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2015 - Fourth Quarter

Table of Contents
January 1, 2016

Trials This Quarter

Assault Trials

Walls v. Costco, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV13139

Plaintiff Walls was attempting to exit Costco after shopping.  A Costco employee placed his hand on Walls’ cart and asked to see his receipt, pursuant to the terms of Costco’s membership conditions.  After a verbal exchange, Walls grabbed the Costco employee by his shirt collar and shoved him into a pillar several feet away.  Another employee witnessed the altercation and kicked Walls’ feet out from under him, causing him to fall to the floor.  Walls alleged that Costco unlawfully detained him against his will and then committed a battery against him.  He claimed the battery caused him multiple leg fractures which required surgical repair.  He sought past and future medical expenses of $150,000, wage losses of $20,000 and non-economic damages of $500,000.

Defendant Costco alleged that their employee asked for Walls’ receipt and when Walls refused to produce it, he was in violation of the conditions set out in his Costco membership agreement. Costco claimed that the employee then called for a manager at which point Walls physically attacked the employee.  Costco maintained that the second employee acted reasonably in defense of the first employee. Defense Verdict

Medical Malpractice Trials

Kamalahasan v. Providence Health and Services, Multnomah County Case No. 1312-17148

In January of 2012 Plaintiff Kamalahasan was having her blood drawn at a Providence facility.  She felt a shooting pain run up her arm when the needle was inserted.  She told the phlebotomist about the pain but rather than withdraw the needle, the phlebotomist moved it around to continue the blood draw.  Kamalahasan claimed that she suffered a permanent nerve injury as a result. She had to stop working for a year and a half.  She sought $27,176.45 for past medical expenses, $16,000.00 for lost wages, and $750,000.00 in non-economic damages. Defendant Providence admitted that Kamalahasan had her blood drawn on the date alleged but denied that there was ever any complaint about shooting pain or that Kamalahasan was injured as a result of the blood draw. Verdict - $537,176.45.

Martin v. OHSU, Multnomah County Case No. 1401-00960

In November of 2011, Plaintiff Martin was diagnosed with a basilar tip brain aneurism. She was admitted to OHSU for surgery in 2012. She had a stroke as a result of the surgery and is now permanently wheelchair bound. She also suffered a collapsed lung as a result of the placement of a feeding tube.  Martin alleged that she did not give informed consent for the procedure and that the feeding tube was negligently placed. She sought $1,000,000.00 in economic damages and $3,000,000.00 in non-economic damages. Defendant OHSU responded that Martin had three separate meetings with doctors to discuss the procedure, risks and alternatives. Defendant also asserted that plaintiff signed an informed consent form which specifically listed “stroke” and “neurologic deficits” as known risks of the procedure. Defendant OHSU denied negligence in the feeding tube placement. Defense Verdict.

Bozanich v. Epic Imaging, Multnomah County Case No. 1208-10254

During her 2010 annual exam, doctors discovered a lump in Plaintiff Bozanich’s left breast. She was referred to Defendant Epic Imaging for ultrasound and possible mammogram. Plaintiff alleged that the results of that testing indicated that the lump was fibroadenoma and “probably benign.” She alleged that a biopsy was not explained or recommended to her, nor was the need for any follow-up care.  In 2011 Bozanich was seen by a different doctor and testing indicated that she had breast cancer. She alleged that the delay in diagnosis of the cancer was due to the misdiagnosis by Defendant and its doctors. This resulted in physical and mental pain and suffering and her likely premature death. She sought economic damages of $4 million dollars and non-economic damages of $5 million dollars.

Defendant Epic Imaging and its doctor responded claiming that after the ultrasound and mammogram they recommended a clinical follow-up with Bozanich’s referring provider. They faxed their report to her provider.  Her provider’s records indicated that they both called and wrote to Bozanich about the need for a clinical follow-up.  Records showed that Defendant’s doctor also sent a letter to Bozanich recommending a clinical follow-up. Defendant argued that they met the standard of care in all respects. Verdict – Defense Verdict.

