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2018 - First Quarter

Table of Contents
April 1, 2018

Trials This Quarter

Assault / Sexual Assault Trials

W.S.B. v. Corbett Community Church et al., Multnomah County Case No. 16CV33426

Plaintiff W.S.B attended Defendant’s church in 1991 when he was an adolescent and became close with defendant’s youth pastor. W.S.B alleged that during that time the youth pastor began “grooming” him by gaining his trust and confidence as a moral authority figure. W.S.B. claims that the youth pastor then began sexually abusing him. He claimed that the abuse caused him physical, emotional and psychological injuries. He sought $2,000,000 in non-economic damages. Defendant Corbett Community Church acknowledged that the youth pastor was working for them at the time and that W.S.B. and the pastor became close. They deny that the pastor’s actions of “grooming” were in the course and scope of his employment. They also deny that they were ever aware of any abuse. Verdict – $800,000.00.

Farrand v. Jordan Motorz, LLC et al., Multnomah County Case No.16CV03896

Plaintiff Farrand was at Defendant Jordan Motorz for the purposes of buying a used car. He alleged that at some point the discussions with Defendant’s salesperson became heated and as he was leaving to dealership, the salesperson through a 24 OZ iced latte hitting Farrand in the back of the head.  Plaintiff alleged the latte strike caused him to suffer strains and sprains of his neck, headaches, and sleep disturbances. Farrand sought $434.95 for past medical expenses, and $4,500 for non-economic damages. Defendant argued that their employee threw the latte in self defense after plaintiff became angry when they refused to sell him a car. Defendant claimed that during the course of the interaction, Plaintiff came at their salesperson with his arm extended, fist clenched, and middle finger raised, causing the salesperson to fear for their safety and that the latte toss was reasonable force under the circumstances.  Verdict - $1,434.95.

Bicycle Trials

Panttila v. Cooney. Multnomah County Case No. 16CV40631

Plaintiff Panttila was a bicyclist riding on Skyline Boulevard. Defendant Cooney was driving a car coming the opposite direction on Skyline when he took a left turn and collided with Panttila. Panttila claimed that Cooney failed to yield. Panttila claimed crash-related injuries including thoracic outlet syndrome, inflammation of his forearm and nerve damage to his arm which affects his ability to grip with his left hand. He claimed that his injuries prevented him from continuing to pursue road cycle racing in college. He sought $50,500.00 for the difference in tuition where he attends college and where he would have gone had he not been pursuing competitive cycling. He also sought $31,000 for past medical expenses and $75,000 for non-economic damages. Defendant Cooney claimed that the crash was the result of Panttila’s own negligence for riding too fast, not wearing bright clothing or lighting and not using a designated bicycle lane. Verdict - $79,611.00 after 15% reduction for comparative negligence.

Ludeman v. Ferguson, Multnomah County Case No. 17CV06123

Plaintiff Ludeman was riding a bicycle on 7th Street near Hawthorne. Defendant Ferguson was parked along the side of the street and opened his car door striking Ludeman and causing a crash. Ludeman alleged that Ferguson was negligent in opening his door into traffic in violation of ORS 811.490. She alleged that the crash caused her a right shoulder strain, permanent right shoulder instability, bruising and abrasions. She sought $9,963.06 for past medical expenses, $10,000 for future medical expenses and $250,000 for non-economic damages. Defendant Ferguson admitted liability and that he caused some injury but contested the extent of Ludeman’s injury. Verdict – $49,963.06.

Dog Bite / Attack Trials

Brown v. Alberti, Multnomah County Case No. 16CV35390

This was an action brought by a guardian ad litem on behalf of an 11 year-old boy who was bitten by a pit bull. The suit alleged that Defendant Alberti was the landlord and co-tenant of the man who owned the dog. The dog’s owner was walking the dog off leash when it attacked. Plaintiff alleged that Alberti was negligent for failing to screen her tenants, allowing the dog’s owner to run his dog off-leash and failing to confine the dog who she should have known might run off-leash. Plaintiff sought $2,882.00 for past medical expenses,$1,200.00 for future medical expenses and $100,000.00 for non-economic damages. Defendant Alberti denied that she bore any responsibility for the actions of the dog and/or its owner. Defense Verdict.

