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2018 - Fourth Quarter

Table of Contents
January 1, 2019

Trials This Quarter

Medical Malpractice Trials

Lovenstein and Frye v. David Adler, M.D., Multnomah County Case No. 16CV23478

Plaintiff Lovenstein went to the hospital on December 1, 2015, with severe, radiating back pain. He was able to urinate and was neurologically intact. He was evaluated and discharged on December 2, 2015. He returned to the emergency room on December 3, 2015, unable to feel or use his left leg. Defendant, Dr. Adler, was the on-call neurosurgeon. He did not come to the hospital to evaluate Lovenstein but scheduled surgery for the next day. By the time surgery began the next day Lovenstein was retaining urine and had decreased rectal tone. Lovenstein claimed that the delay in care caused him to develop full-blown cauda-equina syndrome resulting in paralysis. He sought $178,728 for past medical expenses, $1,036,823 for future medical costs, $172,714 for lost wages, $512,565 for future lost income and $1,900,830 for non-economic damages. Lovenstein’s wife sought $500,000 for lost consortium. Defendant Adler argued that the symptoms Lovenstein presented at the hospital on December 3, 2015, were not consistent with complete cauda-equina syndrome and nonetheless, his surgery was done timely as surgery within 24-48 hours offers similar outcomes. Defense Verdict.

Miller v. Constantino and Epic Imaging, Multnomah County Case No. 17CV17556

Defendants saw plaintiff Miller for diagnostic testing related to a pelvic mass. Defendant Constantino performed six biopsies of the mass with an ultrasound-guided needle. Miller claimed that during the procedure her ovarian artery was punctured. She claims she was then discharged from Defendants' care even though she was experiencing hemorrhagic shock. Miller alleged that she was required to undergo another procedure to repair the punctured artery. She sought $87,881.00 for past medical expenses and $859,000.00 for non-economic damages. Defendant’s denied that their care was negligent and further denied that Miller’s ovarian artery was punctured during the procedure. Defense Verdict.

MVA Trials

Robertson v. Kulkarni, Multnomah County Case No. 17CV21519

Plaintiff Robertson and Defendant Kulkarni were driving opposite directions on SW TV Highway. Kulkarni took a left turn across Robertson’s lane of travel, causing a collision.  Robertson claimed Kulkarni was negligent for failing to yield the right-of-way and making a dangerous left turn.  She claimed accident-related injuries including a cervical disk protrusion and annular tear which required surgical intervention. She sought $230,144.19 for past medical expenses, $5,696.12 for past wage losses and $500,000 for non-economic damages. Defendant Kulkarni admitted negligently turning in front of Robertson, but claimed that Robertson was also negligent for speeding.  He argued that the crash only caused Robertson a minor cervical sprain and that only $5,027.28 of her medical expenses were reasonably related to the accident.  Verdict - $78,375.75 (after 25% reduction for comparative negligence).

Boehler v. Doucette, Multnomah County Case No. 17CV46610

Defendant Doucette rear-ended Plaintiff Boehler on I-84. Boehler claimed crash-related soft-tissue injuries to her neck, back, and shoulder as well as a concussion and post-concussive headaches and anxiety. She sought $14,163.40 for past medical expenses, $25,000 for future medical expenses and $66,000 for non-economic damages. Defendant Doucette admitted liability but denied the crash caused any injury to Boehler. Verdict - $13,888.00.

Deverell v. Madison, Multnomah County Case No. 17CV42375

Plaintiff Deverell was driving on NW 21st Avenue and was passing through NW Marshall when Defendant Madison ran a stop sign and struck her. Deverell claimed that Madison was also driving under the influence of intoxicants. Deverell sought $45,000 for economic damages including medical expenses and wage losses. She also requested $150,000 for non-economic damages. Defendant Madison claimed that it was Deverell who ran the stop sign and caused the crash. Verdict- $9,000.00.

Scott v. Clevenger, Multnomah County Case No. 17CV43984

Defendant Clevenger rear ended Plaintiff Scott on SE 148th Avenue. Scott claimed that the crash caused her to suffer back and neck injuries and headaches. Scott sought $429.17 for unreimbursed medical expenses and $9,567.96 for non-economic damages. Defendant Clevenger admitted responsibility for t he crash but disputed Scott's injuries and damages. Verdict $3,619.44. The court awarded $24,367.50 for attorney fees pursuant to ORS 20.080.

Haas and Haas v. Carter and State Farm, Multnomah County Case No. 16CV24579

Defendant Carter rear-ended Plaintiffs Mr. and Mrs. Haas. Defendant Carter died before this case could come to trial, and therefore this case was brought against his estate. Mrs. Haas alleged that the crash caused injury to her neck and back including the need to have lumbar fusion surgery. She sought$268,222.62 for past and future medical expenses, $459,778.63 for lost wages and impaired earning capacity, and $365,927.00 for non-economic damages. Mr. Haas claimed injuries to his neck and back including aC6-7 annular tear and disc injury that required disc replacement surgery. He requested $328,879.80 for past and future medical care and $327,489.50 for non-economic damages. He also claimed $250,000 in damages for loss of consortium. Additionally, Mr. and Mrs. Haas brought claims against their insurance company, State Farm, for denied medical bills under their personal injury protection (PIP) policy and for underinsured motorist benefits. Defense verdicts on all counts.

