Supreme Court tort limit ruling hits Klamath Falls family

Klamath Falls, Ore. – The Oregon Supreme Court has ruled against a Klamath Falls woman whose son nearly died following a botched operation, and the ruling could impact your limits on collecting legal damages.

The Supreme Court ruling hit Lori Horton hard Thursday morning. She said, “I’m devastated.  I just – where’s the justice in that?  We didn’t do anything wrong.”

O.H.S.U. admits they botched a liver operation on her son Tyson Horton in 2009 when he was just 9-months-old. “They have never disputed the fact that they screwed up,”  said Lori Horton.  “And that they were negligent.”

Lori donated part of her liver to keep her son alive, racking up huge medical bills.

After a Multnomah County jury awarded the Hortons $12 million 3 years ago, O.H.S.U. appealed the ruling to the state Supreme Court.

“Today they announced the decision that O.H.S.U. can be protected under the Oregon tort claims cap, which means they are limited to $3 million in liability,”  Said Horton.

Lori Horton says she’s now on the hook for over $4 million in medical bills, and with no way to pay for any of Tyson’s future medical care, “So if he goes into rejection, and he rejects my liver, there’s a good chance he’s not going to survive.”

Horton notes that her son Tyson is now 7 years old, and doing well, “If you met him today, you would never know that anything happened to him.”

But his family is now facing bankruptcy, through no fault of their own.

“I wish I could sit face to face with O.H.S.U.’s attorneys,” said Lori Horton. “And find out how they feel about what they’ve done to our family.”

Lori Horton cannot appeal the ruling to a higher court, as the U.S. Supreme Court will not hear cases regarding specific state laws such as Oregon’s tort cap limit.

 

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