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2016 - Third Quarter

Table of Contents
October 1, 2016

Trials This Quarter

Bicycle Trials

Thompson v. Heilsberg, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV22000

Plaintiff Thompson was riding her bicycle eastbound on the north sidewalk of NE Glisan Street.  Defendant Heilsberg pulled out from a parking lot facing southbound and struck Thompson. Thompson claimed that Heilsberg was negligent for failing to yield. She sought $100 for bicycle damage, $632 for past medical expenses and $9,268 for non-economic damages. Thompson also sought legal fees pursuant to ORS 20.080. Defendant Heilsberg denied liability and disputed Thompson’s damages. Defense Verdict.

MVA Trials

Schultes v. Clearwater LLC, Multnomah County Case No. 1306-08124

In 2011 Plaintiff Schultes was in a car on in the I-84 to I-5 interchange when she was rear ended by a driver working for Defendant Clearwater LLC.  Schultes alleged accident-related injuries to her back and neck. She had surgery on her back in 2016 which she related to the crash.  She sought $97,381.46 in past and future medical expenses, $15,792.70 in past and future wage losses and $835,000.00 in non-economic damages. Defendant Clearwater admitted liability but denied causation and the extent of Schultes’ damages. They argued that Schultes had a long history of back problems that predated the crash. Verdict - $509,835.74.

Vaughn v. Sunset Auto Parts and Schnell, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV17358

Plaintiff Vaughn was driving on Highway 30.  Defendant Schnell was driving on an intersecting road for his employer Defendant Sunset Auto Parts. Schnell failed to stop for a stop sign and pulled directly in front of Vaughn causing a crash. Vaughn alleged crash-related injuries including cervical, thoracic and lumbar strains and sprains, contusions and chest wall muscle strains. She sought $15,435.70 in medical expenses, $7,372.80 in lost income, $75,000.00 in future impaired earnings and $125,000 in non-economic damages. Defendants admitted liability for the crash and that Vaughn suffered some injury but contested the extent of the injury. Verdict - $197,808.50.

Kaufman v. Ramsey and Lorentz Braun Co. Multnomah County Case No. 15CV13039

Plaintiff Kaufman was stopped for a red light when she was rear-ended by Defendant Ramsey, who was driving a company vehicle while working for Defendant Lorentz Braun Company. Kaufman alleged injuries to her wrist, right shoulder, neck and back.  She sought $28,628.99 for past medical expenses, $70,996.00 for past lost earning capacity and $350,000 for non-economic damages. Defendants admitted liability and that the crash caused Kaufman some injury but contested the extent of her damages. Verdict – $131,651.00.

Roberts v. Gaudet, Titan Transfer Inc., Multnomah County Case No. 15CV21163

Plaintiff Roberts was driving on the Fremont Bridge when a semi-truck changed lanes striking him. The semi-truck was owned by Defendant Titan Transfer and driven by Defendant Gaudet. Roberts claimed they were negligent for making an unsafe lane change.  He claimed crash related injuries to his head, neck, back, shoulder, legs and internal organs. He sought $75,000 for past medical expenses, $75,000 for future medical expenses, $50,000 for lost wages, $10,000 for property damages and $650,000 in non-economic damages. Verdict – $74,255.00.

Walter v. Thier and State Farm, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV19261

Plaintiff Walter was rear-ended by Defendant Thier. Walter alleged accident-related injuries to her head, neck, back and hip. She sought $13,000 for past medical expenses, $50,000 for future medical expenses, $840 for lost wages, $15,000 in property damage, $3,150 in rental car expenses and $300,000 in non-economic damages. Thier admitted liability but contested the cause, nature and extent of Walter’s injuries. Verdict – $25,000.00.

