OHSU was among several state organizations that enjoyed protection against
hefty lawsuit damages, but that ended in December 2007 when the Oregon
Supreme Court removed the $200,000 cap on damages. As a result, OHSU finally
settled six ongoing cases—cases that were filed in 2001 or earlier—agreeing
to pay damages totaling $38.5 million. The settled cases included an award
of $9.3 million for the family of Jordaan Clarke, who suffered permanent
brain damage as a result of a botched operation in 1998, as well as an
$11.8 million award to Christian Wright and a $8.3 million award for Adam
Cristopherson, both of whom sustained permanent damage from surgeries.
There are still some 329 open liability and malpractice cases against OHSU.
OHSU may be in for additional changes next year, when the state legislature
votes on whether or not to raise caps on damages to $1.5 million.
For more information see
this September 26, 2008, story in the