Medical Malpractice Trials

Friedenberg v. Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital et al., Multnomah County Case No. 15CV06640

This case involved a child who developed a brain injury several weeks after his birth from encephalopathy caused by an infection with herpes simplex virus, type-2(“HSV”). The boy’s court-appointed guardian ad-litem brought this case claiming that when the boy’s mother presented to Defendant Legacy’s hospital and saw Defendant Dr. Miles she had oozing spots on her vaginal walls which should have alerted the doctor and the hospital that she needed to be tested for Herpes. Plaintiff also claimed that Dr. Elia, a pediatrician who saw the boy shortly after his birth, was negligent for failing to order testing for herpes when he observed blisters on the child’s scalp. It was alleged that at this point the child’s condition could have been successfully treated. Plaintiff sought $34,000,000.00 in economic damages for past and future medical expenses and life care expenses as well as $12,500,000 for non-economic damages. Defendant Dr. Elia settled with Plaintiff during the trial. Dr. Miles and Legacy argued that the child’s mother did not alert her care providers that she used to be a sex worker, did not go to follow-up appointments and that the vaginal spots did not present a reason for herpes testing with the information they had. Defense Verdict.

MVA Trials

Arias-Handke v. First Student, Inc., Multnomah County Case No. 16CV41898

Plaintiff Arias-Handke was rear-ended by a school bus operated by an employee of Defendant First Student, Inc. Plaintiff alleged that he suffered a disc herniation in his lumbar spine due to the crash and that the injury required surgical intervention. Plaintiff sought $45,428.48 for past medical expenses and $500,000 for non-economic damages. Defendant admitted liability and causation and only disputed Plaintiff's damages. Verdict - $180,428.48.

Mead v. TRIMET, Multnomah County Case No. 17CV06136

Plaintiff Mead was driving through an intersection when she was hit by a TRIMET bus that ran a red light. Mead claimed that the crash caused her injuries including bilateral shoulder injuries requiring surgery and soft tissue injuries to her neck and back. She sought $130,568.43 for past medical expenses, $29,400.00 for wage losses and $500,000 for non-economic damages. TRIMET admitted liability and that the crash caused Mead some injury but contested the cause, nature and extent of Mead’s injuries. Verdict– $70,875.92.

Brocksen v. Cardwell, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV15478

Plaintiff Brocksen was a passenger in a vehicle that was rear-ended on I-205 by Defendant Cardwell. Brocksen claimed accident-related soft-tissue injuries to his entire body. He sought $32,491.82 for past medical expenses, $30,000 for lost wages and $100,000 for non-economic damages. Defendant Cardwell admitted liability but contested the cause nature and extent of Brocksen’s injuries. Verdict - $35,700.00.

Orozco v. Peck, Multnomah County Case No. 17CV04710

Plaintiff Orozco was parked along the side of SE 17Avenue in Portland facing southbound when she was hit by Defendant who was driving southbound. Orozco alleged that the crash caused her neck and back sprains and strains. She sought $10,694.00 in past and future medical expenses as well as $75,000 for non-economic damages. Peck admitted liability but contested the cause and extent of Orozco’s injuries. Verdict – $22,248.69.

Sautner v. Cahana, Multnomah County Case No. 16CV39361

Plaintiff Sautner was rear-ended by Defendant Cahana near the Sellwood Bridge. Sautner claimed that the crash caused him injuries including bi-lateral carpal tunnel syndrome, median and ulnar nerve entrapment, C6-7 denervation and soft tissue strains. He sought $9,672 for past medical expenses, $5,400 for future medical expenses, $720 for past wage losses, $7,500 for future wage losses and $75,000 for non-economic damages. Cahana admitted liability for the crash but disputed the cause and extent of any injuries. Verdict – $13,547.00.

Pleas v. Medford, Multnomah County Case No. 16CV25014

Plaintiff Pleas stopped her vehicle for a pedestrian in a cross walk. Defendant Medford was driving a car behind Pleas and did not stop causing a collision. Pleas claimed she suffered crash-related soft-tissue injuries to her neck and back. She sought $8,500.00 for non-economic damages. Medford admitted liability but denied that the crash caused any injuries. Verdict - $600.00.

Motyko v. Carson and Sunshine Nurseries, Multnomah County Case No. 16CV25607

Plaintiff Motyko and a driver for Defendant Sunshine Nurseries were in an intersection collision at NE 138 and NE Airport Way. Each alleged that the other ran a red light. Motyko alleged that he suffered a torn rotator cuff and soft tissue injuries to his neck and back. He sought $30,426.80 for medical expenses and$50,000 for non-economic damages. Defendant’s driver, Ms. Carson brought counterclaims against Motyko for her own soft-tissue injuries. She sought $3,000 for medical expenses, $2,000 for property damage and $15,000 for non-economic damages. Defense Verdict.