McAllister v. Farmers Insurance Company of Oregon and McAllister, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV24585

Plaintiff Byron McAllister alleged he was a passenger in a car driven by defendant Wanda McAllister when she drove off the road and hit a telephone pole. The car was insured by defendant Farmers. Byron McAllister alleged crash-related injuries to his shoulder.  He sought $400,000 in non-economic damages against Wanda McAllister.  He also sought $8,000 for unpaid PIP medical expenses against Farmers and attorney fees pursuant to ORS 742.061. Defendant Farmers claimed that Byron McAllister was not in the vehicle at the time of the crash and therefore refused personal injury protection benefits (PIP). Defendant Wanda McAllister alleged that Byron McAllister’s injuries were caused, in part, by his failure to wear a seatbelt and therefore any awarded damages should be reduced by 5% pursuant to ORS 31.760(1). The extent of Byron McAllister’s damages were also disputed. Verdict – $24,150 ($8,000 stipulated against Farmers for unpaid PIP as the jury did find that Byron McAllister was in the car plus $17,000 in damages against Wanda McAllister reduced by 5%).

Johnson v. Gerasimchuk, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV14723

Plaintiff Johnson was a passenger in a car stopped for traffic on I-84 when the vehicle was rear-ended by a car driven by Defendant Gerasimchuk.  Johnson alleged crash-related soft tissue injuries and a C7 radiculopathy which caused an increased likelihood for future neck surgery.  Johnson sought $9,490.77 for past medical expenses, $40,000.00 for future medical expenses and $60,000.00 in non-economic damages. Defendant Gerasimchuk admitted liability and that she caused some injury but contested the nature and extent of the injury. Verdict – $16,990.77.

Calzada v. Carmody, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV17700

Plaintiff Calzada was driving on NE Wood Village Boulevard when Defendant Carmody pulled out from a parking lot striking the right rear wheel area of Calzada’s car.  Calzada claimed the crash caused her to have a Chiari Malformation resulting in headaches, nausea and cerebrospinal fluid leakage.  She also claimed accident-related soft tissue injuries to her neck, back and ribs.  She sought $141,071.00 in past medical expenses, $542,383.00 in future medical expenses, $59,582.00 in past lost wages, $1,472,065.00 in future income losses and $5,500,000.00 in non-economic damages. Carmody admitted liability but denied that the injuries alleged were caused by the crash. Verdict – $14,606.48.

Stewart v. Baker, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV14808

Plaintiff Stewart was stopped for traffic when the car behind her was struck by Defendant Baker.  That car was pushed forward striking Stewart’s car.  Stewart sought $10,000 in non-economic damages pursuant to ORS 20.080. Defendant Baker admitted liability and that the crash caused some injury.  He disputed the extent of Stewart’s injuries. Verdict – $1,500.00.

Fielder v. Jasper, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV19572

Plaintiff Fielder was on an offramp from I-205 driving very slowly due to traffic. The car behind her was hit by Defendant Jasper and that car then struck Fielder. Fielder claimed accident-related injuries including: peroneal tendon tear to right ankle, neck and back sprains, wrist sprains, trigger finger soft tissue injuries, and soft tissue ankle injuries. She sought $34,348.79 for past medical expenses, $1,448.40 in lost wages and $450,000.00 in non-economic damages. Defendant Jasper admitted liability and that fielder suffered some injury.  He disputed the extent of Fielder’s injuries. Verdict – $539.28.

O’Dell v. Carey, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV04288

Plaintiff O’Dell was rear-ended by defendant Carey. O’Dell claimed accident-related neck and back injuries including a herniated disk which required surgical repair. He sought $130,975.09 for past medical expenses and $250,000 in non-economic damages. Defendant Carey admitted liability but denied that O’Dell was injured in the crash. Defense Verdict.

Pedestrian Injury Trials

Johnson v. Farris, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV14130

Plaintiff Johnson was a pedestrian crossing NE Weidler in the crosswalk at 9avenue. He alleged that Defendant Farris failed to yield and struck him as he was attempted to make a right turn onto Weidler. He alleged accident-related injuries including: sprained ACL, left IT band tendonitis, left peroneal nerve contusion, hip and leg weakness, meniscus damage and persistent swelling.  He sought $51,134.69 in past medical expenses, $150,000 in future medical expenses, $250,000 for impaired future earning capacity and $500,000 in non-economic damages.Defendant Farris denied liability and contested the nature and cause of Johnson’s injuries.Verdict – $54,033.72.

