Compass Health’s Broadway Campus in Everett. (Sue Misao / Herald file)

Compass Health’s Broadway Campus in Everett. (Sue Misao / Herald file)

Judge dismisses Compass Health lawsuit over Marysville man’s death

Joshua Klick’s estate argued his relationship with a counselor signaled negligence. A judge found the claim had expired.

MARYSVILLE — Finding a lawsuit against Compass Health missed the statute of limitations, a judge dismissed the claim last week that alleged an “unethical and inappropriate” relationship between a counselor and a Marysville man.

In September 2018, Joshua Klick started dating his mental health counselor at Compass Health, Klick’s estate claimed in Snohomish County Superior Court. A month later, he moved into her home. That same month, the counselor reportedly stopped working at Compass Health.

Klick and the counselor’s “tumultuous” relationship was off and on for about 18 months while he continued to need help for opioid use, according to the lawsuit. In the spring of 2020, he moved out of her home.

On May 4, 2020, Klick reportedly showed up at her Arlington home and got in by climbing up the back deck. He fought with a friend of the counselor from Colorado who was staying there.

The Colorado man fired a warning shot into the floor with a Smith & Wesson pistol, according to an Arlington police report. He reported Klick came at him with a baking sheet, so he fired again, this time into Klick’s chest.

Over three weeks later, on May 28, Klick died of his injuries. Prosecutors declined to file charges because they couldn’t prove “beyond a reasonable doubt, that (the Colorado man) did not act reasonably in self-defense.”

Last year, the state Department of Health found the counselor, now 39, violated sexual misconduct rules in her relationship with Klick. Her counselor’s license was suspended for three years.

The complaint argued Compass Health “failed to properly train and supervise” the counselor.

But the provider’s attorney, Ramona Hunter, argued the lawsuit should be dismissed because the alleged conduct began in September 2018, and the counselor stopped working there soon after. The statute of limitations for such a claim is three years. Since the lawsuit was filed in May of this year, more than three years later, the claims should be dismissed, the attorney said.

The lawyer for Klick’s estate, Marlene Otero, disputed this, claiming in court that the relationship between Klick and the counselor continued into 2020, so the statute of limitations should not expire until 2023. Otero did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

On Friday, Superior Court Judge Karen Moore agreed with Compass Health, dismissing the lawsuit.

In a statement, Compass Health CEO Tom Sebastian said in a statement: “We appreciate the court’s diligence in this case, and we believe the court made the appropriate ruling in dismissing Compass Health from the proceedings.”

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; jake.goldstein-street@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

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