Guzman v. Larimer-Fisher, Multnomah County Case No. 17CV00006

Plaintiff Guzman was rear-ended by Defendant Larimer-Fisher on I-205. Guzman claimed that the crash caused soft-tissue injuries to her back and neck. Guzman sought $786.56 for damage to her vehicle and $6,000 for non-economic damages. Larimer-Fisher admitted liability but contested whether the nature, cause and extent of Guzman’s injuries. Defense Verdict.

Cheatham v. Dentler, Multnomah County Case No. 17CV02115

Plaintiff Cheatham alleged that she was driving eastbound on NE Alberta when she stopped at a stop sign at NE 60 Avenue. She then proceeded through the intersection and was hit by Defendant Dentler who was headed southbound and failed to stop at his stop sign. Cheatham alleged crash-related injuries including an L4-L5 lumbar disc injury which required surgical repair. She sought $28,567 for past medical expenses, $22,336 for wage losses and $150,000 for non-economic damages. Defendant Dentler denied running the stop sign and claimed that the crash was caused by Plaintiff running the stop sign. Defense Verdict.

Reed v. Blackmar, Multnomah County Case No. 16CV42875

Plaintiff Reed was stopped for a red light when Defendant Blackmar failed to stop and hit the car behind Reed propelling that car into Reed. Reed alleged that the crash caused him injuries including a torn hip labrum, torn shoulder labrum, concussion, neck and back strains and sprains as well as PTSD. He sought $75,000 for past medical expenses, $50,000 for future medical expenses, $11,000 for the diminished value of his vehicle, $1,186.56 for rental vehicle bills and $450,000 for non-economic damages. Blackmar admitted liability for the crash but contested the cause, nature and extent of Reed’s injuries. Defense Verdict.

Stewart and Allen v. Wohlsein, Multnomah County Case No. 17CV14390

Plaintiff Allen was the driver of a car stopped for a red light. Plaintiff Stewart was her passenger. They were rear-ended by Defendant Wohlsein. Allen claimed soft-tissue injuries to her neck, shoulders, back and hips. She sought $30,000.00 in economic damages for past and future medical care and wage losses. She also sought $200,000.00 for non-economic damages. Stewart claimed soft-tissue injuries to her neck, back and hips. She sought $30,000.00 in economic damages for past and future medical care and wage losses. She also sought $100,000.00 for non-economic damages. Defendant Wohlsein admitted liability but contested whether the crash caused any injuries and the extent of the alleged injuries. Defense Verdict.

Tell v. Castillo, Multnomah County Case No. 17CV09791

Plaintiff Tell was a passenger on the Portland Streetcar. Defendant Castillo was parked along the side of the road and opened her door directly into the path of the streetcar causing the streetcar to strike the door and allegedly jolt Tell. Tell claimed that the jolt caused him substantial neck pain as well as emotional distress and mental anguish. Defendant Castillo denied liability and disputed whether the “jolt” caused any injury. Defense Verdict.

Miles v. Rivera, Multnomah County Case No. 16CV41102

Plaintiff Miles and Defendant Rivera were in a car accident at the intersection of NE Glisan and NE 99Avenue. Miles claimed that the crash was due to Rivera running a red light. Miles claimed crash-related soft-tissue injuries to her neck, back, shoulder and ribs. She sought $3,699.36 in past medical expenses and $5,800.64 in non-economic damages. Defendant Rivera denied liability. Defense Verdict.

Merkl v. Jordan-Downs, Multnomah County Case No. 16CV01583

Plaintiff Merkl was stopped in I-5 traffic when he was hit from behind by Defendant Jordan-Downs. Merkl claimed crash-related soft-tissue injuries to his neck and back. He sought $11,326.07 for past medical expenses and $25,000 for non-economic damages. Defendant Jordan-Downs admitted liability but disputed whether the crash caused any injuries and if so the extent of those injuries. Defense Verdict.

Rudd v. Nima, Multnomah County Case No. 17CV00156

Plaintiff Rudd alleged that she was driving through a green light when she was hit by Defendant Nima, who was travelling the opposite direction and took a left turn without yielding. Rudd alleged crash-related injuries including a disc injury to her back, and soft-tissue injuries to her neck, back, hip, knee and elsewhere. She sought $20,623.36 for past and future medical expenses and wage losses and $130,000.00 for non-economic damages. Defendant Nima alleged that the crash was due to Plaintiff's negligence in driving too fast and not keeping a proper lookout. Defense Verdict.

