Is Your Lemon Law Case Ripe for Litigation?

Each week I field calls from people that have purchased a defective vehicle.   The caller typically informs me they recently purchased a "lemon" and the vehicle suffers from various mechanical issues. At that point it is important to ask a few basic questions to determine if this is truly a lemon law case.  Oregon's Lemon Law has a very specific definition of vehicles that are protected by its "Lemon Law." 

It is important to note what Oregon's lemon law is. Oregon's Lemon law is comprised of a group of statutes starting at ORS 646A.400 and continuing through ORS 646A.418.   The law basically states that if a new motor vehicle does not conform to the manufacturer's express warranty, and the consumer alerts the manufacturer or the authorized dealer of the nonconformity then the consumer may be entitled to a replacement or a refund, and damages.  However, just like many things in the law it is not that simple.  The law has certain requirements that must be fulfilled before a lemon law case is ripe for litigation.

First, the motor vehicle must be no more than two years old or have less than 24,000 miles on it, which ever period ends first.  Most consumers cannot meet this first element, because the vast majority of the "material defect" used car cases involve vehicles over 2 years old.  True "lemon law" claims involve new vehicles, not ten year old jalopies.  The Lemon Law also does not apply to travel trailers, because they are not self propelled or a vehicle designed for self propulsion.   

The second big issue the consumer faces are, the consumer must report each "nonconformity" to the manufacturer, or the authorized dealer, for the purpose of repair or correction during the two year period following the date of delivery or before the vehicle's mileage reaches 24,000, whichever comes first. The law basically provides consumers presumptions that the motor vehicle is a lemon if their were a reasonable number of attempts under the vehicle's express warranties, and the manufacturer receives advance notice of the defects before attempting the repairs.  The law presumes a reasonable number of attempts have been made if the vehicle has either been in the shop for 3 or more times, and the defect continues, or the vehicle is out of service by repair for a total of 30 or more calendar days.  There is also another presumption the vehicle is a lemon if there is one attempted repair of a nonconformity likely to cause death or serious injury, but the defect continues. 

The manufacturer must also receive "direct written notification" from the consumer, and has had the opportunity to correct the alleged defect.   Notification, can be a request for an "informal dispute settlement procedure" under ORS 646.608.  This means that the consumer must put the manufacturer or the authorized dealer on notice the vehicle is defective and provide an opportunity to cure the alleged defect. It also means that if the manufacturer has established an informal dispute settlement procedure and notifies the consumer of the procedures then the consumer must  resort to the informal resolution procedure (arbitration)  prior to filing a lawsuit.  

If the consumer can satisfy the legal requirements then their case may be ripe and they may feast on the Lemon Law remedies.  The remedies may include, rescission, replacement of the vehicle, or triple damages (capped at $50,000.00 above the amount owed to the consumer). The court may also award discretionary attorney fees, and costs.  The Lemon law can be a powerful tool.  Unfortunately it can also be a sour pill to swallow if the consumer learns they failed to comply with the notice requirements or there vehicle is too old to qualify as a lemon.

If you or someone you know believe they were sold a lemon, please call Ross Law LLC at 503.224.1658.  Also, please remember this blog is a summary of the law.  Please refer to the actual law or a lawyer for an evaluation of your case.   Do not rely on this post for legal advice.  The law is constantly changing and this post may be outdated.  Please do not cite this post in any governmental proceeding, arbitration, hearing, or negotiations.   

How Do You Figure Out if Your Child's Day-Care or Pre-School is Safe?

Getting your kids in Daycare can be an overwhelming en-devour.  Site visits, phone calls, interviews, and the always popular, "wait lists" are all new experiences for almost every new parent.  During this process every parent is concerned with one thing, Safety.  However, it is not always easy to determine if a place is safe for your kids.  Daycare providers are like other businesses in that they put their best foot forward in an effort to get your child enrolled and the tuition money.   So how do you determine if your kid's daycare or preschool is safe? Here are some tips:

