Three Courageous Men

Along with Damon Beckman and Bill Coalter, Eric Busch is one of three severely disabled plaintiffs who collected the largest award for damages against the State of Washington in history. Shaken by the record verdict, the Office of the Attorney General forgot to file a timely appeal, and the case gained even more notoriety for that blunder. However, at its core, the case is about three men with profound disabilities who were not afraid to take on the State of Washington. Read more about Beckman, Coalter, and Busch v. State of Washington, DSHS.


Eric Busch, clientThe State of Washington, Department of Social and Health Services placed Eric Busch, along with two other men with severe developmental disabilities, in the same state-licensed facility. Despite receiving repeated warnings that these men were being abused and neglected, DSHS did nothing. For several months, the men continued to endure inhumane conditions and profound abuse. When they were eventually rescued, an investigator from the Office of the Attorney General concluded that the men had been burned with cigarettes, handcuffed, beaten, and raped on countless occasions. Instead of accepting responsibility for its role in this tragedy, DSHS buried its head in the sand—even blamed the developmentally disabled men for their own injuries and suggested that the victims were fabricating the abuse.

David Moody and Eric BuschDavid was asked to serve as the lead attorney for each victim. The case was extraordinarily complex. It took almost three years for David to put the pieces together and bring the case to justice. In the process, a team of at least six attorneys, all representing DSHS, spared no expense in their attempt to thwart each claim being advanced on behalf of the disabled men. Backed by the extensive resources of the State of Washington, DSHS fought as hard as it could. Finally, as the trial approached, DSHS offered to pay a small sum if the disabled men agreed to drop their claims and go away. The answer was a resounding "no." These men had an opportunity to tell their story and change the system. A six-week trial resulted in the largest jury verdict ever imposed against the State of Washington, DSHS ($17.8 million).

Today, Eric and the other disabled men enjoy each day in a safe environment, equipped with every therapeutic resource they might need for the remainder of their lives. 
Areas of Expertise: Social Work Negligence, Nursing Home Negligence, Daycare Negligence, and School Negligence