Photo of Justin Olson
  • WSAJ Eagle 2020
LOCATION
Seattle, WA
PHONE

Justin Olson

ATTORNEY
Justin Olson joined Bergman Draper Oslund Udo as an associate attorney in 2017. After graduating from Seattle University School of Law summa cum laude, he served as a law clerk to Justice Mary Yu at the Washington State Supreme Court. Prior to law school, Justin began his legal career as a paralegal in a family-owned law firm representing plaintiffs in personal injury and medical malpractice cases.

In addition to representing asbestos victims, Justin was a founding member of the Homeless Rights Advocacy Project (HRAP) at Seattle University School of Law. HRAP engages law students in effective legal and policy research, analysis, and advocacy work to advance the rights of homeless adults, youth, and children. While in law school, Justin co-authored two policy briefs investigating the use of laws that criminalize the necessary, life-sustaining activities of Washington’s homeless residents, which the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty described as “a model that should be replicated across the country by advocates working to end the criminalization of homelessness.”

Justin does his best to catch musical theater productions touring through Seattle, and he remains actively involved in homeless rights advocacy and judging appellate competitions at his alma mater, Seattle University School of Law.

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Representative Matters
  • Woodruff v. Port of Tacoma & Zidell Explorations, Inc., No. 20-2-08044-1 (Pierce County 2021) – Obtained an $11.2 million jury verdict in for a 75-year-old man exposed to asbestos while working at Zidell Dismantling in the early 1970s. Zidell dismantling decommissioned Navy ships that were owned by its Portland-based sister corporation, Zidell Explorations. The jury found that both Zidell Explorations and the Port of Tacoma, upon whose land Zidell operated, were negligent.
  • Rublee v. Pfizer, Inc., No. 94732-5, 2018 WL 5732314 (Wash. Nov. 1, 2018) – Served on the appellate team to successfully argue that Washington State should adopt the apparent manufacturer doctrine as set forth in Restatement (Second) of Torts § 400. Reversing the trial court and Court of Appeals, the Washington State Supreme Court held that genuine issues of material fact existed as to whether a reasonable consumer could believe that Pfizer was a manufacturer of the asbestos products that caused Vernon Rublee’s illness and death.
  • Leren v. Kaiser Gypsum Co., Inc., No. 15-2-28006-6 SEA (King County 2017) – Served on the trial team that held defendant Elementis, Inc. liable as the successor to Benson Chemical Corporation for Benson’s sale of raw asbestos and asbestos-containing products. Successfully argued that this holding should be given the effect of collateral estoppel in Hoy v. Albany International Corp., et al., 17-2-29851-4 SEA (King County 2018).
  • King County Style Order – Successfully petitioned King County Superior Court to abolish a decades-old rule requiring asbestos plaintiffs to submit to a forced autopsy except where they have “ethical or moral” objections.
Education
  • Seattle University School of Law, J.D., 2016, summa cum laude
  • Note & Comment Editor, Seattle University Law Review
  • Central Washington University, Law and Justice, B.A., 2005
Admissions
  • Washington
Publications
  • Justin Olson & Scott MacDonald, Seattle University Homeless Rights Advocacy Project, Washington’s War on the Visibly Poor: A Survey of Criminalizing Ordinances & Their Enforcement (Sara Rankin ed., 2015), available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2602318 So, Justin Olson, Scott MacDonald & Ryan Mansell, Seattle University Homeless Rights Advocacy Project, Living at the Intersection: Laws and Vehicle Residency (Sara Rankin ed., 2016), available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2776423
Memberships
  • Washington State Bar Association
  • Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association
  • Washington State Association for Justice
  • American Association for Justice
  • American Bar Association