Landmark Oregon Supreme Court Victory

Kell, Alterman & Runstein, L.L.P. won a landmark Oregon Supreme Court victory on behalf of a client injured by the Oregon Youth Authority. The sexual abuse case was brought as a civil rights claim under 42 USC §1983 and alleges that Youth Authority violated our client’s federal constitutional rights. In response, the Youth Authority argued that the claim was time-barred because our client had filed his claim long after the statute of limitations had expired.

In his winning argument to the Supreme Court, Dennis Steinman explained that news reports about similar abuse in a different case alerted our client that the Youth Authority was responsible for allowing abuse to happen to him. Dennis argued that the statute of limitations did not begin to run against our client until he learned about the Youth Authority’s role in causing or allowing the abuse to occur, and that our client timely filed his case after he discovered the Youth Authority’s role. On January 17, the Oregon Supreme Court agreed, ruling that our client’s claim is not time-barred, and remanded the case to the trial court.

This is a groundbreaking holding – the Court’s ruling identifying when the statute of limitations begins to run in abuse cases will impact these types of claims in other jurisdictions. Our team’s work will allow injured plaintiffs, whose claims would otherwise have been time-barred, to now have their day in court.

We always strive to protect our clients. Sometimes our work is significant at a much larger level – giving other lawyers tools to protect injured people who need help. Our team did that in this case. We are tremendously proud of our attorneys Dennis Steinman and Scott Aldworth for their hard work and powerful victory.

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