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2016 - Fourth Quarter

January 1, 2017

Trial Numbers

  • MVA - Plaintiffs won 9/9.
  • Underinsured Motorist - Plaintiffs won 2/2.
  • Medical Malpractice - Plaintiffs won 0/2.
  • Pedestrian Injuries - Plaintiffs won 0/2.
  • Bicycle Injuries - Plaintiffs won 0/1.
  • Premises Liability - Plaintiffs won 0/1.

Notable Trials

Lehr v. Blue Star Charters & Tours, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV27195

Plaintiff Lehr was a wheelchair bound passenger in a van operated by Defendant Blue Star Charters & Tours (“Blue Star”). Blue Star’s driver was taking Lehr to Walmart in Gresham. Lehr alleged that the driver sped up to try and beat a yellow light but after realizing she would not make it, slammed on the brakes. The abrupt stop ejected Lehr from her chair and caused her to suffer a displaced fracture of her left femur and fractures to her right tibia and fibula. She required surgery to repair the fractures.

Lehr claimed Blue Star was liable for both the negligent hiring of their employee and for her driving. She alleged that Blue Star was aware that their driver had caused multiple prior accidents with a different employer and hired her anyway. She sought $88,413.62 for past medical expenses and $500,000 in non-economic damages.

Blue Star denied liability. They alleged that Lehr was responsible for her own injuries for failing to utilize a positioning belt available on her wheelchair, failing to transfer from her wheelchair to a vehicle seat and failing to heed their driver’s warning to use a securement system.

Total Verdict - $205,018.85 after 35% reduction for comparative negligence.

Thompson v. OHSU, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV01533

This was a wrongful death medical negligence case brought on behalf of the estate of Marie Jackson. Ms. Jackson underwent aortic valve replacement surgery in 2013.  She remained in the hospital post-surgery, and after initially showing signs of improvement, her condition began to worsen due to a collection of fluid in her chest. Several efforts were made to remove the fluid using a pigtail catheter but they were unsuccessful and she did not survive. Her estate alleged medical negligence by defendant OHSU and its medical professionals.  The allegations included: failing to manage the fluid collection by using diuretics; failing to remove a sufficient amount of the fluid; and failing to have Jackson’s care managed by more experienced and/or specialized providers after initial efforts to remove the fluid were unsuccessful. The estate sought $3,600,000 in damages.

OHSU denied that they were negligent.

Defense Verdict.

Berger v. Safeco Insurance Company of Oregon, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV28625

Plaintiff Berger was driving in a parking lot when he was struck by an underinsured motorist.  Berger had underinsured motorist and personal injury protection coverage through Defendant Safeco.  Berger alleged that the crash caused a disc injury at C6-7 and a worsening of a pre-existing cervical fusion which will require additional surgery. Berger sought $6,524.44 for unreimbursed medical expenses and $500,000 in non-economic damages. He also sought attorney’s fees pursuant to ORS 742.061.

Safeco argued that Berger was partially liable for the crash.  Safeco also contested the nature and extent of Berger’s injuries as well as the applicability of ORS 742.061.

Total Verdict - $21,268.85.

The Court awarded $31,955.00 in attorney's fees pursuant to ORS 742.061.

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