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2019 - Second Quarter

Table of Contents
July 1, 2019

Trials This Quarter

Assault Trials

Zebroski v. City of Portland, Multnomah County Case No. 18CV08255

Plaintiff Zebroski was engaged in a downtown Portland protest when Police officers began attempting to remove protesters, including Zebroski,f rom the street. Zebroski claimed that while she was passively resisting, riot officers slammed her to the ground and broke her nose. She filed this claim for battery arguing that Portland Police officers used excessive force. She sought $200,000.00 in damages. The City of Portland argued that they were responding to an unpermitted protest that was blocking traffic. They lawfully attempted to take Zebroski into custody for criminal conduct and did not intentionally injure her. Defense Verdict.

Medical Malpractice Trials

Patzer v. Portland Adventist Medical Center, Multnomah County Case No.17CV18794

Plaintiff Patzer was admitted to Defendant Adventist's hospital for a total knee replacement surgery. After this surgery, Plaintiff was recovering well and was scheduled to be released several days later. Defendant Adventist provided Plaintiff crutches to move around the room and go to the bathroom. This incident occurred when she used those crutches to go to the bathroom, assisted by an Adventist nurse. While in the bathroom the Adventist nurse left Plaintiff alone and went about her duties in the hospital. Plaintiff attempted to return to her bed with her crutches but without supervision when she fell to the floor striking her head and knocking herself unconscious. The fall and head strike caused her to suffer a traumatic brain injury. She alleged that the injury has caused her significant cognitive impairment diminished memory, visual information processing fatigue, headaches, dizziness, vertigo and nausea and will make her more susceptible to further falls. She alleged that Adventist was negligent for failing to ensure that a provider waited to assist Plaintiff back to her bed, failing to staff the hospital adequately, failing to train the nursing staff on fall prevention and failing to evaluate Plaintiffs fall risk. Plaintiff Patzer sought $4,950,000 for economic damages including loss of income, diminished future earnings capacity, and past and future medical expenses. She also sought $5,000,000 for non-economic damages. Defendant Adventist denied liability and alleged that the injuries were the result of Plaintiffs own negligence for failing to use the bathroom call bell so that a nurse could assist her to her bed, and for failing to ask the attending nurse to remain with her in the bathroom until she was ready to return to her bed. Verdict - $2,225,000.00.

Williams v. Friedman, Multnomah County Case No. 17CV35738

Plaintiff Williams went to urgent care complaining of abdominal pain and was sent to the emergency room for suspicion of appendicitis. A CT scan at the ER confirmed Williams was suffering from acute appendicitis and that his bladder contained a large amount of fluid. The ER doctor referred Williams for surgery with Defendant Friedman. Plaintiff alleged that Friedman reviewed the CT scan and should have known that Williams had a significantly distended bladder before beginning surgery. During the surgery Friedman inadvertently punctured Williams' bladder with a surgical tool requiring him to switch from a laparoscopic surgery to an open surgery during which Williams' bladder was now drained. As a result of the punctured bladder Plaintiff alleged that he suffered a permanent neurogenic bladder and will require self catheterization for the rest of his life. He sought economic damages for medical care and supplies totaling $293,606 and $1,926,287.50 for non-economic damages. Defendant Friedman denied negligence. Defense Verdict.

MVA Trials

Plechinger v. Riehl, Multnomah County Case No. 17CV21398

Plaintiff Plechinger was rear ended by Defendant Riehl on I-205. He alleged that the crash caused a disc injury to his neck requiring surgery. He sought $109,404.03 for medical expenses and $250,000 for non-economic damages. Defendant Riehl admitted liability and that the crash caused Mr. Plechinger some injury but disputed the degree of Plechinger's injuries caused by the crash. Verdict - $46,012.00.

Rudenko v. Jain, Multnomah County Case No. 18CV24253

Plaintiff Rudenko was rear ended by Defendant Jain on Highway 26 near the Vista Ridge Tunnel. He alleged that the crash caused soft-tissue injuries to his neck and back. He sought $10,000.00 plus attorney fees pursuant to ORS 20.080. Defendant admitted liability but argued that he crash did not cause injury to Rudenko. Verdict - $2,603.57.