  • Is the Daycare or Preschool Licensed by the State?  You should determine if the provider is licensed by the State of Oregon.   If not, that is a big red flag, and the provider maybe breaking the law by operating a unlicensed daycare.  Calling Office of Child Care - Central Office
    503-947-1400, 1-800-556-6616 may help you determine if the daycare or childcare provider is licensed.  In the alternative, you can simply ask the provider to see the license. 
  • Does the Daycare or Preschool have prior complaints?    The State of Oregon has an office that is dedicated to licensing and overseeing daycare facilities.  This office keeps a data-base that allows the public to search for violations committed by Oregon preschools, daycare, and licensed child care providers.   The data base is not too user friendly, and doesn't provide details regarding the complaints but it provides the rules or laws that were violated and the date of the violations.   Click here to learn if the State of Oregon has a public record of a complaint against a childcare provider, daycare, or preschool.  Another place to look for prior complaints is the Better Business Bureau.  Click here for a link to the Better Business Bureau. 
  • What should you Look For When Visiting a Prospective DayCare or Preschool?  If you are a new parent it is overwhelming trying to figure out all of the potential dangerous surrounding your child.   However, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has authored checklists to assist parents in determining if their child's daycare is safe..  
    • If you are looking to determine if your INFANT's childcare provider is safe Click Here.
    • If you are looking to determine if your TODDLER's childcare provider is safe Click Here.
    • If you are looking to determine if your PRESCHOOLER's childcare provider is safe Click Here.

If your child, or someone you know, has been injured at a daycare or by a childcare provider call Portland Personal Injury Attorney Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658. Call Ross Law for your free case evaluation.  Ross Law takes most personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis.  LEGAL STUFF,  PLEASE READ:  Please note the tips above are not an exhaustive list and you must do your own due intelligence in trying to determine if a daycare provider is a good fit for your child. Also, Ross Law does not have a relationship or affiliation with the agencies or entities noted in this article.  Please contact them directly if you have any questions or concerns about their web-site(s) or, policies, or procedures. 

Using Your Cell Phone While Driving Is Dangerous, But It May Also Cost You A Lot of Money

It has been a few years since Oregon lawmakers have outlawed using a cellular phone device while driving.   However, people continue to use their phones while driving.  Deaths and injuries that are caused by texting and driving are on the rise.  In fact, every three hours a crash in Oregon is caused by distracted driving.  It appears the existing small fines that may be imposed are not have the desired effect, and some lawmakers are attempting to crack down on distracted driving.

There is currently a bill in Salem that would allow a judge to impose up to a $2,000.00 fine on a person caught holding their mobile electronic device while on the roads.  The current law has minimal fines and is difficult to enforce due to its poorly drafted language.   The new bill just passed the Oregon House.  Hopefully the law will pass and deter others from using their mobile devices while driving.  However, if it doesn't there will always be personal injury attorneys like myself who are willing to hold a distracted driver that injures another accountable in Court. 

If you or someone you know was injured by a distracted driver or a person using their cell phone, call Ross Law LLC at 503.224.1658.  Jeremiah Ross is happy to provide a free personal injury case evaluation.  Please note this article is meant for information purposes only and could be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.  Please consult with a lawyer if you have questions about your personal injury case or any other legal question 

Air Assault-When Airline Passengers Are Assaulted

The Airline Industry is taking its lumps this month.   First, there was the United Airlines incident where a man was forcibly removed from an airplane because he did not give up his seat for Airline Employees.  This weekend another story broke.  This time an American Airline employee wrestled a stroller away from a mother of young twins.  In doing so, the stroller struck the woman in the face.  This arguably constitutes assault. I say arguably because we don't have the full story, and have to rely on media reports.

However, rather than doing the right thing and immediately apologizing and attempting to make it right.  The Airline Employees chose to escalate the situation and one employee attempted to engage a male passenger who was attempting to stand up for the young mother in a fight.   The Airline Employees could not have done a poorer job if they tried.   

This is another case of Airlines losing control over a situation, and highlights their poor training and lack of compassion for passengers.  I had previously written on steps you should take if you are injured on an airline.  Click here to find out more.  If you or someone you know were injured on an airplane call 503.224.1658 for more information.  Jeremiah Ross is happy to provide you a free case evaluation.   Please remember this post could be considered attorney advertising and is not meant to be construed as legal advice. PLEASE Call a Lawyer and do not rely on this post.

Driverless Cars are Coming to Portland! Are We Prepared?

The Mayor has spoken.  He wants to see driver-less cars on Portland's streets and highways.   However, I think this is a little premature.  This is because, "It is all fun and games until someone gets hurt."  

