Personal / Work Injury

Our firm specializes in personal injury cases.

We have handled all types of personal injury litigation in Oregon and Washington including premises liability cases, motorcycle accidents, construction accidents, boating accidents, auto accidents, trucking accidents and railroad accidents.

Trials/Settlement Example for a Personal Injury Case:

Powell v. Boy Scouts of America: A $7 million dollar jury verdict for a 16-year old boy who became a quadriplegic during an unsupervised outing. A no offer case.

ELL (Employer Liability Law)

Understanding Oregon's Employer Liability Law (Employer Liability Act)
Oregon's Employer Liability Law, ELL, also known as Oregon's Employer Liability Act, ELA, is an important law for employers, employees, and independent contractors to understand and follow. While many Oregon citizens may believe that Worker's Compensation is the only recourse for an injured worker, Oregon's Employer Liability Law provides extended coverage in certain circumstances.

Employer Liability and Oregon Law
Oregon's Employer Liability Law specifically states that employers are responsible for providing any and all available safety equipment necessary to prevent injuries or fatalities in the workplace. Section 654.305 of the law specifies that the employer is responsible to provide necessary safety equipement, regardless of the cost. "It was too costly", or "we already met our budget for the project" is simply not sufficient to shirk liability if an employee is injured on the job due to lack of safety equipment.

Employer's Liability
Who is responsible to ensure that safety standards are met under the Employer Liability Law? You may be surprised to find that this list of responsible persons extends well beyond the CEO or owner of the employing company.

Section 654.315 of the ELL states, "The owners, contractors, subcontractors, foremen, architects or other persons having charge of the particular work," are responsible for overseeing the enforcement of the Employer Liability Law.

An employer is liable for an injury or death if the employer and the injured worker are engaged in an activity that is a common enterprise (meaning the employer profits from the activity as does the worker), when the employer has the power to direct the activities of the worker, and when the employer has direct supervision and control of work performed by the worker.

(Click here for a full outline of the Oregon Employer Liability Law.)

Respondeat Superior
The concept of the employer's responsibility for the safety and actions of employees is not a modern thought. Respondeat superior is a Latin phrase that translates as "let the master answer". This legal term is often used in ELL suits. It is also sometimes interchangeable with the term vicarious liability.

Vicarious Liability
The Oregon Judicial Department Appellant Court describes vicarious liability as: "The theory of vicarious liability imposes liability on one person for the acts of another... The term encompasses a variety of situations: co-conspirators, partners, and joint venturers can all be vicariously liable for each other's torts or crimes. When the ‘person’ upon whom liability ultimately rests is a fictive person, that is, a corporation, the only kind of liability that can conceivably exist is vicarious [.]"

(Click here for a full report.)

Vicarious liability is at the heart of Oregon's Employer Liability Law.

Employer Liability Insurance is available for employers to help guard against an ELL lawsuit, but the most effective prevention is job site safety. If you find yourself in a position where you need a skilled Employer Liability Law attorney, we can help. Please call Paulson Coletti to discuss your claims at (503) 226-6361.