Salvador Mungia, the son of immigrant parents, knew from an early age that he wanted to be a lawyer after seeing his working-class parents, who had little money and education, taken advantage of. After attending the Georgetown University Law Center and graduating with honors in 1984, he returned home to Tacoma where he clerked for a State Supreme Court judge and a Federal District Court judge before joining GTH in 1986.
Having been raised with the ethic of hard work, Sal tirelessly advocates for his clients. His hard work and legal skills have been recognized by numerous legal associations. Sal loves the law and loves being a lawyer.
Sal practices in state and federal courts throughout the state of Washington and has litigated most of the Western states as well. One focus of Sal’s practice is medical negligence, wrongful death, and serious injury cases. Sal has represented patients who have been injured as a result of doctors, nurses, and emergency room physicians making mistakes resulting in death, paralysis, brain injuries and loss of life or harm to babies. Sal has brought actions against Multicare, CHI Franciscan, Harborview, Children’s Hospital, and Swedish Medical center among others. Sal’s cases have involved surgeons, OBGYN doctors, Emergency Department physicians, neurosurgeons, neurologists, bariatric surgeons, among others.
Sal also represents clients in civil rights actions, real property disputes, contract disputes, condemnation actions, and commercial and business litigation.
Sal has committed his career not only to his clients but also to the improvement of the justice system. He has served his profession by being president of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association in 1999, and then the Washington State Bar Association in 2009. Sal considers his highest achievements, however, as those times when he has represented individuals in both state and federal court, both individually and in class actions, free of charge to protect their rights so that he can do his part to ensure that those without any power, as were his parents, are not taken advantage of.
As Sal has often said, “The highest calling of any lawyer is to give a voice to those who have no voice and to restore hope to those who have forgotten what hope looks like.”
Washington State Bar Association
American Bar Association
Western States Bar Conference, President (2014)
Federal Bar Association for the Western District of Washington
Legal Aid for Washington
Equal Justice Coalition, Chair (2016-2017) Endowment for Equal Justice, Board Member (2016 - present) Access to Justice, Board Member (2016 - present)
Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, President, (1999)
Washington State Association for Justice
Latina/o Bar Association of Washington
GLBT Bar Assocation of Washington
Asian Bar Association of Washington
Kids in Need of Defense Washington State Advisory
Committee (2005 - present).
Pacific Lutheran University Alumni Board,
(2015 to present).
Robert’s Fund Advisory Board
(2014 to present).
Governor-Elect Justice Advisory Group
Gates Advisory Board for the Gates Public Service Law Scholarship Program at University of Washington School of Law,
(2012 - present).
Initiative 502 Sponsor (2012): one of ten sponsors to legalize, regulate, and tax limited possession of marijuana.
TEDx Tacoma, “It’s the Familiar”
March 12, 2012.
Mayor’s Task Force on Education, Tacoma,
(2010 - 2013).
R. Merle Palmer Minority Scholarship Foundation,
Member, Board of Directors
(2008 - 2006).
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the
Law, Member, Board of Directors
Grand Cinema, Member, Board of Directors
Co-chair, Committee to Retain Judge Brad Maxa (2014).
Executive Committee Member to Elect Justice Steven Gonzalez (2012).
American Leadership Forum, Fellow
(2001 to present).
ACLU of Washington
Member, Board of Directors (1987-1992).
Cooperating attorney (1986 - present).
Tacoma Human Rights Commission,
Commissioner (1990 - 1996).
Washington State Bar Association, NW Lawyer, “Giving Hope With One Hand, Taking it Away With the Other,” October 2017.
Washington State Bar Association, NW Lawyer, “To Pee or Not to Pee,” March 2016.
Washington State Bar Association, Civil Procedure Deskbook, 3rd Ed., Chapter 12, Defenses and Objections, (2014).
Washington State Bar Association Litigation Section “Trial News,” Winter, 2010/2011: “Opening Statements.”
Washington State Bar Association, Supplement to Civil Procedure Deskbook, 2nd Ed., Chapter 12, Defenses and Objections.
Van Rosendael v. Puyallup School District, Pierce County, WA. Represented parents and estate of student in wrongful death action brought as a result of failure of school district to enforce transportation policies. Case settled on third day of trial for confidential amount.
