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2014 - Fourth Quarter

January 1, 2015

Trial Numbers

  • MVA - Plaintiffs won 4/8.
  • Premises Liability- Plaintiffs won 0/4.
  • Medical Malpractice - Plaintiffs won 1/2.
  • Underinsured Motorist - Plaintiffs won 1/1.
  • PIP Denial- Plaintiffs won 1/1.
  • Pedestrian Injury- Plaintiffs won 1/1.
  • Product Liability- Plaintiffs won - 1/1.
  • Sexual Assault - Plaintiff won 1/1.

NotableTrials

E.S. v. State of Oregon, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV05451

The plaintiffs were two girls, ages five and three, who were taken from their biological parents due to neglect and abuse. Defendant DHS certified Kimberly Vollmer as a foster care provider. Plaintiffs were placed in Ms. Vollmer’s care by DHS. Ms. Vollmer was tasked with caring for four children – who at the time were all under the age of four. During 2012 multiple reports were made to DHS about Ms. Vollmer regarding the foster children including:

  • A report by a medical professional of Vollmer physically striking NE in the face with the back of her hand;
  • A report of severe diaper rash and blistering to one of the other children;
  • A report of smashed fingers, a bruised back and head to one of the other children; and
  • A report of unexplained blood in a diaper and vaginal bleeding to one of the other children;

The reports were either closed at screening by DHS or closed as “unfounded.”

In September of 2012, a DHS employee recommended a careful re-evaluation of Ms. Vollmer for her fitness to serve as a foster parent due to the number of small children and the number of reported injuries. No action was taken.

During the time NE & ES were placed with Ms. Vollmer they suffered both sexual and physical abuse. Ms. Vollmer was criminally convicted on charges relating to the abuse by way of a guilty plea.

Defendant, State of Oregon (DHS) denied that the abuse ever occurred and that they owed any duty to the child or exercised any control over the foster care she received.  They also argued that the children were in contact with multiple mandatory reporters during the time they were allegedly abused and none made reports so how was DHS to know any abuse occurred, if it did.

Total Verdict - $2,050,000 for each child.

Golik v. CBS Corp et al., Multnomah County Case No. 1308-11192

This was a wrongful death case filed by the widow – Ms. Golik – of a man who died from mesothelioma.  As personal representative and in her individual capacity, she alleged that her late husband was exposed to asbestos at the facilities of the various defendants during his career as an insulator.   She alleged that the companies exercised control over the work being performed and breached their duty to the independent contractors as invitees. Therefore defendants are not immune from liability to independent contractors as they normally would be.

The various defendants argued that they did not retain control of work being performed at their facilities or breach their duties to invitees.  Thus, because Mr. Golik was an independent contractor, they are immune from liability.  They also argued that the exposure was not a substantial factor in his acquiring mesothelioma.

Total Verdict - $3,957,672.70

Lee v. Eye Health Northwest, Multnomah County Case No. 1312-16844

Plaintiff alleged that she was a patient of Defendants for over 25 years.  During that time she had been treated repeatedly for glaucoma and related eye conditions.  In May of 2012 Plaintiff underwent a dilated exam at Defendant’s office.  After she left the office she had intense pain in her eye and she contacted Defendant’s office for guidance.  She was told by the receptionist that the doctors were out and to use artificial tears.  The next day Plaintiff returned to Defendant’s office and her eye pressure indicated an acute attack of glaucoma.  As a result of the untreated attack, Plaintiff lost part of her vision, is unable to drive, and had to retire from her career as a financial consultant.  She alleged that Defendant was negligent in failing to advise her to return immediately if she experienced pain after the dilated exam and failing to properly monitor Plaintiff’s glaucoma.  Plaintiff sought $1,000,000.00 in past and future medical expenses as well as $2,000,000.00 in non-economic damages. Defendant admitted that Plaintiff was a patient but denied all claims of negligence. Total Verdict - $507,715.00

Derieux v. State Farm, Multnomah County Case No. 1310-14005

Plaintiff was injured when the motorcycle he was riding was hit by a car on I-5.  His injuries included multiple right wrist fractures requiring surgical repair with the insertion of hardware.  He claimed that he will likely need future surgery to fuse the wrist due to an intercarpal collapse.  Permanent wrist impairment was claimed. The driver had a $25,000 insurance policy and limits were paid. Plaintiff had an underinsured motorist (UIM) policy with the defendant. Plaintiff sought $39,500 in medical expenses, $70,000 in future medical expenses and $500,000 in non-economic damages. Defendant disputed damages only and asked the jury to award $115,000. Total Verdict - $374,500.00

Maczko v. State Farm, Multnomah County Case No.1309-12899

This was a PIP benefits denial lawsuit. Plaintiff was in an automobile accident and began seeing a chiropractor.  Defendant sent plaintiff to see an IME doctor.  The first IME doctor agreed that the injuries were related to the crash and recommended two additional treatment sessions. When Plaintiff was treated beyond those sessions Defendant sent her to a different IME doctor who indicated that no further treatment was necessary and that the injuries were either unrelated to the crash totally or partially. Plaintiff brought this suit alleging that Defendant breached their contract with Plaintiff by not paying for reasonable and necessary medical expenses that resulted from the car crash.

Verdict for plaintiff. The Court awarded legal fees totaling $33,052.50 pursuant to ORS 742.061.

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