Senate Moves to Amend Washington's Barbaric Wrongful Death Law of 1909

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Yesterday, the State Senate, approved a motion to amend Washington’s wrongful death act.

According to the Associated Press:

In debate before the vote, the bill's sponsor said the provision stemmed from efforts by business interests at the beginning of the 20th century to block claims made by the families of Chinese miners killed in workplace accidents.

"This law has its roots in racist origins," said Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle. State documents date the provision in the law to 1909. Hasegawa's language echoed claims by the Korean parents of a student killed in the Ride the Ducks crash, who challenged the constitutionality of the law, calling it discriminatory. A judge later dismissed their case on other grounds.

The Korean parents mentioned, are the Kims - Haram’s parents. Co-counsel Dan Williams brought the case to me after their claims were dismissed. Here is what my trial diary says about their testimony in the Ride the Ducks trial:

Trial day 37. December 5, 2018

We end the day with the parents of HaRam Kim.  A 20 year old Korean student killed in the crash.  In order to elicit this testimony have to block all thoughts of own children from mind.  The second that door is opened will be unable to proceed.  My empathy for these lovely people will have me in tears in an instant.  The skype connection is slightly rough at the beginning and we lose it at one point.  But only briefly.  The interpreter is wonderful and the story is told despite Steve Puz’s objections. 

Am walking a fine line since the parents have no legal claim for loss of love care or companionship of their daughter which is a barbaric result in a supposedly just and civilized society.  You kill our children you kill part of our very being.  Will never understand why the legislature cannot get this fixed. 

Puz is the designated objector.  No chorus is joining in.  But they don’t want the testimony to come in that HaRam wanted to become a doctor.  Hearsay says Puz.  So instead the parents talk about how capable caring talented and delightful she was.  A video is shown of her playing the piano at a school concert.  She raises her hands in a flourish at the end.  The emotion wells up my throat. 

After dad testifies.  Judge Shaffer asks the defense if they have any questions.  Each one of them walks up and says in their most sorrowful caring voice:  Thank you for sharing.  The State, City, whatever has no further questions.    

After mom testifies say:  Your Honor, I would ask if the defendants don’t have questions, that they just say so without making a ceremony out of it.  The defendants are sputtering.  None of them come up except of course Steve Puz who thanks them for sharing thoughts about their daughter.  Just not the thoughts he objected to.  Hypocrite.

So there you have it.  Am in battle mode.  Feisty.  The defense is talking about me furiously behind my back.  Conversation stops every time I come within distance.  There is no doubt they are aggravated.  And guess what. That makes me happy.

Photo: HaRam Kim and her loving parents.