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Matthew D. Kaplan

A lot of state and local governments — including counties here in Oregon — have outsourced the provision of medical care inside their jails to large out-of-state corporations like Corizon Health and Wellpath. Too many times, big companies like these prioritize profits over proper care. As a result, incarcerated patients needlessly suffer and, too often, die. It’s been nearly 50 years since the U.S. Supreme Court first said that a failure to provide proper medical care to a jail inmate is a violation of that inmate’s Eighth Amendment rights. If you have a family member who didn’t get the medical attention they should have while behind bars, then you should get in touch with an Oregon jail medical neglect lawyer to find out if your family potentially has a civil rights case.

Recent news reports have revealed that another woman has entered an Oregon jail only to die shortly after booking. The deceased person was a 34-year-old woman from Central Point who, according to court documents filed on Nov.7, was arrested on methamphetamine and fentanyl charges. Police housed her in the Jackson County jail.

Less than a week later, the woman was dead. According to news reports, corrections officers identified the woman as “in medical need” at 10:14 pm on Sunday, Nov. 13. At that point, the woman supposedly was “alert and responsive to deputy questions,” KDRV reported.

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Oregon is home to some of the finest opportunities to enjoy the outdoors on a bicycle. What that also means, though, is that Oregon is also a place where bicyclists who live far from here run the risk of suffering injuries in a crash. When that happens, it’s reasonable not to know where to turn. You should start by getting in touch with an experienced Oregon bicycle accident lawyer who can help you with the correct next steps.

When you suffer injuries in an accident close to home, it may seem easy to know what to do — call your regular local attorney and seek advice. When you’re far from home, that same attorney may be unable to represent you. Knowing what to do and doing it in a timely fashion is very important because you only have a limited time before the statute of limitations runs out.

Fortunately for a Canadian couple who were injured while bicycling in Oregon, they recognized what to do and did so within the deadline period.

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When you pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, you’re seeking to hold accountable those responsible for your loved one’s premature demise. The other side seeks to avoid or minimize liability to the greatest extent possible. That defense position often entails making the litigation process as burdensome on you as possible within the confines of the law. These harsh realities serve as reminders of the importance of a skillful Oregon wrongful death lawyer, both in shouldering that burden and applying the brakes when the other side has stepped outside the confines of what the law allows.

One area where this can be particularly true is the pretrial discovery process. Defense attorneys might demand a wide array of things, including many personal medical records. Is it frustrating? Yes. Is it intrusive? Yes. Is it legal? As one recent wrongful death case that originated here in Portland demonstrates, not necessarily.

The lawsuit originated after the passing of H.D., a boy born prematurely who died of cardiac arrest at the age of five months. The boy’s mother, acting in her capacity as the personal representative of the estate, sued for wrongful death, alleging medical negligence.

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A locally renowned chef lost her life recently in a gruesome bicycle accident in a notoriously dangerous intersection southeast of downtown Portland. The chef’s death has sparked protests and a call from one city commissioner to transfer control of the area from the state to the City of Portland, according to Oregonlive.com. As Oregon accident lawyers representing bicyclists and others harmed or killed in dangerous intersection crashes, we heartily endorse options that will that create or expedite the changes necessary to make Portland’s roads safer for all users.

The fatal collision, which occurred at the intersection of Southeast Powell Boulevard and Southeast 26th Avenue saw a semi-truck hit a bicycle. The bicyclist, 50-year-old Sarah Pliner, died at the scene. According to BikePortland, the collision occurred as the driver of the 53-foot semi-truck attempted a right-hand turn from northbound 26th Avenue to eastbound Powell Boulevard.

The accident that claimed the chef’s life was far from the first for this dangerous intersection. A 2014 Powell Boulevard safety audit that the Oregon Department of Transportation commissioned listed “heavy north/south bike traffic” as one of the primary safety issues at the intersection of Powell and 26th.

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When you’ve endured a serious workplace injury (or a workplace accident has claimed the life of a loved one,) there are limits to what your family can recover through the workers’ compensation system. However, many workplace accidents present an alternate outlet for getting the compensation you need: a third-party action. These lawsuits can represent crucial lifelines for injured workers and/or their families to receive the full recovery they need. Third-party industrial accident cases also can be especially complex legal matters, so if you’ve been hurt on the job, make sure you consult an experienced Oregon industrial accident lawyer about your situation.

A harrowing industrial accident occurred just last month in Southwest Portland when a 50-ton drilling rig tipped over at the Oregon Health and Science University. For reasons unknown at the time OregonLive published its report, the rig overturned and pinned its operator inside. Portland Fire and Rescue eventually extricated the man from the rig’s cab and transported him to a nearby trauma center with serious injuries.

When these kinds of accidents happen, serious or fatal worker injuries often are the result. According to OSHA, approximately 1 in 5 worker fatalities in the private sector involves someone working in construction, and many of these fatalities involve heavy equipment such as trucks or cranes.

