Each January, Americans pause to reflect upon the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On multiple occasions, Dr. King counseled new college graduates and other audiences that “the time is always right to do what is right.” At Kaplan Law LLC we strive to do exactly that as we pursue justice on behalf of our clients.
And, as of this month, we’ve been doing it for 20 years.
During those two decades, we have represented a lot of victims and their families in catastrophic injury (and death) cases, including high-profile ones like Jed Hawk Myers. Myers died in the Yamhill County Jail after his pleas for medical attention — 19 times across five hours, to be exact — were ignored.
Those responsible for his safety and providing medical care didn’t take emergency action despite knowing he had urinated blood in the toilet. Myers, who had endured a brutal beating at the hands of two fellow inmates, was spotted slumped over in his cell. He died at 1:15 am, just hours before he was to be released.
After this office filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Myers’s estate and family, the county settled the case for $5 million.
More recently, we represented the family of Kathleen Norman, a woman from Newberg who also died inside the Yamhill County jail. Sheriff’s deputies and medical staff knew Norman was undergoing alcohol detox. They also identified she was experiencing delirium tremens. Providers never physically examined her, took no vital signs, and provided no detox medication that was readily available. They simply placed Norman in a medical cell and did nothing.
Sometime after 3 am, a sergeant found Norman on the floor of her cell, unresponsive. She was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. Norman’s case is an important one for shining a spotlight on the problem of large private corporate medical care providers inside correctional facilities. The provider responsible for Norman’s care — Wellpath — is one the largest outsourced medical care providers and one of the most notorious for putting profits over patients’ wellbeing.
Helping Catastrophically Injured Clients in a Variety of Types of Cases
Kaplan Law also takes on a wide array of matters including third-party industrial accident cases. In 2019, we represented a man seriously hurt at work when a forklift operator at a print shop lost control of his load and dropped a pallet and a crate (weighing a combined 900 pounds) on our client.
The load’s impact on his body was severe. The repair surgery on his femur involved multiple screws and plates. These injuries led to our client incurring tens of thousands of dollars of damage, so we initiated a claim against the insurance company that covered the forklift operator’s employer.
We also assist clients — like Tanzie Hickory — injured in major motor vehicle crashes. In September 2016 a hit-and-run driver struck Hickory, causing massive injuries to her left foot and leg, her left kneecap, and her collarbone.
Holding the responsible driver accountable can be especially challenging in a hit-and-run incident. We succeeded on behalf of Hickory by obtaining security camera footage from a nearby gas station, using that footage to track down the vehicle’s owner in Portland, then using that information to locate the vehicle — and the owner’s daughter — at the University of Oregon, where the daughter attended college. Once we had all those pieces, our investigator was able to travel to Eugene and get photographs that showed damage consistent with Hickory’s crash.
We have taken on Fortune 500 businesses like a major consumer foods company (after an explosion killed our client’s brother at a potato processing plant in northeastern Oregon.) In this case, the large corporation knew there was a crack in the bottom of the Delta Stak tank (a confined space) and that gas was leaking through the crack into the tank. This company decided to hire an outside fabricator to weld the crack, which resulted in an explosion. The blast caused the structure (which was not properly secured to its foundation) to move, and this caused chevrons and debris to fall and kill the decedent.
We also took on a technology megacorporation and its subcontractors after an explosion at its plant in Oregon seriously injured our client, a technician who was working for another employer inside the facility. The technology corporation decided at the last minute to change the architectural drawings that were completed by its engineers but didn’t consult them about those last-minute changes. This incredibly complex case involved multiple defendants in separate jurisdictions and issues being appealed up through the Oregon Supreme Court.
For those who have entrusted Kaplan Law these past two decades in your search for justice, we thank you. For those who are currently facing legal issues as a result of injuries you incurred due to someone else’s negligence, the experienced Oregon personal injury team at Kaplan Law LLC is eager to help. Call us today at (503) 226-3844 or contact us online to set up your free consultation.