Galloway v. Dishman, Multnomah County Case No. 17CV36999

Plaintiff Galloway was driving eastbound on Highway 26 with the intention of taking a left turn on Haley Road. He claimed that as he took his turn, he was hit by Defendant Dishman who was heading westbound on the highway.  He claims that Dishman was speeding at 73 miles per hour and that the crash would not have happened if Dishman had been going the 55mph speed limit.  Galloway claimed accident-related injuries including a skull fracture, facial fractures, and a traumatic brain injury.  He was comatose for several weeks. He sought $748,292.15 in economic damages for past and future medical bills, wage losses and impaired earning capacity.  He sought $1,000,000 for non-economic damages.  Defendant Dishman claimed that the crash was Galloway’s fault for making a left turn directly in front of an oncoming car without yielding the right of way. Defense Verdict.

Russell-Pinkham v. Ward, Multnomah County Case No. 18CV05637

Plaintiff claimed she was driving southbound on NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard passing through a green light when Defendant Ward, who was driving through the light northbound, attempted to take a left turn without yielding and caused a crash. Plaintiff claimed crash related injuries to her neck, back and hip. She sought $11.542.00 for past medical expenses, $291.21 for wage losses, and non-economic damages of $8,000.00. Defendant Ward claimed to have a green arrow and therefore the crash was a result of Plaintiff's negligence. Defense Verdict.

PIP Denial Trials

Durfee v. American Family Insurance Company, Multnomah County Case No. 17CV46043

Plaintiff Durfee was involved in two car accidents and alleged she sustained injuries. She incurred medical expenses and sent the bills to her own auto insurance company – Defendant American Family – for payment under her no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.  American Family denied payment to the disputed charges alleging that they were not for reasonable and necessary treatment related to the crashes.  Durfee brought this lawsuit seeking payment of the bills and legal fees according to ORS742.061. Defense Verdict.

Premises Liability Trials

Cooper v. Biscuits Café et. al., Multnomah County Case No. 15CV02446

Plaintiff alleged that she slipped and fell on a wet surface at Defendant's restaurant. She claimed that Defendant was negligent for failing to warn of the wet and slippery condition of the floor and for allowing customer traffic in an area which had recently been mopped. She alleged that the fall resulted in an AC separation of her shoulder, cervical injuries, chronic pain, nerve injury, headaches, and impairment. She sought $95,000 for past medical expenses, $300,000 for future medical expenses, $32,000 in lost wages, $106,250 in lost earning capacity and $1,000,000 in non-economic damages. Defendant alleged that Plaintiff's fall was her own fault for failing to maintain a proper lookout or use reasonable care for her own safety and in failing to control her body so as to avoid falling. Verdict - $540,460.83.

Frasier v. Oregon Worsted Company, Multnomah County Case No. 17CV27191

Plaintiff was in Defendant’s fabric store. The store used hangers for fabric that had sharply pointed hooks to keep the fabric on the hangers. She was returning the fabric to a rack when she impaled her hand on an adjacent hanger with a very sharp pointed end. Frasier claimed that Defendant was negligent for failing to warn about the sharp hanger hooks and failing to cover the hooks. She alleged that the injury resulted in the loss of strength, pain, numbness, scarring and emotional trauma. She sought $150,000 for non-economic damages. Defendant admitted liability and contested only damages. Verdict - $12,000.00.

Martinez v. Wells Fargo Bank, Multnomah County Case No. 17CV54281

Plaintiff Martinez walked into Defendant’s bank and went into the teller line where he slipped on standing water and fell. He alleged rib injuries. He claimed that Wells Fargo was negligent for failing to remove the water or warn customers of the hazard. He sought $8,000 for non-economic damages. Wells Fargo denied liability and claimed that the fall was Martinez’s fault for failing to keep a proper lookout. Verdict– $2,650.00. After 47% reduction for comparative negligence.

Workplace Injury Trials

Perry v. Phase II Transportation, Inc., Multnomah County Case No. 17CV14005

Plaintiff Perry was on the job working for a company when he drove a forklift into a box truck delivered by Defendant Phase II Transportation, Inc ("Phase II") and the floor partially collapsed. As a result of this incident Plaintiff Perry suffered a lower back disc herniation requiring surgery and other lower back injuries. Perry alleged that defendant failed to properly maintain the box truck and failing to warn Perry of its structural weakness. He sought economic damages for lost wages, future lost wages, medical expenses and future medical expenses totaling $615,000. He also sought non-economic damages of $450,000. Phase II denied liability and argued that the incident was due to Plaintiff's negligence in failing to follow safety procedures, and failure to follow his training and safety protocols. Verdict - $972,870.13.

Other Trials

Dominguez v. Alex Freddi Construction, LLC, et. al., Multnomah County Case No. 17CV17439

Defendant Birmingham was remodeling her home and contracted with Defendant Alex Freddi Construction.  Alex Freddi Construction subcontracted with NW Kitchen Designs to install new flooring, and Kibuk Construction to install new tile.  During the remodel the bathroom duct grate was removed and the bathroom light was disconnected.  Defendant Birmingham then invited plaintiff Dominguez to her home to discuss painting the bathroom. Dominguez entered the bathroom and reached for the light but it did not work. Dominguez then stepped into the open duct and fell.  Dominguez alleged that defendants were negligent for failing to warn her of the open duct and lack of lighting. She alleged that the fall caused her to tear her hip labrum, which resulted in her having a total hip replacement. Plaintiff sought $86,824.76 for past medical expenses, $42,000 for future medical expenses, $66,000 for lost wages, and$800,000 for non-economic damages. Defendants each alleged that Dominguez’s injury was the result of her own negligence in failing to keep a proper lookout in an obvious construction area.  Alternatively, they blamed co-defendants actions for the injury. Total Verdict - $349,942.28.

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