You can't get blood from a stone. So what happens when that good for nothing stone owes you a large sum of money? Unfortunately, not much. Between collections and bankruptcy, there are several tactics a defaulting tortfeasor can utilize to avoid compensating an injured party. The same thing happens in a Personal Injury case when the at-fault party is indigent or lacks sufficient insurance coverage. The State of Oregon will likely learn this lesson the hard way in the near future after a Hood River County judge recently affirmed $36 million in restitution against a 16-year old Vancouver, Washington resident.
The teenager was hiking the Eagle Creek trail on September 2, 2017 when he admittedly threw a couple fireworks into the woods. One of those firecrackers ignited a massive wildfire, which burned for more than 48,000 acres. The state and other parties were recently granted the massive award that was labeled "cruel and unusual punishment" by the teen's attorney. The judge held that the restitution does not violate the Eighth Amendment because it bears sufficient relationship to the gravity of the offense.
Did this teen get off too light? Would a more severe punishment be better? What other steps can we take to protect ourselves from underinsured tortfeasors?
If you've recently been involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident or suffered injury or harm at the hands of a medical provider, a Personal Injury attorney may be necessary to protect you from a similar situation. At Magnuson Lowell PS, our professional legal team can help you access all available insurance and assets to make you whole. Call today for a free telephone consultation.