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2014 - Third Quarter

Table of Contents
October 1, 2014

Trials This Quarter

Premises Liability Trials

Jermann v. Best Buy, Multnomah County Case No. 1307-10039

Plaintiff was at a local Best Buy store in an aisle shopping when a Best Buy employee dropped a box off of an upper shelf striking plaintiff on the head and causing injury.  Plaintiff alleged injuries including: constant headaches, loss of sleep, tinnitus, concussion, post concussion syndrome, neck compression and contusions.  Plaintiff sought $16,000 in medical expenses, future medical expenses, $20,000 in loss of household services, $50,000 in loss of future earning capacity and $1,250,000 in non-economic damages. Defendant admitted liability and causation but contested damages. Verdict - $1,003,842.37.

Workplace Injury Trials

Proctor v. WW Metal Fab HG Inc. et al., Multnomah County Case No. 1212-15964

Plaintiff was operating a hydraulic press at work when he crushed his left hand resulting in injuries including an amputated finger. Plaintiff alleged that defendant’s company was responsible for implementing a safety plan, procedures, and training employees on the safe usage of the press.  Plaintiff sought economic damages totaling $750,000 and non-economic damages totaling $1,000,000. Defendant alleged affirmative defenses including negligent operation of the equipment on plaintiff’s part. The jury attributed 5% comparative negligence to plaintiff. Verdict- $686,165.19.

Assault Trials

Cox v. City of Portland, Multnomah County Case No. 1304-05070

In this police use of force case, Plaintiff was stopped by Portland Police for speeding and an investigation for DUII was begun. Plaintiff alleged that when police took him into custody they used excessive force including shocking him multiple times with a Taser and punching him repeatedly in the face. He alleged injuries including an aggravation of a prior shoulder injury which he claimed would prevent him from continuing in his current occupation. He sought $562,129.21 in damages of which $400,000 were non-economic damages. The defense argued that the officers did not use excessive force and that plaintiff had resisted and fought them requiring them to use the amount of force used. The incident was captured by a business’ surveillance video camera. Verdict - $526,129.21.

Andrade v. Umar, Multnomah County Case No. 1209-11132

Plaintiff claimed that defendant and a group of people were removed from a downtown bar after an altercation inside involving plaintiff.  When plaintiff left the bar she was attacked by defendant who had waited for her outside.  The attack resulted in a plaintiff suffering a broken nose bruising and injury to her jaw.  Plaintiff sought $85,000 in damages.  Defendant denied attacking plaintiff. Verdict – $5,000.

Stiffler v. City of Portland, Multnomah County Case No. 1307-10701

Plaintiff was riding his bicycle in the area of 2nd and Couch when he alleges that a police officer pulled him off the bike and onto the ground causing him injury.  He alleged injuries including a fractured clavicle and soft tissue injuries. Plaintiff sought $125,000 in non-economic damages, $615.83 in medical bills, $16,392.00 in future medical bills, and $13,616.92 in future wage losses.

Defendant alleged that the officer was patrolling an area closed to bicycle traffic when plaintiff illegally entered the area and ran into the officer.  Defendant further claimed that any other contact was permissible use of force in taking plaintiff into custody for disorderly conduct. Defense Verdict.

MVA Trials

Brannon v. Clark County Public Transit, Multnomah County Case No. 1307-09359

Plaintiff was a passenger on a C-Tran bus when it crashed into another vehicle.  Plaintiff alleged aggravation to a lower back disc injury that required surgery, aggravation to a knee injury which required surgery and soft tissue injury to her neck, back, shoulder, hip and ankle. Plaintiff sought $250,000 for medical expenses, $50,000 for past and future wage losses and $1,000,000 in non-economic damages. Defendant admitted liability but disputed causation and damages. Verdict - $170,000.

Richardson v. Mt. Scott Fuel Company, Multnomah County Case No. 1305-07758

Plaintiff alleged that defendant dump truck driver ran a red light and struck her in a t-bone style crash.  Defendant admitted liability for the crash but disputed damages.  The impact was apparently not high speed. Estimates were that it was approximately 5 mph. Plaintiff was 63 years old at the time of the crash.  She alleged injury to her head, neck, shoulder and back with the need for future surgery.  She sought damages including past medical bills ($20,351.50), future medical bills ($80,000.00) and non-economic damages ($300,000.00). Defendant disputed the extent of the injury and offered videotape of plaintiff participating in dragon boat racing after the date of the crash. Verdict – $78,851.50.

Prasad v. Bedolla, Multnomah County Case No. 1305-07431

Plaintiff alleged that defendant was DUII, ran off the roadway and hit his home causing damage to the home and to his person. Plaintiff claimed injury including to his shoulder requiring surgery. Plaintiff sought damages including: past medical expenses ($18,483.99), house repairs ($16,000.00), lost wages ($11,375.00) and non-economic damages ($150,000.00). Defendant claimed that she was not the driver of the vehicle when it hit plaintiff’s house. She also contested causation and damages. Verdict – $30,130.00.

Leistiko  v. Watkinson, Multnomah County Case No. 1306-09082

Defendant rear-ended a car that was then thrust into the back of plaintiff’s car.  Plaintiff alleged soft tissue injury to his neck, back and shoulder with past medical expenses of $13,542.00.  He also alleged wage losses of $11,216.08.  The case was filed for $49,999.00 and arbitrated.  Defendant appealed the arbitration award.  Defendant admitted liability and causation but contested damages. Verdict – $16,250.00.

MacGregor v. Morgan, Multnomah County Case No. 1305-06160

Plaintiff was hit in a rear-end style motor vehicle crash by defendant.  Plaintiff suffered injury to the soft tissue of his neck, shoulder, knee and back.  He sought treatment with chiropractors, physical therapists, massage, acupuncture and knee injections.  His past medical bills totaled approximately $25,000.00.  He also alleged $100,000 in future medical care,  approximately $75,000 in past and future wage losses, and $500,000 in non-economic damages. Defendant contested damages and asserted that plaintiff failed to mitigate his damages. Verdict – $12,164.00.

