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2017 - Third Quarter

Table of Contents
October 1, 2017

Trials This Quarter

Medical Malpractice Trials

Croff v. Roberts and Aspen Spine and Neurosurgery et al., Multnomah County Case No. 15CV17095

Plaintiff Croff underwent L5-S1 decompressive laminectomy and discectomy surgery with Defendant Roberts and Aspen Spine and Neurosurgery.  He alleged that the surgery was negligently performed when Roberts failed to remove several protruding discs, failed to decompress the spine, fractured the spinous process at L4, left a piece of fractured bone near a nerve root, and failed to diagnose or treat a post-operative wound infection.  He claimed that the negligently-performed surgery resulted in permanent nerve damage and cauda equine syndrome.  Croff sought $93,808.55 for past medical expenses and $3.5 Million for non-economic damages.  Croff’s wife sought $1 Million for loss of consortium. Roberts denied that the surgery was negligently performed and claimed that Croff was responsible for some or all of his own damages when he failed to report his symptoms after surgery in a timely manner. Verdict - $4,593,808.55.

MVA Trials

The Estate of Michael Dominguez v. Jason Rodriguez, et al., Multnomah County Case No. 16CV16260

Dominguez was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Defendant Rodriguez when Rodriguez ran a stop sign and caused a crash. Dominguez was killed in the crash. Dominguez’s estate brought this lawsuit against both Rodriguez for running the stop sign, and against Larson & King LLC, the company that owned the property at the intersection for allowing trees to obscure the stop sign. The estate sought $10 Million in economic damages and $10 Million in non-economic damages. Defendant Rodriguez denied liability.  He argued that Defendant Larson & King was at fault for not pruning the surrounding trees that would make the stop sign visible from the street. Defendant Larson & King and their tenant claimed that Rodriguez was the negligent party for driving recklessly and running the stop sign. Verdict - $969,467.00.

Larson v. Apollo Drain and Rooter Service, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV30319

Plaintiff Larson was stopped in traffic when she was rear-ended by Mr. Russu who was driving a vehicle in the course and scope of his employment with Defendant Apollo Drain and Rooter Service (“Apollo”).  Larson claimed crash-related injuries including disc protrusions in her neck and a torn labrum in her hip. She sought $88,485.35 for past medical expenses, $105,000 for future cervical disc and arthroscopic hip surgery, $140,000 for lost income and $500,000 for non-economic damages. Apollo admitted liability but contested the nature and extent of Larson’s damages. Verdict - $395,388.90.

Gonzalez and Fellove v. Cruz and Hunter, Multnomah County Case No. 16CV22277 and 16CV22279

Plaintiffs Gonzalez and Fellove were passengers in a vehicle driven by Defendant Cruz when they collided with a car driven by Defendant Hunter.  Plaintiffs allege that both defendants were negligent for failing to keep a proper lookout and failing to maintain control of their vehicles.  Gonzales claimed soft-tissue shoulder, neck and back injuries related to the crash.  Fellove claimed that the crash caused her to tear her meniscus which required surgical repair. Gonzales sought $10,000 in non-economic damages and attorney’s fees pursuant to ORS 20.080.  Fellove sought $26,829.30 for past medical expenses and $100,000 for non-economic damages. Defendants both denied any negligence and claimed the other was at fault. Verdict – $64,329.30 (Fellove) and $4,000.00 (Gonzalez). The jury apportioned fault 100% to Cruz.

LaFavor v. Nurre, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV12576

Plaintiff LaFavor was exiting a gas station parking lot when she was rear-ended by Defendant Nurre who was also attempting to exit the parking lot. LaFavor claimed crash-related post-traumatic impingement syndrome to her left shoulder which required both a past surgical repair and an additional future surgical repair.  She sought $45,619.91 for past medical expenses, $33,250.00 for future medical expenses and $250,000 for non-economic damages. Defendant Nurre admitted liability but claimed the impact was low-speed and therefore could not have caused the injuries LaFavor claimed it did. Verdict – $35,000.00.

Nim v. Alexander, Multnomah County Case No. 16CV23073

Plaintiff Nim was driving on SW Alder Street.  Defendant Alexander pulled out onto Alder Street from a stop on SW 17 Avenue, causing a crash.  Nim alleged crash-related injuries to his neck, back, leg, shoulder, abdomen, knee and hip.  He alleged that the hip injury necessitated surgery. He sought $50,030.96 in past medical expenses, $40,000 in future medical expenses, $8,608.05 in lost wages and $400,000 in non-economic damages.Defendant Alexander admitted liability but contested the cause and extent of Nim’s injuries.Verdict – $11,890.61.

Keyser v. Coleman, Multnomah County Case No. 16CV12961

Plaintiff Keyser alleged that he was hit by Defendant Coleman when Coleman made a lane change as I-84 merges into I-5 South.  He alleged that Coleman was negligent for driving too fast and changing lanes without yielding.  Keyser claimed crash-related injuries to his back, shoulder, knees and arm.  He sought $10,000 in non-economic damages pursuant to ORS 20.080. Defendant Coleman denied liability and claimed that the crash was Keyser’s fault for driving too fast and changing lanes without yielding. Verdict – $6,800.00 after 20% reduction for comparative negligence.