Roark v. Holden Village, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington. Represented client who lost fingers on dominant hand as a result of inadequate training by co-volunteers on use of commercial wood splitter. Confidential settlement.
Marez v. Pierce County Transit, Pierce County, WA. Represented plaintiff passenger of transit system who was struck by bus that resulted in loss of limb. Case settled before trial.
Garcia v. Royal Oaks Apartments, Pierce County, WA. Represented plaintiff child in action against apartment complex for failing to adhere to state requirements regarding water tank temperature setting. Excessive temperature of hot water caused third degree burns over large portions of plaintiff child. Reached confidential settlement before trial.
Harris v. Buttorff, Pierce County, WA. Represented plaintiff patient in medical negligence action against vascular surgeon arising from surgery that resulted in partial permanent paralysis of patient. Reached confidential settlement before trial.
Cogger v. Blakeney, Pierce County, WA. Represented plaintiff patient in action against OB/GYN arising from failure to properly repair bladder laceration after performing hysterectomy. Jury returned verdict in favor of client.
Glenn v. Estate of Becker, King County, WA. Represented plaintiff husband patient and plaintiff wife in action against orthopedic surgeon arising from prescription of Duragesic Patch for post-operative pain relief. Jury returned verdict in favor of clients.
Szelachowski v. Kindred Nursing Centers West, LLC, Pierce County, WA. Represented daughter and estate of nursing home resident who died as a result of a fall at a nursing home. Confidential settlement.
Schlenker v. Dr. J. Gregg Julin, Thurston County, WA. Represented patient in medical negligence action against defendant emergency department physician that resulted in partial permanent paralysis of patient. Reached confidential settlement before trial.
Purcell v. Children’s Hospital, King County, WA. Represented plaintiff child patient in medical negligence action against pediatric geneticist resulting in permanent developmental injuries. Case settled before trial.
Sherrouse v. Fox, Pierce County, WA. Represented plaintiff patient in action against bariatric surgeon’s treatment that resulted in a month-long coma and six month hospitalization of patient. Reached confidential settlement before trial.
Coleman v. Group Health, King County, WA. Represented plaintiff patient in medical negligence action resulting in misdiagnosis and mistreatment of neck fracture. Reached confidential settlement before trial.
REAL PROPERTY LITIGATION
Campus Crest Development v. Campus Crest Properties, King County, WA. Represented purchaser of 22.4 acres parcel with a purchase price of $12.5 million for 114 finished lots in breach of purchase and sale agreement by seller. Reached confidential settlement before trial.
Berry v. Pierce County, Pierce County, WA. Represented two homeowners of waterfront properties where Pierce County was claiming right-of-way that allowed placement of utilities. Brought lawsuit on behalf of clients claiming inverse condemnation and sought quiet title. Settled claim by having Pierce County paying all attorney fees and quieting title in homeowners' favor.
GENERAL AVIATION LITIGATION
Keen v. Textron/Lycoming, King County, WA. Represented Textron/Lycoming in defense of a 1997 air crash of a Pierre Robin HR 200/120B airplane in Scotland. Pilot’s estate brought suit alleging defect in manufacture of carburetor. Successfully moved to have case dismissed and transferred to Scotland.
Yoseph v. Textron/Lycoming, Mason County, WA. Represented Textron/Lycoming in defense of a 1996 air crash of a Hughes 269C helicopter. Passenger suffered significant injuries including a broken back. Plaintiff claimed that piston connecting rod was defectively designed. Reached confidential settlement prior to trial.
Bucko v. Textron/Lycoming, U.S. District Court, District of Montana. Represented Textron/Lycoming in defense of a 1996 air crash brought by estate of pilot. Reached confidential settlement prior to trial.
Turco v. Ameriflight and Rockman v. Ameriflight, Pierce County, WA. Represented Ameriflight, Inc., a California Corporation in defense of action brought on behalf of twenty passengers that died and two that were injured in a 1990 air crash of a de Havilland Twin Otter in Panama. Issues in lawsuit involved alleged manufacturing defect of fuel nozzles and alleged defective maintenance of fuel nozzles. Reached confidential settlement prior to trial.