Collins v. Tester, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV06919

Plaintiff Collins was a pedestrian crossing a road and alleged that Defendant Tester took a left turn without yielding to the crosswalk, and struck her. She claimed Tester was negligent for driving too fast, failing to keep a lookout and failing to yield.  Collins claimed injuries including a labrum tear and soft tissue injuries. She sought $40,000 for past medical expenses, $43,000 for lost wages and $150,000 for non-economic damages. Defendant Tester claimed that Collins moved off the curb into her vehicle and was responsible for her own injuries by failing to yield, failing to keep a lookout and for failing to exercise due care as she was under the influence of alcohol at the time. Defense Verdict.

Premises Liability Trials

Nybakken v. Mongrain, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV17328

Plaintiff Nybakken was walking on a sidewalk on NE 40th Street abutting property owned by defendant Mongrain. She tripped on a piece of the sidewalk that was elevated and fell, breaking her wrist. She had to have surgery to repair the wrist and complications required several days of hospitalization. Nybakken alleged that Mongrain is responsible for the maintenance of the sidewalk and failed to do so.  She sought $43,542.06 for past medical expenses, $5,380 for future medical expenses and $500,000 for non-economic damages. Mongrain denied liability. He claimed that he had not lived at the home since 2007 and neither his renters nor the city had ever notified him of any sidewalk defect. He also claimed that Nybakken was responsible for her own injury for failing to keep a proper lookout. Verdict - $104,924.34. This is after a 35% reduction for comparative negligence.

UM/UIM Trials

Nelson v. Safeco Insurance Company of Oregon, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV14729

Plaintiff Nelson was injured when he was crossing a street on his bicycle.  He was in a crosswalk when he was hit by a driver who ran a red light.  He resolved his case against the at-fault driver for policy limits and brought this case for underinsured motorist benefits.  He alleged crash-related brain injuries.  He sought the remaining limit of the underinsured motorist policy ($400,000) as well as attorney fees pursuant to ORS 742.061. Defendant Safeco disputed the extent of Nelson’s injuries. Verdict - $633,000.00.

McIntyre v. American Standard Insurance Company, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV24107

Plaintiff McIntyre was rear-ended by an uninsured motorist. She applied for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits from her insurance company, Defendant American Standard.  She also made an uninsured motorist (UM) claim.  She claimed that the crash caused a rotator cuff tear, traumatic brain injury, thoracic disc bulges, and soft tissue injuries.  She sought $24,207.87 in unpaid PIP medical expenses, $50,000 in unpaid PIP wage losses, $20,000 in future medical expenses, $650.00 in out-of-pocket expenses, $50,000 in lost future earning capacity and $250,000 in non-economic damages. Defendant American Standard alleged that Plaintiff failed to attend an Independent Medical Examination which is required by the insurance contract so PIP benefits were properly denied.  They contested the degree and cause of Mcintyre’s injuries with respect to the UM claim. Verdict – $36,363.61. Verdict included $8,117.76 for denied PIP benefits.

Workplace Injury Trials

Parrish v. Star Transport Trailers et. al., Multnomah County Case No. 14CV17077

Plaintiff Parish was working as a truck driver for Walsh Trucking hauling a trailer owned by Defendant Hillsboro Garbage Disposal (“Hillsboro Garbage”). Parrish was lifting a large screen that forms the roof of the trailer when wind caught it and threw him to the ground. Parish alleged that the fall caused a disc herniation in his back as well as an aggravation of a pre-existing back condition. He alleged that Hillsboro Garbage violated the Oregon Employer Liability Law by not using every device care and precaution practicable for work involving a risk of danger. He sought $67,292.06 in past medical expenses, $132,964.56 in past lost wages, $100,000 in future medical expenses, $300,000 in lost earning capacity and $1,250,000 in non-economic damages.  He wife sought $200,000.00 for loss of consortium. Hillsboro Garbage denied liability. Verdict – $14,813.50 after 50% reduction for amount apportioned to settling party.

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