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Earlier this week, we looked at the ongoing problem of people with addictions dying inside area jails. Many times, these people die because of improper care (or no care at all) in managing the detox process. Jails have healthcare service providers who are supposed to be able to handle these inmates (or else transfer them to someplace that can.) When an inmate dies because they did not receive proper medical care, that represents a potential violation of their civil rights. If your family has lost a loved one in this way, a knowledgeable Oregon jail medical neglect lawyer can help you to get to the truth.

One thing that’s common in these cases is the speed of deterioration. The U.S. Department of Justice looked at a broad array of these deaths and found that the “median length of stay in jail before death from alcohol or drug intoxication was just 1 day.”

So, why are inmates and detainees abruptly dying so soon after entering lockup? Law offices that handle these cases — including this office — often have the depressing answers.

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In 2017, a Portland news source reported on “a string of heroin-related deaths behind bars.” In the years since, the opioid crisis still rages, and inmates are still dying abruptly in lockup, often as a result of the side effects of detoxing. When that happens due to a lack of basic medical care (such as providing IV fluids or prescription medicine,) then those responsible for providing that care may have done something that’s more than callous. They may have violated that inmate’s civil rights. If your family has been impacted by one of these kinds of events, an experienced Oregon jail death lawyer can give you keen insight and knowledgeable advice about your situation.

According to area news reports, sometime during the afternoon of Aug. 21, 2022, inside a holding cell at the Curry County Jail, a 34-year-old woman, Heather Iverson, lay dying. By the time deputies found her (at around 6:00 pm), she was already dead. While details about Iverson’s death remain sparse, this isn’t the first time an inmate/detainee has died suddenly at the Curry County Jail.

In 2017, local police arrested a 24-year-old woman on outstanding warrants. During her booking, Cassadi Renee Bond informed the staff that she had used heroin before her arrest. Allegedly, the Curry County Sheriff’s Office and medical staff “closely monitored” the woman for “any signs of opioid withdrawal.” Despite that alleged “close” monitoring, the woman deteriorated to such a degree that, within 72 hours of her arrest, she was found unresponsive in her cell. She never regained consciousness.

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Summertime in Oregon is an excellent time to take in the scenery aboard a motorcycle. As motorcyclists know, whenever they hit the road, they are among the most vulnerable to serious or fatal injuries if a collision occurs. Often, much or all of the blame for these catastrophic crashes rests upon a car, truck, or SUV driver who failed to maintain a properly diligent lookout. When that happens and a severe or fatal injury impacts your family, a knowledgeable Portland motorcycle accident lawyer can provide you with invaluable aid as you navigate the legal system.

Sadly, the last several weeks have been extremely deadly for motorcyclists across Oregon. In late June and early July alone, two crashes in Central Oregon left two motorcyclists dead.

In the June crash, the driver of a Ford Thunderbird collided with a motorcyclist and his passenger at an intersection along Highway 97. Oregon State Police indicated that the driver of the car “failed to stop at the intersection,” colliding with the couple’s motorcycle. The driver of the motorcycle, a 65-year-old man from Washington, died at the scene. The passenger, the deceased’s 62-year-old wife, suffered critical injuries, according to a Central Oregon Daily report.

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In 2018, CNBC reported that “more than 250,000 people in the United States die every year because of medical mistakes, making it the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer,” according to research conducted by Johns Hopkins. The Journal of Patient Safety concluded that the number of deaths attributable to medical errors actually was more than 400,000. Inevitably, thousands of those annual deaths occur right here in Oregon. Families impacted by medical negligence only have a limited period of time to pursue legal action, which is why contacting a knowledgeable Oregon medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible is crucial.

Late last month, the Oregon Court of Appeals issued a ruling that revived a widow’s medical malpractice case against the hospital and doctors who treated her husband.

This case is a reminder of several important things, but we’ll focus on two. The first is the prevalence of fatal mistakes by medical providers. As noted above, reputable sources have placed the number of deaths in the hundreds of thousands every year. These mistakes include everything from prescribing (or administering) the wrong drug (or the wrong dosage) to leaving surgical instruments inside patients after operations to making incorrect diagnoses as a result of reviewing the wrong test results.

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When parents with young children purchase a new vehicle, they may pore over data regarding the vehicle’s safety ratings, including its safety in side-impact collisions. Unlike that new car, van, or SUV, the car seat carrying those same parents’ young child may not have undergone similarly rigorous side-impact crash testing. When a car seat fails to perform as it should in a crash and a child is injured, the law allows those families to seek compensation, and they should contact a knowledgeable Oregon child injury lawyer right away.

Late last month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a new rule that modified the existing “Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 213,” which is the rule covering child car seats. For decades, federal regulations required manufacturers to put their car seats through crash simulation testing that replicated a “30-mph frontal impact.” The new amendment “establishes a side impact test that replicates a 30-mph side collision, commonly known as a T-bone crash. ”

This amendment to the rule is a welcome addition, but it was a long time in coming. Congress initially called for the addition of side-impact standards to the rule more than 20 years ago, in 2000.

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50 SW Pine St 3rd Floor Portland, OR 97204 Telephone: (503) 226-3844 Fax: (503) 943-6670 Email: matthew@mdkaplanlaw.com
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