Liability issues with these driver-less cars has yet to be adequately addressed here in Oregon.  Eventually one of these vehicles will get involved in a serious crash on an Oregon road.  If a person is injured in the crash unique liability issues are going to spring up.  Who is responsible for the crash in the crash asserts it was the driver-less' cars fault?  What happens if the vehicle suffers a mechanical failure or a software failure that causes the crash?  If that issue arises usually the injured person has no choice but to file a lawsuit, because none of the corporations that have been involved in these crashes will accept responsibility.

My biggest concern,  is the owner and manufacturer of any driver-less car involved in a crash will do anything and everything to deny any liability for causing the crash.  This is due to the fact that the public will lose any trust with the driver-less car industry if the driver-less car causes a crash or injury.  We are already sceptacle of these machines, as every machine will eventually break or malfunction. However, billion dollar industries rest on the success of these machines.  As a result, if there is any way corporations can protect this emerging industry they will do so.  This will mean they will likely fight tooth and nail and force people to file lawsuits that claim it was the driver-less vehicle's fault.  Hopefully, the CIty of Portland and the Oregon Legislature can draft laws to protect other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclist from an incident with a driver-less vehicle.

If you or someone you know are injured by a driver-less vehicle or autonomous vehicle, call Ross Law LLC at 503.224.1658.  


Flying the Un-Friendly Skies...Injuries on Commercial Flights

Let's face it, flying is not what it used to be.   Airlines are making record profits, but flying conditions seem to be getting worse.   The recent events on a United Flight highlight the fact that most Airlines put their Corporate priorities above the passengers comfort and safety. That incident was an anomaly, but every year countless passengers are injured aboard commercial airplanes.  Many injuries are minor, but some can be major.  Below is a list of the most common types of injuries:.   

Baggage Incidents: Many passenger injuries are caused by baggage.  Passengers often whack each other with bags as they are attempting to lift them and load them into the overhead bins.  Baggage also may fall out if the bin is not latched properly, malfunctions, or when people open the overhead bins after the flight.  These heavy bags can land on a person's head and cause severe neck and head injuries.  They may also cause bruising and swelling or torn muscles and ligaments on other areas of the body.

Turbulence or Rough Landings:   People can be injured by getting jostled around on planes as they are flying through unstable air or during a rough  landing.   This unstable air is called turbulence.   Neck and back injuries can result depending on the intensity and duration of the turbulence or rough landing.  The USA Today recently wrote an article articulating the various ways turbulence may injure passengers.  For example turbulence may cause the plane to shake so violently that overhead bins may open causing baggage to fall out, drinks may spill, and equipment may fall on passengers.  


Hot Liquid Spills: Hot Coffee and Hot Tea pose a danger to passengers.  A spill of hot coffee or tea on a person can cause serious burns, scarring, pain, and discomfort.  Many of these spills happen while the cup of hot liquid is being transferred from the flight attendant to the passenger. 

Assaults:  Assaults are becoming more common on commercial flights. "Air Rage" is becoming more common as more and more passengers are crammed into smaller and smaller spaces.   In 2015 there were almost 11,000 incidents of air rage. These assaults can range from pushing people to a passenger brutally attacking another passenger.  

Sexual Assaults: Sexual Assaults on Commercial flights are not something we usually think about.  However, they do occur. A recent article noted it is hard to determine the number of assaults because typically 75% of sexual assaults go unreported. Usually they involve a drunk individual that gropes and touches another without their permission.  Sometimes these sexual assaults involve incidents of adult passengers groping a minor.   

Is The Airline Responsible for Your Injuries?  If you were injured on a commercial flight the airline may be responsible for your injuries.  This obviously depends on the facts. However, people on international commercial flights enjoy certain protections provided by treaties and Federal Law.   This may entitle a person injured on a plane to compensation even if the airline did little or anything to cause the injury.  These types of incidents usually require a lawyer to get involved, because Airlines often do not take these claims seriously.

What to Do if You Are Injured on a Commercial Air Flight?

  1. Obviously if you are injured you need to seek medical treatment first and foremost.
  2. Ensure you keep all documents from the flights.   Try and keep your boarding pass, even though most of them are available on-line even after the flight has concluded.  
  3. Do your best to get the passengers full names, addresses, and phone numbers that are in the seats surrounding yours.  Finding witnesses can be difficult if you don't have the witnesses contact information.  
  4. Take Photos:  If possible take photos of the area where the injury occurred.  A video is even better. 
  5. Alert a Flight Attendant and Ask to Make an Incident report:  Alert a flight attendant to the injury and tell them to talk to a witness to find out what happened.  Get the flight attendant's name.
  6. If a crime has been committed contact law enforcement once you are able to do so.  Ensure the Flight Attendant contacts law enforcement.
  7. Call a lawyer at 503.224.1658 if you have further questions.