Bryant v. Hoff, Multnomah County Case No. 18CV13361

Plaintiff Bryant and Defendant Hoff were in a car crash in downtown Portland. Both alleged that the other rant a red light. Bryant brought this suit and alleged that the crash caused him soft tissue injuries to his neck, back and shoulder as well as a concussion and bruising. He sought $10,000.00 and legal fees pursuant to ORS 20.080. Defense Verdict.

Sparks-Vlas v. Ahern, Multnomah County Case No. 18CV18922

Plaintiff Sparks-Vlas was driving on Highway 99E when Defendant Ahern attempted to merge from SE Glenwood and side swiped Plaintiff's car. Plaintiff alleged that the crash caused her injuries including a cervical spine injury that required surgery. She sought $$45,646 in medical expenses and $349,980 for non-economic damages. Defendant Ahern admitted liability but denied that the crash caused any injury. Defense Verdict.

Pedestrian Injury Trials

Kaufman v. Grand Prix Motors, Inc. and Dan Tkachuk, Multnomah County Case No. 18CV07602

Plaintiff Kaufman alleged that Defendant Tkachuk was driving at a high rate of speed through inner-SE Portland when he made a sharp and fast left hand turn from northbound SE 21st Ave. onto westbound SE Lafayette St., where he hit Plaintiff who was a then 17-year-old riding his skateboard to school.  Plaintiff alleged that the car Defendant Tkachuk was driving was owned by his employer, Defendant Grand Prix Motors, Inc. and that Grand Prix negligently entrusted the car to Defendant Tkachuk, who had, at the age of 20, had nine moving violations, most involving speed, prior to the entrustment. Plaintiff suffered a left temporal lobe fracture, with concussion and epidural hematoma.  He also suffered a fractured left clavicle that required surgical repair.  Plaintiff sought economic damages for past medical expenses of $38,628.15 and $13,498.81in future medical expenses. Plaintiff also sought $500,000 for noneconomic damages. Defendants Grand Prix Motors and Tkachuk both denied that Tkachuk was acting in the course and scope of his employment with Grand Prix. They also denied liability and claimed that the crash was the result of Plaintiff’s negligence. Verdict - $88,970.22 after 25% reduction for comparative negligence.  

Premises Liability Trials

Gladysh v. Safeway, Inc, Multnomah County Case No. 18CV08426

Plaintiff Gladysh was standing in line at a Starbucks inside a store operated by Defendant Safeway when a person who may have been visually impaired drover a motorized cart into a coffee display that then fell and struck Plaintiff. Plaintiff alleged that the incident caused her to suffer multiple injuries including a torn mensicus requiring surgery. She alleged that Safeway was negligent for not securing the display so that it could not tip over on top of people and for not supervising the use of carts in the store. Plaintiff sought $45,000.00 for medical expenses and $300,000.00 for non-economic damages. Defendant denied liability and contested the cause and degree of Plaintiff's injuries. Verdict - $70,778.16.

UM/UIM Trials

Piersall v. Farmers Insurance Company of Oregon, Multnomah County Case No. 18CV02175

Plaintiff Piersall was driving westbound on South Barnards Road when an intoxicated driver crossed the center line causing ahead-on collision. Piersall alleged that the crash caused injuries to her neck, back, chest, clavicle and knee. She resolved the case against the at-fault driver for his $25,000 policy limits and then brought this action against her own auto insurer for underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. She sought $11,347.21 for past medical expenses and $150,000 for non-economic damages. She also sought attorney’s fees pursuant to ORS 742.061. Piersall’s insurance company, Defendant Farmers, admitted that benefits were available, that the crash was the fault of the drunk driver, that Piersall was injured in the crash and that her past medical expenses were reasonable and necessary. They disputed the amount of Piersall’s non-economic damages. Verdict – $61,347.21.

Other Trials

Davis v. Kong Marketing, LLC, Multnomah County Case No. 18CV17220

Plaintiff Davis purchased items from  from a convenience store operated by Defendant Kong Marketing and brought her own cold coffee to heat in the store's microwave. She used the microwave to warm her coffee and when she went to remove the coffee from the microwave, the coffee spilled onto her chest causing second degree burns to much of her chest. She alleged that Defendant was negligent for placing the microwave at a height that required people to reach up to get hot items risking burns. She sought $4,000.00 for medical expenses and $75,000.00 for non-economic damages. Defendant denied liability and alleged that Davis was negligent for bringing her own coffee and mug without the agreement of the store, warming the coffee to a dangerous temperature, and spilling coffee on herself. Defense Verdict.

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