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Published On: Sat, Sep 30th, 2017

Oregon Bride Injured in Carriage Ride Files $155,450 Lawsuit

A bride from Oregon is suing her former attorney after he failed to file a lawsuit or settlement demand before the statutes of limitations expired, the Associated Press reported.

The bride, Jaclyn Stevenson, was married four years ago, but still refuses to talk about the events of what was supposed to be the biggest day of her life. Shortly before exchanging vows with her future husband, Stevenson was ejected from a horse-drawn carriage.

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The couple has hired a new attorney – James Nelson – who filed a $155,450 lawsuit in Lane County Circuit Court.

Although the suit is centered on the unfortunate event that marred the couple’s wedding day, it doesn’t name the horse-drawn carriage company they hired for their big day. Instead, the couple has named the lawyer who previously handled their case in the suit.

The Eugene-based lawyer, Donald E. Johnson, allegedly failed to file a lawsuit or a demand settlement before the two-year statute of limitations.

“Recovering compensation for your damages can sometimes be a lengthy process,” says injury attorney Bogdan Martinovich, who is not connected to the case. “During this time, it is not uncommon for bills to mount and creditors to start calling.”

The Stevensons are seeking $150,000 in noneconomic damages to cover the mounting costs of the bride’s physical injuries and her emotional trauma.

The bride and groom are also seeking $1,500 in damages for the ruined wedding dress, $1,800 reimbursement of counseling fees, $2,000 for the wedding photos that were devalued due to the trauma of the crash and the $150 deposit the couple paid for the carriage.

Because of Johnson’s failure to file suit in time, the couple says they were robbed of their chance to sue the carriage company. The couple says his actions amount to legal malpractice.

According to the suit, the couple waited until 14 months after the incident to consult with Johnson.

The Stevensons are seeking damages equivalent to what Johnson said they could expect to receive in a settlement with the carriage company.

The suit includes excerpts from the claim-settlement letter allegedly drafted by Johnson in 2015. According to court documents, Jaclyn and other members of the bridal party boarded the carriage and shortly after, the horses bolted. The driver lost control of the horses, and the carriage toppled over, injuring Mrs. Stevenson and other members of her party.

The event “ruined the day,” and while the couple carried on with the ceremony, they “were unable to enjoy the festivities.”

The claim-settlement letter was drafted in June 2015, but Johnson never sent it to the carriage company’s lawyers.

Mrs. Stevenson, according to the lawsuit, made several calls to Johnson’s office to inquire about the status of the claim. She learned in December 2015 that the attorney had not filed the lawsuit. At that point, it was too late for the couple to seek damages.

Along with unspecified physical injuries and the “emotional trauma” of a ruined dream wedding, the couple is also seeking damages for ongoing PTSD that “ruined” the honeymoon.

Author: Jacob Maslow

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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