If you or someone you know has been injured on an airplane call Ross Law LLC.  Jeremiah Ross is happy to provide you a free case evaluation.  Call 503.224.1658 for your free case evaluation. Please remember the law is always changing.  Do not rely on this post and rely on the law and advice from a lawyer.   This blog can be considered attorney advertising and is for advertising purposes only. 

Texting and Driving, a Deadly Combination

Texting and driving has become a leading cause of injuring American drivers.  According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2013, nearly one in five crashes (18%) in which someone was injured involved distracted driving.   This is a serious issue and most states have laws preventing texting while driving. In Oregon ORS 811.507 prohibits drivers from using a mobile communication device while driving.  There are exceptions to  ORS 811.507, but the bottom line is texting or using a cellular phone device while driving can be a deadly distraction.

In Oregon, a texting driver that injures another in a crash may be charged with the crimes of  assault, reckless driving, reckless endangerment and more serious crimes relating to manslaughter if the texting and driving kills someone.  Furthermore, most likely the injured person will be forced to file a lawsuit against the at fault driver if the at fault driver’s insurance company refuses to reasonably compensate the injured person.   The texting bad driver will likely face a claim for punitive damages which can be a substantial amount of money depending on the facts.  

Many texting drivers find themselves being the defendant in a lawsuit because their insurance won’t agree to pay a reasonable settlement. This is a difficult position for the injured person and the bad driver that caused the crash, but the bad driver must be held responsible for texting and driving and the civil process is a way to do so.

Click Image for Safe Driving Tips

Click Image for Safe Driving Tips


If you or someone you know were injured by a driver that was texting and driving call Portland personal injury lawyer Ross Law LLC at 503.224.1658 for your free personal injury case evaluation. Jeremiah Ross is happy to discuss your case with you at no cost and no obligation to you.  If you need more information on texting and driving, click this link to go to the Oregon Department of Transportation web-site.  Please remember this post is for informational purposes only and is not to be considered legal advice. Please remember to consult with an Oregon attorney about your case.

Another Self Driving Vehicle Crash-Uber Pulls Autonomous Vehicles off of Road

Uber has been pushing for self driving vehicles and is using them in select cities.  These vehicles are manned by a driver that is to take over in dangerous situations.  However, the cars are primarily driven by a computer.  As suspected, there are some issues that arise when the computers don't function as designed, or the vehicle can't account for a dangerous situation. When these failures occur the results can be catastrophic leading to injury and even death.  (Click here to read about self driving car failure resulting in death.)  Uber recently pulled its vehicles off of the road after a self driving Uber car was involved in a crash.  (click here to read about recent autonomous vehicle Uber crash.)

Self Driving cars and ride-share programs somewhat compound an already uncertain area of the law and there are other safety risks that are going to arise should Uber continue to test vehicles on the road without proper research and development in house.  Maintenance issues, malfunctions, and small issues are destined to arise.  I have heard complaints from ride share operators regarding occasional glitches with the app, so it is difficult to imagine the self driving vehicle won't have any glitches. If a self driving vehicle fails to operate during a ride and leaves a customer stranded that is later a victim of an assault or robbery, will Uber be liable?  These are all issues that may arise.  

The autonomous vehicle issues are new to Oregon and Oregon politicians and agencies are struggling to keep up with technology.  Until they are able to adequately regulate this industry it will be up to attorneys looking out for injured people to raise these issues for their injured clients and hopefully provide an economic incentive for the autonomous vehicle industry to be abundantly cautious when rolling out these vehicles.  If you have more questions feel free to read my previous blog articles:  Who is Responsible for Crash with Self Driving Car?; Licensing Autonomous Vehicles in Oregon?;  What to do passenger In Crash with Uber or Lyft?  

If you were an Uber or Lyft passenger involved in a crash, please call Ross Law at 503.224.1658.  Jeremiah Ross is happy to discuss your personal injury case with you. If you are involved in a crash with a self-driving vehicle or autonomous vehicle feel free to call Jeremiah Ross.  Legal Stuff:  Please note this article is based on the author's opinion.   Ross Law does not have any affiliations with any ride share program or taxi-cab company.  This information is not to be considered legal advice and is for information only.