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Donohoe v. State, 135 Wn. App. 824 (Wash. Ct. App. 2006)

The court of appeals affirmed the dismissal of the claim against the state for failing to assure compliance with the state nursing home regulations. “Even if the State could be said to have waived sovereign immunity so as to be potentially susceptible to the estate’s lawsuit here, we hold that: (1) chapter 18.51 RCW, the nursing home regulation statute, does not create an actionable duty that DSHS owes to an individual nursing home resident; (2) any duty that chapter 18.51 RCW imposes on DSHS to oversee nursing homes’ regulatory compliance is a duty owed to the public generally, not to individual residents such as Mrs. Donohoe; and (3) any alleged breach of that duty is not actionable by the estate because Mrs. Donohoe’s relationship with DSHS does not fall within any exception to the public duty doctrine. In short, the estate has no actionable claim under either the common law or statute.”

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