Criticism About the Public Duty Doctrine

In Washington, Justice Utter was a relentless critic of the public duty doctrine. See Chambers-Castanes, 100 Wn.2d at 290; J&B Dev. Co., 100 Wn.2d at 308; Taylor v. Stevens County, 111 Wn.2d at 172; Taggart v. State, 118 Wn.2d 195, 229, 822 P.2d 243 (1992). Many commentators have criticized the public duty doctrine, which one commentator suggested should "follow the doctrine of sovereign immunity into the 'dustheap of history.' " Shelly K. Speir, Comment, the Public Duty Doctrine and Municipal Liability for Negligent Administration of Zoning Codes, 20 Seattle U. L. Rev. 803, 803 (1997) (quoting John Cameron McMillan, Jr., Note, Government Liability and the Public Duty Doctrine, 32 Vill. L. Rev. 505, 529 (1987)).