Miller v. Rockwell Int’l, Second Judicial Court of Nevada for the County of Washoe. Represented estate of pilot who died in 1992 in-flight breakup of a Rockwell Aero Commander 690B in Susanville, California. Issues in lawsuit involved defectively designed rudder in 690 series aircraft that allowed oscillation (flutter) leading to in-flight breakups. Reached confidential settlement prior to trial.
U.S. Supreme Court Guillen v. Pierce County, U.S. Supreme Court, 537 U.S. 129 (2003). Argued case before U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of respondent in case involving federal constitutional issues under the Commerce and Spending Clauses and statutory construction of 23 U.S.C. § 409. Court found in favor of Petitioner Pierce County on the constitutional issues but in favor of our clients on the statutory construction issues.
9th CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS
Margolese v. Bruce, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 902 F.2d 1578 (1990) (unpublished). Argued before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals involving commercial dispute.
WASHINGTON STATE SUPREME COURT
Planet Earth Foundation v. Gulf Underwriters Ins. Co. Washington State Supreme Court, Supreme Court Docket No. 78287-3. Argued before State Supreme Court involving insurance coverage dispute. Case settled after oral argument and before opinion was rendered. Landmark v. City of Roy, Washington State Supreme Court, 128 Wn.2d 561 (1999). After prevailing at the trial court, the State Supreme Court reversed the trial court's judgment in favor of client regarding obtaining water connections at a certain price from the City of Roy.
WASHINGTON STATE COURT OF APPEALS
Cogger v Blakeney, Washington State Court of Appeals, Division I (2010). Court of Appeals upheld judgment obtained in favor of plaintiff client in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Soundbuilt Northwest LLC v. Thomas Price, et at, Washington State Court of Appeals, Division II (2011). Was retained to represent clients after trial court entered a $5 million judgment against them individually. Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's decision and ordered judgment be entered in favor of clients. The Court of Appeals denied Soundbuilt's motion for reconsideration. The Washington State Supreme Court denied Soundbuilt's motion for discretionary review.
PRO BONO CASES
Ramirez-Martinez v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Federal District Court for the Western District of Washington. As a cooperating attorney for the ACLU-W Foundation represented detainees at the Northwest Detention Center who were placed in isolation after going on a hunger strike to protest immigration policies and conditions at the detention center. After suit was filed for declaratory relief detainees were released back into general population.
Spokane County v. Eastern Washington Management Hearing Board, Court of Appeals, Div. III. Represented Spokane neighborhood group in appeal of adverse trial court ruling involving Growth Management Act. Court of Appeals held that the trial court wrongly dismissed neighborhood group's action for failure to properly effect service. Court held that County need not address traffic impact during map amendment process but will have to consider those impacts before issuing development permits.
Herrera v. Pierce County, Federal District Court for the Western District of Washington. As an ACLU cooperating attorney, one of three lead-counsel representing current and future inmates in Pierce County jail in class action lawsuit involving jail conditions. Reached settlement with Pierce County. Participated in post-settlement monitoring. Case finally dismissed in 2011.
Webster v Webster, Pierce County, WA. Represented ex-wife of plaintiff in both trial court and court of appeals. Plaintiff brought claims that were previously disposed of in divorce action. Obtained dismissal of all claims in trial court. Defendant's ex-husband appealed to court of appeals, Div. II, Court of Appeals affirmed trial court. Co-counseled with Legal Voice.
Collard v. Reagan, Pierce County, WA. Represented two families defrauded by landlord who had been engaged in long-term systematic practice of keeping deposits of potential tenants but not renting to them. Both families lost deposits of under $1,000. Obtained judgment against the landlord of $105,000 and ultimately prevented landlord from engaging in future rental of housing units.
Halls. v. Halls, Washington Court of Appeals, Division II. Filed amicus brief on behalf of Committee for Indigent Representation and Civil Legal Equality (“CIRCLE”) urging court to find that Washington constitution requires appointed counsel in civil cases where the assistance of counsel is needed to ensure the validity of the judicial process.
O’Brien v. State of Washington, Pierce County, WA. As an ACLU cooperating attorney, represented individual in first amendment case involving nativity scene displayed at Western State Hospital. Prevailed at the trial court level.