Pedestrian Injury Trials

Tyler v. Tower, Multnomah County Case No. 16CV41422

Plaintiff Tyler was a Plaintiff crossing a street when he was struck by a car driven by Defendant Tower. Plaintiff alleged that Defendant was negligent for failing to yield to the pedestrian and for failing to keep a proper lookout. He alleged that the impact caused soft-tissue injuries to his neck, back, shoulder and knee. He sought $10,000.00 for non-economic damages and legal fees pursuant to ORS 20.080. Defendant denied liability and alleged that Tyler was negligent for failing to yield to cars and being in an improper location on the roadway. Verdict - $8,000.00.

PIP Denial Trials

Combs v. State Farm, Multnomah County Case No. 16CV34824

Plaintiff was in a car crash and sought medical care at Rockwood Chiropractic Clinic. He had personal injury protection (“PIP”) on his own auto insurance policy with Defendant State Farm. State Farm cut off his benefits claiming that any further care was not reasonable and necessary to treat injuries related to the car crash. Plaintiff brought this action seeking $4,712.00 for wrongfully denied PIP benefits and attorney’s fees pursuant to ORS 742.061. State Farm claimed that they paid all medical expenses that were reasonable and necessary to treat crash-related injuries. Defense Verdict.

Premises Liability Trials

Andrews v. Fred’s RV Auto-Marine Inc., Multnomah County Case No. 16CV35770

Plaintiff Andrews alleged that she was working at the Portland Exposition Center working the Portland Metro RV Dealers’ Fall RV Show. Part of her job was to monitor the vendors as they set up their displays and ensure that emergency exits were not blocked. Defendant Fred’s RV Auto-Marine had set up their display including a fifth-wheel hitch. The hitch was partially unassembled and not stable. Andrews announced on the loudspeaker that she would be coming around to do her inspections. When she was inspecting Fred’s display she noticed the fifth-wheel hitch interfered with an emergency exit. She mentioned to a Fred’s employee that the hitch needed to be moved and touched the hitch to identify it. When she touched the hitch it fell and crushed her foot. She brought claims for negligence and premises liability. She sought $1.5 Million for non-economic damages. Fred’s denied liability and claimed that the incident was at least in part due to Andrews’ own negligence for failing to keep a proper lookout or take reasonable precautions for her own safety. Defense Verdict.

Other Trials

Konsa v. Connected Healthcare Inc., Multnomah County Case Number 16CV28737

An employee of Defendant Connected Healthcare Inc. ("Connected") came to Plaintiff Konsa's home to provide home health care to Konsa's elderly family member. The Connected employee got out of her SUV at Plaintiff's home but failed to put the SUV in park or engage a parking brake. The vehicle began rolling down Plaintiff's driveway. Plaintiff alleged that the Connected employee shouted to him to jump into the vehicle and try to stop it. As Plaintiff was getting in the vehicle it rolled over him causing crush injuries to his knee, pelvis, hips, shoulder, hand, abdomen and legs. He sought $85,201.19 for past medical expenses, $271,852 for past wage losses, $423,029 for future wage losses, and $1,000,000 for non-economic damages. Defendant Connected denied that their employee shouted for Plaintiff Konsa to stop the vehicle. Connected claims that Konsa was negligent and caused his own injury by stepping into the path of a moving vehicle, and that he did so while under the influence of alcohol. Verdict - $1,780,082.19.

Kohut v. Blue Star Services, Inc., Multnomah County Case No.15CV29552

Defendant Blue Star Services, Inc. ("Blue Star") runs a shuttle to and from the airport. Plaintiff Kohut (age 71) was picked up by Blue Star and taken to her house. The Blue Star driver did not pull in to Kohut's well lit driveway, or put down a step stool or offer a hand as they always had in the past. Instead, Kohut was let out in a dark area away from her driveway. As she exited the shuttle she stepped in to a depression where the water meter was located and fell resulting in fractures to her ankle which resulted in post-traumatic arthritis. Kohut alleged that Blue Star was negligent for dropping her off in the dark and not offering reasonable assistance as she was exiting the shuttle. She sought $54,275.61 for past medical expenses, $57,086.88 for lost income, $32,717.10 for future lost wages, $1,340.68 for travel expenses, $9,000 for a brace and $375,000.00 for non-economic damages. Defendant Blue Star alleged that Plaintiff was negligent for failing to keep a proper lookout, failing to avoid a known hazard, failing to use the steps when exiting the vehicle and failing to wear adequate footwear. Verdict - $476,478.24.

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