Cases That Bring Change

The experienced personal injury attorneys at The Corson & Johnson Law Firm produce results that go beyond recovering monetary compensation for our clients. These are some of the many cases in which we have protected the rights of individuals and families harmed by senseless accidents, errors, or product defects.

Spinal Cord Injury Case Funds Scholarships for Wheelchair-bound

Catastrophic InjuriesOne of our most memorable cases involved a young man who became paralyzed due to the medical negligence of emergency physicians and hospital staff following an accident. After surviving a head-on motor vehicle collision, Janos Tivadar was properly treated by an ambulance crew and placed on a long backboard with a cervical collar restraint in place. When Janos reached the hospital, the emergency room physician and staff were informed that he had been injured in a head-on accident and had to be extricated from his vehicle. In the hospital that day, Janos moved both legs, and both of his lower extremities were neurovascularly intact.
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A chest x-ray and chest CT scans showed that he had a thoracic spine injury, which meant that he was at risk of spinal cord injury if not properly treated. Despite this, he was taken off the long backboard and the cervical collar before being taken to the operating room for surgery on his leg. Tragically, hospital staff did not follow established procedures and as a result, Janos became fully paralyzed below the mid-chest level. When the case was settled, The Corson & Johnson Law Firm donated a portion of the settlement money to Project Walk in Oregon. Project Walk is a nonprofit organization that is using innovative therapies to help people with spinal cord injuries lead a more mobile life. Project Walk is internationally recognized as a pioneer in exercise-based recovery for people with spinal cord injuries; providing hope, improved quality of life and a chance for life beyond a wheelchair. Learn about Project Walk.

Drowning Death Draws National Attention to Whitewater Safety; Writing New Laws to Create Safer Rivers

Case Results
Former University of Oregon Law School Dean Chapin Clark was killed on the Rogue River during a professionally guided fishing trip. Mr. Clark fell out of the boat after it capsized in a canyon-walled stretch of whitewater known as Coffee Pot. The outfitter and guide lacked the necessary rescue skills and safety equipment needed to save Mr. Clark’s life. The case highlighted that in Oregon at that time, there were no laws requiring such rescue skills and equipment for businesses involved in one of the state’s most popular outdoor activities.
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We worked with the Clark family to get new laws passed to raise the safety standards for professional river guides and outfitters. Don Corson wrote the preliminary legislation that would require the higher standards. Julia Clark (Chapin Clark’s daughter), Mari Anne Gest (Julia’s friend and environmental lobbyist), Phil Barnhart (Democratic Representative from Eugene), and Floyd Prozanski (Democratic Senator from Eugene) crafted and negotiated the final bill and worked with Oregon Guides and Packers to get it passed. The Governor of Oregon signed the bill into law on July 22, 2005. The 2005 laws require guides and outfitters to carry life vests, throw bags, and other equipment necessary for successful water rescues. They must also receive formal training in river rescue techniques, emergency procedures and equipment recovery. These changes have protected countless lives in Oregon’s waters.

Injured Climber Donates Crash Pads for Camps

A graduation night celebration turned dangerous when the combination of a camp staffer’s negligence and an improperly equipped climbing wall led to the severe injury of a high school senior. Bradford Deluca was celebrating with his classmates at a camp that provided a climbing wall, and as part of its services, staff to operate the climbing wall. A Camp staffer was responsible for properly securing each guest for each ascent. On Bradford’s third climb, the Camp staffer failed to properly secure him. Bradford reached the top of the climbing wall and leaned back for the controlled descending rappel just as he had done twice earlier that evening. Because the Camp staffer had failed to properly secure him, there was a sudden fall instead of a controlled descent. Unfortunately, the Camp had chosen to use thin mats designed for much lower loads instead of the thicker safety crash pads routinely used in climbing gyms. Both of Bradford’s wrists snapped. One wrist was so severely broken that it required extensive surgery that involved the permanent installation of orthopedic hardware. In settlement negotiations, Bradford pressed to have the Camp install safer climbing equipment, including climbing crash pads, to protect young people in the future. Afterwards, Bradford donated a portion of his settlement to purchasing new climbing crash pads for the Camp.