Mitchell v. Freiling, Multnomah County Case No. 16CV15270

Plaintiff Mitchell was stopped for traffic when she was rear-ended by Defendant Freiling. Damage to the vehicles was minimal.  Mitchell alleged crash-related injuries to her neck, back and shoulder including a torn rotator cuff which required surgery.  She sought $53,949.72 for past medical expenses and $150,000 for non-economic damages. Defendant Freiling admitted liability but denied that the crash was the cause of any of Mitchell’s injuries. Defense Verdict.

Voong v. Convergint Technologies et al., Multnomah County Case No. 16CV13721

Plaintiff Voong was rear-ended on I-205 by Defendant Convergint’s driver. Voong claimed crash-related injuries including a neck injury that required a micro discectomy. He sought $60,368.15 in past medical expenses, $13,319.20 in past wage losses, $15,000 for having to hire a caregiver to handle household duties and $500,000 for non-economic damages. Defendant Convergint admitted liability but denied that the crash caused Voong’s injuries. Defense Verdict.

Prajugo v. Bravo, Multnomah County Case No. 16CV26474

Plaintiff Prajugo was in his car waiting to get gas at a station. Defendant Bravo was in line in front of Prajugo and backed up, hitting Prajugo.  Prajugo claimed that Bravo was negligent for failing to keep a lookout.  He claimed crash-related soft-tissue injuries to his neck and shoulder. He sought $10,000 in non-economic damages pursuant to ORS 20.080. Defendant Bravo admitted liability but denied that the crash caused any injury. Defense Verdict.

Pedestrian Injury Trials

Mohammed v. Chloupek, Multnomah County Case No. 16CV18838

Plaintiff Mohammed was a pedestrian crossing Capitol Highway when he was struck by a car driven by Defendant Chloupek. Mohammed claims he was in a marked crosswalk at the time. Mohammed claimed that the impact caused injury to his neck, back, head, chest, elbow, knees and shoulder including a shoulder dislocation that required surgical repair. He sought $60,565.26 for past medical expenses, $25,000 for future medical expenses, $245,000 lost future income and $250,000 for non-economic damages. Defendant Chloupek claimed that Mohammed was not in the crosswalk and failed to yield to vehicle traffic by suddenly stepping off the curb in front of his car. Verdict – $176,165.19 after 33% reduction for comparative negligence.

Product Liability Trials

Sprague v. John Crane Inc., Multnomah County Case No. 15CV14771

Plaintiff Sprague claimed that he was exposed to unreasonably dangerous asbestos-containing products that were manufactured and distributed by Defendant John Crane Inc.  Sprague alleged that the exposure caused him injuries including mesothelioma.  He sought $1.5 Million for medical expenses, $4 Million for past and future lost wages and $10 Million for non-economic damages. Sprague also sought punitive damages.   Sprague’s wife sought $10 Million for loss of consortium. Defendant John Crane Inc. denied all Sprague’s claims and alleged that Sprague was negligent for breathing dust and not asking his employer for any personal protective equipment. Numerous other parties settled or were dismissed pre-trial. Verdict - $1,148,770.60 after 80% reduction for liability attributed to settling party.  

Other Trials

DeMartini v. Helvetia Home Services Inc. dba Visiting Angels Living Assistance Service – Westside, Multnomah County Case No. 16CV20182

Plaintiff DeMartini is the court-appointed Personal Representative of the Estate of Scott Walker.  She brought this action on behalf of the estate seeking damages for injuries that Mr. Walker suffered when he fell at his home.  She claimed that Defendant Visiting Angels was hired to provide 24 hour monitoring of Mr. Walker who was 94 years old and suffered from a variety of illnesses. His illnesses caused him to be a fall risk and to suffer from frequent urgent urination.  The care plan required a care giver to provide close supervision at night in the event that Mr. Walker attempted to go to the bathroom alone. During the care period the assigned Visiting Angels employee fell asleep in an area of the house distant from Mr. Walker’s room.  Mr. Walker attempted to go the bathroom unassisted and fell, striking his head. The estate claimed that Mr. Walker suffered thoracic compression fractures and connective tissue injuries which required him to undergo balloon kyphoplasty surgery. The estate alleged that Mr. Walker was never able to return home after the surgery and was required to live in a residential facility until his death.  The estate sought $54,611.69 in medical expenses and $1,250,000 for non-economic damages.

Defendant Visiting Angels denied liability.  They claimed that Mr. Walker’s injuries were were the result of his own negligence in failing to ask for help, ambulating without assistance and having care providers in another room when he was sleeping. They further alleged that his daughter, Plaintiff DeMartini, was negligent in not installing a bed alarm. Verdict – $149,611.69.

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