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

One 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.

Hospital Negligence Results in Leg Amputation; Higher Standards Now in Place at Hospital

Shelley Durrant suffered a horrible accident while working on her farm, resulting in the loss of both of her arms. She was immediately sent to a nearby hospital, where a catheter was installed to provide her with fluids. However, the catheter was not placed correctly, which injured an artery in her leg and led to a serious injury that required amputation of her right leg. We represented Shelley against the hospital, and our findings showed just how staff errors led to these new injuries. In addition to a settlement to help Shelley, hospital policies were restructured to ensure a higher quality of care.
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Tractor-Trailer Accident Case Led to Trucking Company Insurance Reform

After a tractor-trailer rig crashed into his car, Larry Woody was left with permanent blindness. We represented Larry in a case against the trucking company responsible for the rig that caused Larry’s catastrophic injury. Our investigation revealed that the trucking company did not have enough insurance to cover the damages, because their insurance broker had not been providing them with the insurance they were paying for. We ended up also representing the trucking company against their insurance broker, securing a settlement that covered Larry’s medical bills. In light of these cases, the trucking company re-evaluated their insurance policies; all of their operations would be properly insured in the event of another tragedy.
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Drowning Death Draws National Attention to Whitewater Safety; Writing New Laws to Create Safer Rivers

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.