Brian grew up in the greater Seattle area and worked various jobs in the construction industry until he returned to school, earning degrees in Japanese Studies and Political Science from the University of Washington. He obtained his law degree, cum laude, from Seattle University School of Law, and served on the editorial board of the Seattle University Law Review. Brian is licensed to practice before the Washington State Supreme Court, United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Brian represents injured and disabled workers with workers’ compensation claims before the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries and those covered by the federal Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act which includes waterfront workers, overseas defense contractors (Defense Base Act), and domestic non-appropriated fund employees at U.S. military installations (Nonappropriated Fund Instrumentalities Act).
Brian also collaborates with other law firms filing lawsuits in Washington State on behalf of victims of asbestos-related diseases, and he litigates the occasional Jones Act/maritime case.
In addition to his busy litigation practice, Brian is active with several organizations which help preserve the rights of injured workers. He is an Eagle member of the Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ), and for 2017-2018 he served as the Chair of its Workers’ Compensation Section. Brian is also a member of the Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group(WILG), a national non-profit organization dedicated to representing the interests of injured workers and their families. He has written and filed “friend of the court” briefs in Washington State on behalf of WILG in significant workers’ compensation cases.
Brian has been named to the Super Lawyers list of Rising Stars, 2016 – 2018 as a “Top Rated Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Seattle“. Brian has a rating of “10.0 Superb” by Avvo. He was also named a Rising Star by WILG in 2014.
Washington State House Bill 1336, sponsored by Representatives Kirby, Sells, and Appleton, was passed by the Senate on March 2nd, 2018. Governor Inslee signed the bill into law last week. Brian Wright attended the signing ceremony, celebrating the conclusion of this process over the 2017 and 2018 regular sessions.
This change amends the statute that governs the offset of workers’ compensation benefits paid when an injured worker is also receiving Social Security disability or retirement benefits, as follows:
Sec. 1. RCW 51.32.225 and 2006 c 163 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) For persons receiving compensation for temporary or permanent total disability under this title, the compensation shall be reduced by the department to allow an offset for social security retirement benefits payable under the federal social security, old age survivors, and disability insurance act, 42 U.S.C. This reduction shall not apply to any worker who is receiving permanent total disability benefits prior to July 1, 1986. This reduction does not apply to workers who had applied to receive social security retirement benefits prior to the date of their injury or to workers who were receiving social security benefits prior to their injury.
(2) Reductions for social security retirement benefits under this section shall comply with the procedures in RCW 51.32.220 (1) through (6) and with any other procedures established by the department to administer this section. For any worker whose entitlement to social security retirement benefits is immediately preceded by an entitlement to social security disability benefits, the offset shall be based on the formulas provided under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 424a. For all other workers entitled to social security retirement benefits, the offset shall be based on procedures established and determined by the department to most closely follow the intent of RCW 51.32.220.
(3) Any reduction in compensation made under chapter 58, Laws of 1986, shall be made before the reduction established in this section.
Sec. 2. This act applies to claims with dates of injury on or after the effective date of this section.