Tahmassbi v. Harris, Multnomah County Case No. 1306-09143

Car accident case. Plaintiff alleged that he was parked in a parking lot and began to back out of his spot when he was struck by defendant who was travelling through the lot at an unsafe speed and not paying attention. Plaintiff alleged sprain/strain injuries to his neck and back as well as headaches and shock. He sought damages including medical bills ($7,340.65), lost wages ($2,250.00) and non-economic damages ($40,000.00). Defendant claimed that plaintiff was negligent for backing out of the spot at an unsafe speed and not paying attention. This case came to trial on defendant’s appeal from an arbitration award for plaintiff. Verdict – $10,240.65.

Wall v. Shaw, Multnomah County Case No. 1306-08245

Plaintiff was hit by defendant in a rear-end style crash on NW Overton.  Plaintiff alleged soft tissue injury to her neck, back and pelvis and tearing of vertebral discs.  She sought recovery for past medical bills ($37,208.05), wages losses ($1,000) and non-economic damages ($262,000).  Her husband sought damages for loss of consortium ($22,000). Defendant admitted liability but contested causation and damages. Verdict – $7,071.40.

Hettum v. Neisig, Multnomah County Case No. 1308-11117

Plaintiff was hit in a rear-end car accident.  She made a demand for $10,000.00 pursuant to ORS 20.080.  Defendant offered $5,000.00.   Plaintiff did not seek to recover medical expenses but they amounted to $4,181.74. Defendant appealed from arbitrator’s award and the case proceeded to trial.  Defendant denied liability and contested damages.  Plaintiff moved to exclude defendant’s expert – Bradley Probst. Verdict – $7,000.00. Legal Fees & Costs – $38,211.26

Danielson v. Gomez, Multnomah County Case No. 1307-10101

Car accident case. Plaintiff alleged that he was stopped in the left hand turn lane of 92nd avenue at the intersection of SE 92nd and SE Harold. He was facing northbound. Defendant was approaching the intersection from plaintiff’s left (eastbound) and failed to complete a right hand turn and hit plaintiff. Plaintiff alleged soft tissue injury to his neck and back. He sought $10,000.00 in non-economic damages. Medicals totaled $2,756.70 but were not claimed. Defendant disputed all aspects of the case. This was a defense appeal from an arbitration award for plaintiff. Verdict – $2,000.00.

Johnson v. Henry, Multnomah County Case No. 1305-06982

This was an admit liability car accident case where Plaintiff Johnson alleged the accident caused soft tissue injuries. The defense denied that the crash caused any injury to Johnson. Defense Verdict

Lynn v. Marchek, Multnomah County Case No. 1210-13313

Plaintiff had a pre-existing history of injury to her spine and left shoulder. She was on I-205 when defendant rear-ended the vehicle behind plaintiff who in turn was pushed into plaintiff. Plaintiff alleged a torn rotator cuff with resulting nerve damage as well as soft tissue damage to her neck, back and shoulder. She sought $275,537.06 in economic damages including $207,792 in future wage loss as well as $200,000 in non-economic damages. Defendant challenged causation and damages but admitted liability. Defense Verdict

Nguyen v. Vu, Multnomah County Case No. 1309-13610

Plaintiff alleges that she was in the left hand turn lane heading eastbound on Powell approaching the 82nd Avenue Intersection. Defendant was stopped in traffic in the westbound “fast lane” of traffic. As plaintiff approached defendant, defendant suddenly accelerated and changed lanes crashing into plaintiff’s car. Plaintiff alleged injury to her neck and back. Defendant denied liability and argued that the crash was plaintiff’s fault for making an un-signaled lane change and driving too fast. Defense Verdict

Bicycle Trials

Bubenik v. Cooper, Multnomah County Case No. 1307-10778

Plaintiff was on his bicycle stopped for a red light. He was in the lane of travel as there was no bicycle lane. Plaintiff signaled and intended to turn left. Defendant was behind him in a pickup pulling a trailer. When the light turned green defendant attempted to pass plaintiff on his left and hit plaintiff with his trailer. Plaintiff claimed injuries including: concussion, headache, dizziness, back/neck pain, shoulder pain and spasms. Plaintiff incurred medical expenses totaling $5,739.36 but they were paid by PIP. Plaintiff sought $9,500.00 in non-economic damages and $500 in economic damages for bicycle and loss of use. Defendant denied liability and contested damages. Verdict – $3,250.00. Legal Fees & Costs per ORS 20.080- $40,000.00.

Other Trials

Bianchi v. Broadway Cab, Multnomah County Case No. 1303-04336

Plaintiff called defendant for a ride and instructed defendant to pick her up at the top of the hill where she lives so that she would not have to walk down a steep driveway. Plaintiff was 66 years old. When defendant’s driver arrived he did not proceed to the top of the hill and could not speak English sufficiently to understand phone instructions as to where he needed to be. Plaintiff walked down the hill and defendant met her on the steep incline. Plaintiff alleges that when she was opening the door defendant’s driver accelerated lurching forward and caused plaintiff to fall. Plaintiff alleged injuries including: a hip fracture that required three surgeries, a closed head injury and various contusions and abrasions. Plaintiff sought $150,000 in economic damages and $1,500,000 in non-economic damages. Defendant acknowledged that the driver was acting in the course and scope of his driver agreement with Broadway Cab and that plaintiff fell and injured herself. Defendant alleged that the fall was the result of plaintiff’s own negligence and not that of the cab company or its driver. Defense Verdict

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