About Richard Rizk

“Helping Everyday People, Every Day” is not just a slogan. It is my passion. I seek justice for you, an injured and/or disabled person facing a powerful insurance company or employer. Why? Because helping folks in claim distress makes best use of my unique blend of insurance defense and inside claim handling experience. I worked for insurance companies or their law firms from 1990 to 2001. As a result, I know insurers and employers have great power and sometimes abuse that power. I now work to prevent that from happening. I opened Rizk Law Offices in 2002. I have a big heart and insights only a former insurance attorney can have. Call me if you think I might be able to help you. – Richard H. Rizk

When Mistakes by Oregon’s Department of Human Services Hurt People

The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) exists to provide care and assistance for Oregonians who cannot care for themselves. This includes providing social services and setting up foster care arrangements for children and individuals with disabilities, as well as long-term or in-home care for senior citizens. However, in recent months – or years – tragic flaws have been uncovered in the foster care system run by DHS. Mistakes by DHS workers have been linked to serious injuries on numerous occasions. Victims of these injuries have important legal rights but need the right legal representation to hold DHS fully accountable for any negligent or wrongful actions.

Mistakes Related to Foster Homes

DHS is currently facing allegations of knowingly leaving three children in harm’s way and covering up the situation. Three children were placed in a home that was allegedly unfit for foster care. According to the complaint, the foster parents had no childcare experience and their home was small, unheated, had rotting walls, mold, dust, dangerous furniture, and strong odors of cat urine. The foster parents were also allegedly emotionally unstable. Despite the knowledge and observations of dangerous conditions by caseworkers, three children were placed and left in the home at ages five, two, and ten months.

All three children began to show signs of physical abuse causing a variety of injuries. The foster mother told DHS that the two older children were hurting themselves. In 2013, the foster father admitted to physically assaulting the youngest child, causing seven fractured bones. While the man was convicted and sentenced to three years of probation, DHS allowed the children to remain in the home. In 2017, the man confessed to sexually molesting the oldest daughter for years. He has been sentenced to 30 years in prison and a $100 million lawsuit has been filed against DHS for its mistakes, as well as actively covering up the mistakes.

A recent audit of the Oregon DHS foster system was titled, “Foster Care in Oregon: Chronic management failures and high caseloads jeopardize the safety of some of the state’s most vulnerable children.” The audit acknowledged extreme flaws in the management system of DHS, which puts foster children and disabled adults at the serious risk of harm. While the people of Oregon should be able to trust DHS, the agency has instead caused serious physical and mental injuries in recent years.

Children and adults injured

By |June 14th, 2018|Child Injury Accidents|

Sneak Peak from the Multnomah Bar Association Top Golf Event

Rizklaw sponsored and enjoyed an evening of Top Golf with the Multnomah Bar Association last Thursday evening. There was a lot of laughter, some good food and great conversations on the “green”! What describes a social event like this better than a few photos! For more events with the Multnomah Bar Association check here!

 

 

By |June 14th, 2018|Community Events, Lifestyle Rizklaw, Rizklaw Behind the Scenes|

After My First Year in Law School

Mall vs Horton

Sukhdev Mall’s claim against Andrew Horton was one of the first I worked on when I came onto Rizk Law shortly after completing my first year of law school. It was the second trial that I acted as Rich’s assistant. It was a fairly severe car accident that occurred in October of 2013 – a few inches back, and it’s quite likely Mr. Mall would have died.

 

 

We brought the case to arbitration in June 2015

The arbitrator awarded Mr. Mall around $44,000 and change. The opposing council appealed. The case went to jury trial in August 2015. It came before a judge who, by his own admission multiple times on the record, had no experience with civil lawsuits and was unsure on many of the evidentiary rulings that make or break a trial. After several rulings we considered to be suspect, the jury returned an award of $2,500, in stark contradiction to the arbitrator’s award. We appealed.

