Steven P. Krafchick, MPH, JD, is a Seattle attorney and longtime Washington State Association of Justice (WSAJ) member, former WSAJ board member and committee member, and is entering his 30th year of practice. He is known as an ardent advocate for people suffering with Fibromyalgia (FM). In the 1990’s, Steve took on insurers who refused to cover trauma-caused Fibromyalgia. Instead of caring for their policyholders, insurance companies challenged both the medical condition and the diagnosis.
Though the fight against insurers continues to be increasingly difficult, Mr. Krafchick continues to successfully represent Fibromyalgia sufferers – locally and nationally. He obtained a $2.3 million verdict in 2000 in a post-traumatic Fibromyalgia case, still believed to be the highest verdict on record nationally on behalf of a post-traumatic FM case. Steve and several of his clients have appeared on numerous national and local television news and talk shows regarding Fibromyalgia, including Dateline NBC, Extra, and The Leeza Show. He has also been a featured speaker, locally and nationally, about the debilitating pain disorder.
Earlier in his career, he helped establish the doctrine of continuing tort in Washington in the Caughell v. Group Health Cooperative case, a victory for all Washington plaintiffs in medical malpractice actions injured by a continuing course of negligent treatment.
More recently, Steve filed an amicus brief in a Washington Supreme Court Case, Anderson v. Akzo Nobel Coatings, on behalf of the National Fibromyalgia Association, in which the state’s High Court ruled to allow expert testimony to be admitted in Fibromyalgia cases and other cases involving medical causation questions.
Until this victory, a legal precedent known as the Frye Doctrine prevented plaintiff expert testimony regarding the medical causation of their injury. Specifically, the Supreme Court ruled that expert testimony regarding the cause of an injury would no longer be excluded due to the Frye Doctrine. Physicians and other qualified experts whose testimony could prove helpful to the jury can now testify regarding medical causation without challenge by the defense. This decade-long battle has been important to those suffering from a chronic pain disorder.
As a result of focusing his practice on Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and pain related disorders, attorney Steve Krafchick has become well-known for representing clients in ERISA and non-ERISA disability cases. He also has successfully argued 9th Circuit appeals cases regarding ERISA disability cases, establishing law on statute of limitations in ERISA cases in the 9th Circuit (Wise v. Verizon) and establishing what constitutes a flagrant disregard of ERISA requirements. (Leeson v. Transamerica Disability Claim et al).
In 2010, Steve was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to serve a 4-year term on the national Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee (CFSAC).
Steve founded Krafchick Law Firm PLLC in 1995, providing legal help to injured people. Krafchick Law Firm also practices appellate law, usually on behalf of our clients whose cases warrant appeals to higher courts.