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County in Oregon Settles Motorcycle Crash Claim for $500,000

By Jim Greene

on February 02, 2011

The commissioners of an Oregon county board approved a $500,000 settlement for a motorcycle accident claim brought by a motorcyclist severely injured in a crash with a county-owned motorized brush cutter. According to police, the county employee operating the brush cutter made an illegal turn into the path of the motorcycle.

Thomas Joseph Fennell, 58, of Colton, Oregon, suffered injuries to his head, ribs, leg, shoulder, and spleen in the Feb. 26 collision near Mulino, about 25 south of Portland. Emergency responders from the Molalla Fire District say Fennell was thrown from his motorcycle and that the force of the collision ripped his helmet from his head. Fennell was airlifted to a Portland hospital and spent several days in intensive care.

County Worker Cited for Illegal Turn That Caused Crash

After an investigation of the crash, Clackamas County sheriff’s deputies cited Randy Miller for making an illegal turn into the path of Fennell’s motorcycle while operating a brush cutter on a rural road south of Mulino.

Attorney Steven A. Kahn filed a tort claim against Clackamas County April 12. In December, the five-member board of county commissioners directed county counsel to negotiate a settlement of the claim. The settlement was approved at the board’s Jan. 6 meeting.

Government Agencies Accountable for Public Safety

Local, state, and federal agencies have a responsibility to guarantee public safety. That includes ensuring that workers are properly screened before hiring, are properly trained, and are monitored to ensure safe work habits. When those responsibilities are not met, the agency involved should be held accountable for damages.

If you’ve been injured because of the negligent behavior of a government worker, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. You deserve to receive financial compensation for medical costs, loss of past and future wages, and other expenses. If you’ve lost a loved one, you should be compensated for the loss of financial support and of companionship.

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