No case is too large or too small for the Salem, Oregon lawyers at Vick & Glantz LLP. We select our caseload based on the change we can effect in the lives of our clients, not on the amount of money at stake. Whether your case involves an injury caused by the wrongful acts of another, negligence in the medical malpractice realm, or a violation of civil rights, our firm is dedicated to working tirelessly and creatively to achieve positive outcomes. Below are some examples of recent cases, and how our work has helped our clients through very challenging times. If you find yourself in a similar situation, contact Vick & Glantz LLP and let us help you too.
1. Medical Malpractice/Wrongful Death: A young first time mother gave birth to a beautiful girl. Soon after, the mother started to exhibit disturbing symptoms. She was pale and short of breath. Her doctor, a general practitioner, took x-rays and noted her heart was “peculiarly large.” He did not have anyone read the x-rays or ask for a consultation. Instead he treated her for presumptive pneumonia. After numerous visits with her health deteriorating, she went to an emergency room where she later died of complications from peripartum cardiomyopathy (an enlarged heart). After a long fight we successfully settled the case with the doctor and hospital. The settlement was structured through an annuity which will provide support to this girl as she grows up, providing necessary funds as she encounters important life challenges. While there is nothing we can do to bring her mother back, she will be supported by family, friends, and the compensation she received. We are extremely happy with the profound difference we helped make in her life under these tragic circumstances.
2. Vehicle Crash: A woman was involved in a car wreck on a major Portland freeway. Moments later, she was hit again. She required two surgeries and a long treatment process. The woman’s former attorney settled the claims against the two drivers for their policy limits which did not compensate her fully. Unhappy with the offer made by her own underinsured motorist insurance company ($75,000) and the recommendation of her attorney to accept it, she came to us. We began litigation and just before trial the company offered $175,000. That was rejected and we went to trial, finally receiving a jury verdict of $979,000.
3. Civil Rights: Sometimes, as attorneys, it is important to represent those whose rights have been violated by the State, even when there is not much money at stake. By prosecuting these cases, the State may be less likely to violate those rights in the future. We recently handled a case where an inmate at a local correctional facility, while incarcerated for a non-violent crime, was strip-searched in a “port-a-potty” on a busy street. Prison policy does not allow these types of searches, and the Constitution forbids them. The guard denied the incident, and the State of Oregon denied the inmate’s claim. He was subsequently released, came to our firm, and we filed suit against the state of Oregon for numerous violations of state and federal law, including a 42 USC §1983 civil rights claim. The case resolved in our client’s favor, granting him a monetary judgment against the state. The judge handling the case granted our request for attorney fees of 1 ½ times the actual attorney fee amount in order to underscore the importance of attorneys taking these kinds of cases.
4. Pharmacy Negligence: A retail pharmacy incorrectly filled a prescription for a gentleman who was taking anti-rejection medicine after receiving a kidney transplant. Even though the error was eventually discovered, he risked losing the transplanted kidney. His initial inquiries with the pharmacy were met with denials, and even after he hired our firm, the pharmacy and their attorneys denied responsibility. We filed suit in state court, and the defendant pharmacy removed the case to the federal court system. We successfully moved the court to allow a claim for punitive damages. The case settled during mediation for $1,500,000, which provided our client funds to make life more comfortable for himself and his wife.
5. Vehicle Crash: A successful business person broke his leg in a car crash caused by a negligent driver. Because he could not work for six weeks, his company was unable to put some projects on line that were planned to be implemented that year. As a result, he lost his partner equity in those projects. We filed a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance carrier and they settled for policy limits. The problem was, however, that those policy limits were $100,000, and the loss suffered as the result of the crash was $1.8 million. Accordingly, we made demand to our client’s own insurance carrier for $1.7 million of his “underinsured motorist” coverage. The carrier denied our claim and we filed suit. Because of the complex issues involved, mainly the trouble quantifying losses of equity for the delay of those projects, we hired forensic accountants and used them to explain to the three judge arbitration panel in a simple way how our client suffered the losses. The insurance company attorney and accountants argued there was no loss at all. At the end of trial, the judges agreed with us and awarded our client the full $1.7 million.