MVA Trials

Johnston v. Stence et al., Multnomah County Case No. 14CV17818

Plaintiff Johnston was a passenger in her friend Dobrinski’s car when it was struck in an intersection by Defendant Stence. Johnston alleged that Stence was negligent for running a stop sign and speeding. Johnston alleged injuries including fractured teeth and damage to the muscles and ligaments of her neck, back, shoulder, hip and arm. She sought $22,705.10 for past medical expenses, $120,000.00 in future medical expenses and $300,000 in non-economic damages. Stence denied liability and brought a 3rd party action against Dobrinski alleging that he was speeding and not keeping a proper lookout. Verdict - $102,188.02.

Russell v. Thacker, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV08000

Plaintiff Russell was rear–ended at a red light by Defendant Thacker.  Russell alleged that the crash caused injuries including soft tissue damage to her neck and back, a subluxation of her left clavicle and cervical hypermobility. She sought $10,995.00 for past medical expenses, $22,800.00 for future medical expenses and $300,000.00 for non-economic damages. Defendant admitted liability but disputed the nature and degree of Ms. Russell’s injuries. Verdict – $54,995.00.

Trent v. Betancourt, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV17517

Plaintiff Trent was the passenger in a car stopped for traffic on I-84. Defendant Betancourt failed to stop for traffic and rear-ended Trent’s vehicle. Trent claimed accident-related soft-tissue injuries to her neck and back. She sought $16,338.66 for past medical expenses and $85,000.00 in non-economic damages. Defendant Betancourt admitted that the accident occurred, but denied both that he was at-fault and that Trent was injured as a result of the crash. Verdict – $43,938.66.

Walburn v. Allan-Cole, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV10115

Plaintiff Walburn was stopped in her car at a red light when she was hit from behind by Defendant Allan-Cole.  Walburn suffered non-specific injuries to her neck, back and shoulder.  She sought $23,564.98 for past medical expenses and $150,000.00 in non-economic damages. Defendant Allan-Cole admitted liability and that Walburn suffered strain injuries to her neck and back. Allan-Cole disputed the extent of the injuries. Verdict – $4,000.00.

Greene v. Gende, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV00095

Plaintiff Greene alleged that Defendant Dende crossed the center line hitting him head-on car. Greene alleged unspecified injuries to his back, abdomen, knee, arm and foot as well as emotional distress.  He sought $5,190.00 for past medical expenses, $25,000.00 for future medical expenses, $2,432.00 in lost wages, and $95,000.00 in non-economic damages. Dende admitted liability but disputed the cause, nature and extent of Greene’s injuries. Verdict – $3,500.00. Plaintiff represented himself.

Berdan v. Rolfe, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV14159

Plaintiff Berdan was stopped for traffic when he was struck from behind by Defendant Rolfe. Berdan alleged soft tissue injuries to his neck and back. He sought $63.06 in unreimbursed medical expenses and $9,936.94 in non-economic damages. The case was brought pursuant to ORS 20.080. Defendant Rolfe admitted liability but disputed the cause, nature and degree of Berdan’s injuries. Verdict – $300.

Suu Kwon v. Cugliari, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV15360

Plaintiff Suu Kwon was stopped at the intersection of 8and Powell when his car was struck from behind by Defendant Cugliari. Suu Kwon alleged crash related injuries including soft tissue damage to his shoulder, back and neck. He also claimed the crash caused him leg pain and headaches. He sought $10,000.00 in non-economic damages pursuant to ORS 20.080.Defendant Cugliari admitted the crash occurred but otherwise disputed every allegation in Suu Kwon’s complaint. Defense Verdict.

Kharlamov v. Dajani, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV17331

Plaintiff Kharlamov was driving on Powell Boulevard when Defendant Dajani attempted to take a left turn out of a Safeway parking lot across all lanes of traffic. Dajani struck Kharlamov on the right side of her vehicle. Kharlamov alleged that she suffered neck, shoulder and back strains and sprains as well as nerve damage to her forearms and hands as a result of the impact. She sought $20,785.69 for past medical expenses, $15,000.00 for future medical expenses and $185,000.00 for non-economic damages. Defendant Dajani claimed that traffic was backed up but other drivers allowed her out to take a left turn. She alleged that Kharlamov had crossed the double yellow line from the left hand lane into the turning lane earlier than allowed by traffic laws. She claimed that the crash occurred in the turn lane where Kharlamov was illegally driving. Defense Verdict.

