Copyright 1999 Jury Verdicts Northwest Inc.

Oregon Litigation and Arbitration Reports


Case No. 9712-09803

Jury Trial Date: March 29, 1999

Date of Publication: July, 1999


RESULT: PLAINTIFF VERDICT for $ 36,999.13. (Jury awarded wage loss and medicals but no noneconomic. Plff argued that pursuant to her motion made during trial, jury must award some noneconomic damages if they found negligence. Trial court was required to send case back to jury for finding of noneconomic damages; trial court refused and verdict was accepted. Subsequent motion for new trial solely on issue of noneconomic damages was made and denied.)

INJURY: Aggravation of pre-existing neck/back injuries; L4-5 disc protrusion. Headaches. Def. contended Plff’s work-related neck/back injury 30 days prior to accident was cause of damages. Def. called 3 IME doctors, 2 of which saw Plff under workers’ compensation claim (later denied) for same injuries during same period of time, and other examined Plff 2 years after accident. IME doctors contended Plff had no objective signs of injuries and was able to work. Def. also contended Plff’s injuries were due to 2 subsequent motor vehicle accidents, one significant and the other minor.

SPECIALS: Med. $ 8,469.57 ($ 4,350 PIP); Lost Wages $ 35,601 (including overtime); Days Work Lost – approx. 1 year (Def. contended Plff was not entitled to lost wages because she had been terminated while off work for reasons unrelated to accident).

STATE: Oregon

COUNTY: Multnomah

TRIAL JUDGE: Hon. John Wittmayer.

PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY(S): Michael H. Bloom (Portland).

DEFENDANT ATTORNEY(S): Jeffrey Hansen of Smith, Freed, Heald & Chock (Portland).

SUMMARY: 7/3/96 – Plff, female age 45, member services liaison. Plff contended her vehicle was rear-ended by Def. while exiting I-5 southbound at the Morrison Bridge. Def. contended she was not at fault because another vehicle had cut in front of her causing a chain reaction collision.

PLAINTIFF MEDICAL EXPERT(S): Dwight Freeman MD (Orthopedist) Portland; David Dixon MD (General Practice) Vancouver WA.

PLAINTIFF EXPERT(S): William Platt MD (Neurologist-IME) Hillsboro; Samuel Scheinberg MD (Orthopedist-IME) Lincoln City; Donald Peterson MD (Orthopedist-IME) Hillsboro; Gary Holman DC (Chiropractor) Portland.

DEFENDANT MEDICAL EXPERT(S): Jon Ver Halen (Engineer) IL; Bruce Wong (Engineer); Gene Pong (Wood Expert/Micrologist) both Portland.

OFFER: $ 30,000. Def. asked jury for reasonable amount.

DEMAND: $ 40,000.

TRIAL-TIME: 5-day trial