According to a story in The Oregonian, Joe and Hau Hagedorn have settled a lawsuit brought against them when a man on a bicycle crashed into a dirt pile left out in front of their house. The pile-up happened at around 2:00 am in July of 2007 on SE 20th just south of Division.
From The Oregonian, here’s what happened:
“Jeremy Hooton was pedaling in the dark along 21st Avenue near Division Street at 2 a.m. when he hit the pile, causing him to fly over his handlebars and slam into the street, according to his Multnomah County Circuit Court complaint.”
Hooton’s lawsuit claims he sustained several injuries — including broken facial bones — and he sought $575,000 from the Hagedorns. The two parties settled the case and the Hagedorns agreed to pay $50,000 for Hooten’s medical bills (you might recall the Hagedorns from the profile we published on them back in December).
Joe Hagedorn, a public defender with Multnomah County, told me back in January 2009 that they didn’t hear about the incident until being contacted by Hooton’s attorney six months after it happened. “Because Hau and I didn’t know anything about what happened, we know almost zero about what really happened that night — whether there was a dirt pile, how big it was, where it was located, etc…”
Dirt piles are very common on Portland streets, especially in spring and summer as folks plant their veggies and gardens. Here’s the relevant Portland City Code to keep in mind:
- 16.70.810 Street Obstructions and Dangerous Conditions.
No person, whether acting as private citizen, principal, employee or agent shall:
A. Between the hours of sunset and sunrise, place or allow to remain on any street any obstruction, other than a lawfully parked vehicle or any permitted structure, unless a clearly displayed warning light or lights are:
1. plainly visible for 200 feet in either direction parallel to the street and at least 25 feet in all other directions, and
2. placed on the edge or side of the obstruction nearest the center of the street.
B. At any time, create a dangerous condition on any street without erecting and maintaining a distinctly visible barricade which provides a clear indication of the danger and directs people safely around it; and/or
C. Remove such a barricade from any street while the danger continues.
This spring, when you get that pile of dirt dumped in front of your house, keep this ordinance — and Mr. Wooton’s lawsuit — in mind.