Nguyen v. Johns, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV16315

Plaintiff Nguyen was making a right turn when Defendant Johns drove through the intersection without stopping and sideswiped Nguyen’s car. Nguyen claimed accident related injuries including neck, back, shoulder and hip strains and sprains. Nguyen sought $3,000.00 for wage losses and $7,000.00 in non-economic damages. The case was brought pursuant to ORS 20.080. Defendant Johns admitted that she was negligent in causing the crash but disputed that the crash caused Nguyen any injury. Defense Verdict.

Grineva v. Luginbill, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV12610

Plaintiff Grineva was hit from behind by Defendant Luginbill while stopped for traffic on I-5. Grineva alleged that she suffered neck and back strains; right hip and leg pain; and headaches. She incurred $3,391.00 in medical expenses for which she did not seek recovery. She sought $10,000.00 pursuant to ORS 20.080. Luginbill admitted fault but disputed causation and the nature and extent of Grineva’s injuries. Defense Verdict.

UM/UIM Trials

Guerrero v. National General Insurance, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV14229

Plaintiff Guerrero was involved car accident in 2011 through no fault of her own.  She settled with the at-fault driver for his policy limits – $25,000.00. Guerrero then brought this action against his own insurance company for underinsured motorist coverage (UIM).  Plaintiff claims that the crash caused injuries to her head, neck, back, jaw, shoulders, ribs, torso, foot and hand.  She sought $20,568.00 in past medical expenses and $125,000.00 in non-economic damages. Defendant National General contested the severity of Guerrero’s injuries. Verdict – $70,558.74.

Vongpany v. National General Insurance, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV09828

This was an underinsured motorist (UIM) case.  Plaintiff Vongpany was hit head-on by an underinsured drunk driver. The at-fault driver’s insurance company paid its $25,000.00 policy limits to settle the case. Vongpany then brought this UIM case against her own insurance company. Vongpany claimed that the crash caused her a right hand contusion, index finger joint sprain, cervical sprain, dislocated cervical vertebra, dislocated thoracic vertebra, broad based disc bulge at L3-4 with annular tear and nerve root irritation.  She sought $23,807.71 for past medical expenses, $13,986.00 for lost wages and $212,926.29 in non-economic damages. Defendant National General admitted that Vongpany had UIM coverage, that the drunk driver was at fault and that Vongpany had done everything required of him under the policy.  Defendant disputed causation and damages. Verdict – $65,073.71.

Schriever v. Country Mutual Insurance, Multnomah County Case No. 1310-13876

Plaintiff Schriever was stopped for a light on highway 217 when she was struck by an underinsured driver.  She alleged that the crash caused her neck, back and elbow strains and sprains, spinal disc injuries, left leg, knee and foot sprains, headaches and facet joint syndrome.  Schriever resolved the underlying case against the at-fault driver and brought this action against her own insurance company for underinsured motorist coverage.  She sought $35,000.00 in past medical expenses and $185,000.00 in non-economic damages. Defendant County Mutual Insurance Company disputed the severity of Schriever’s injuries and the amount of her claimed damages. Verdict – $42,020.00.

Other Trials

Sherman v. Lay, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV14651

Plaintiff Sherman attended Game 6 of the 2014 NBA Western Conference Playoff series between the Portland Trailblazers and Houston Rockets at the Moda Center. Defendant Lay was at the game seated in the row directly behind Sherman.  The game ended in a game winning shot by Damian Lillard.  Sherman alleged that Lay was drunk and as they stood to cheer Lay fell, knocking her down a flight of stairs.  Sherman claimed that Lay was negligent in becoming drunk and unable to control her body.  She alleged injuries including a torn rotator cuff and bone bruising in her leg and knee. Sherman sought $14,090.00 for past medical expenses, $70,139.00 for future medical expenses, $6,700.00 in lost wages, $513,871.00 in diminished earning capacity and $145,000.00 in non-economic damages. Lay admitted falling forward during the burst of excitement.  She claims she was bumped by another person causing her to lose her balance.  She denied being intoxicated.  She disputed that the fall was the cause of Sherman’s injury, pointing out that the injury pre-existed the fall, and she disputed Sherman’s damages. Defense Verdict.

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