wrongful Death, and Catastrophic Injury cliams. Kyle also has significant experience defending fire losses, trucking companies, banking institutions, and self-insured rental car companies.

Prior to joining Smith Freed Eberhard, Kyle worked with the Oregon Department of Justice where he gained significant litigation experience specializing in the recovery of self-insured losses. He joined Smith Freed Eberhard in 2003.

Relevant Cases
Kyle has defended numerous personal injury claims and insurers who are alleged to have engaged in bad faith.

In Bauducco-Heiss v. Jim Fruitt Trucking, Kyle was the lead attorney who defended a truck driver and trucking company who were defendants in a lawsuit a very serious motor vehicle accident, involving the death of two adults and a serious brain injury to a young girl. The case was extremely complicated due to claims being alleged against the State of Washington involving low tension cable barriers and a construction company. The liability limits were insufficient to compensate the plaintiffs. At mediation, the case was unable to settle due to coverage issues involving the codefendants. Kyle was able to locate a favorable witness and retain an expert to defeat the codefendant’s attempts to be dismissed from the underlying case. The case ended in a global settlement.

In Naylor v. Gwin & Sons Logging, Kyle was the trial attorney for a logging company that was a third party defendant alleged to have caused damage to a pipeline or water system through their logging activities. The claim included a contractual right to attorney fees. Prior to trial Kyle negotiated a settlement with the third party plaintiff whereby all defendants would waive their rights to attorney fees from each other. The defense retained joint experts who were able to plot the pipeline, locate the source of some of the failures, and identified the located failures as being caused by freezing damage unrelated to the logging activities. During Kyle’s cross-examination of the plaintiff’s expert, the plaintiff’s expert admitted that he did not measure the length of the line and assumed the line was as long as the plaintiff told him, which had been exaggerated. The jury returned a defense verdict after an hour of deliberation entitling the lead defendant to recover their attorney fees from the plaintiff.

Publications & Thought Leadership
Kyle has given several presentations to claims representatives including "Campaign Against Diminished Value Claims," OADC Bulletin, Winter 2008 and "Introduction to Washington’s Insurance Fair Conduct Act," OCAA, Spring 2008 Seminar. Kyle also co-authored a successful briefing on the duties of self-insured rental car companies to provide liability coverage to renters in Washington. Shields v. Enterprise Leasing Company, 160 Wn. App. 664 (2007).

Professional Certification & Accolades

  • Member, Oregon State Bar Association
  • Member, Washington State Bar Association
  • Member, Oregon Association of Defense Counsel
  • Member, Washington Defense Trial Lawyers
  • Member, Oregon Casualty Adjusters Association
  • Member, Toastmasters International
  • Black Belt Trial Advocacy Training Program
  • Washington Super Lawyers Rising Star

Bar Admissions

  • Oregon
  • Washington

Education

  • Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College, J.D., cum laude, 2002
  • Pacific University, B.A., Mathematics & Political Science, 1998
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