 

I was with Rich in trial, and I took a lead role in articulating our appeal (with the fantastic help of Don and Rich). The briefs are available if you are curious, but in essence, we had three primary assignments of error that, we argued, led the jury to an absurdly low jury verdict:

 

1.) Expert Qualifications:

We proffered Dr. Jonathan McClaren, a local chiropractor with recently completed certifications in accident reconstruction and biomechanical engineering, as an expert in chiropractic, accident reconstruction, and biomechanical engineering. Opposing counsel argued, and the judge accepted, that he could not qualify to testify on the latter two areas because he had only recently completed his education on those issues. We argued that Oregon’s qualifications of an expert only require skill, knowledge, experience, education, or training – any deficiency beyond a minimal showing goes to the weight of the evidence and is proper grounds for cross-examination, not refusal to allow the testimony.

 

2.) Rebuttal Evidence:

The Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure provide that, after the defense has finished its case-in-chief, the plaintiff is allowed to bring up a witness for cross-examination. The judge on that day decided to not allow it, based on 50-year-old case-law raised by the defense that did not, in fact, stand for the proposition he offered it for. We argue and believe that not allowing us to bring on our expert to rebut the testimony of their

By |June 7th, 2018|Auto Accidents|

Ski Accidents Can Lead to Traumatic Brain Injuries

TBI Lawyers Portland

Skiing is a favorite pastime of many people in and around the Portland area. Whether you take your family up for a week-long ski vacation or try to make it to the mountains as much as possible throughout the season, skiing is a rewarding activity. Unfortunately, skiing can also be risky and result in accidents and injuries.

Ski accidents result in a wide variety of injuries, including fractures, soft tissue tears, lacerations, and more. One common – yet worrisome – ski injury is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs can range from concussions (which are considered mild brain injuries but may nonetheless have serious consequences) to severe TBIs, which can cause coma, permanent impairment, and even death.

Some skiers think that wearing a helmet prevents brain injuries. This is not necessarily the case, however. Helmets do provide substantial protection, but sometimes a forceful collision can cause the brain to shift and impact the inside the skull, causing damage to brain tissue, despite wearing a helmet. Helmets can also fail or fly off in some situations, leaving skiers vulnerable to head trauma and brain injuries.

Effects of a TBI

The effects of a brain injury will depend on where the injury occurred in the brain and the extent of tissue damage suffered. While each person will experience a different type and degree of symptoms, signs of a brain injury can include:

  • Disorientation
  • Fatigue
  • Sleepiness
  • Headaches
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Syncope

Moderate to severe TBIs can cause coma, meaning loss of consciousness for an extended period of time. In addition, doctors sometimes induce a coma to perform surgery and relieve pressure and swelling from a TBI. Recovering from any degree of brain injury can take time. Symptoms that may persist include:

  • Cognitive difficulties with communication and information processing.
  • Physical impairments with balance, speech, and coordination.
  • Behavioral challenges involving changes in personality, mood, and difficulty showing appropriate emotion.

Overall, brain injuries can require costly medical care, disrupt your ability to work or go to school, and may cause long-term or permanent impairment.

Your Rights After a Ski Accident

Most people realize there are some risks inherent in skiing. However, you should not expect that the others will be negligent and create hazards that cause accidents and injuries. Types of negligence that cause ski accidents include:

  • Careless skiers or snowboarders who collide with you.
  • Fences, signs, and other obstacles placed in
By |May 29th, 2018|Brain Injury|

Richard Rizk: General Counsel, Cascade Ski Club

Last Saturday at the clubs’ annual meeting, Cascade Ski Club President Jon Waldum announced Richard Rizk’s appointment as the club’s General Counsel. According to President Waldrum:

General Counsel is responsible for providing advise to the Board on legal compliance***  It (the general counsel  position) requires someone with great integrity. Counsel is often asked for judgement on people. *** Rich Rizk has fought for the club, he has significant business and life experience to bring to bear on the variety of issues confronting the lodge.

For more information on Mr. Rizk’s history with Cascade Ski Club see: https://www.osbar.org/publications/bulletin/11jan/profiles.html

By |May 22nd, 2018|Uncategorized|

Top Golf Event June 7th!

Join

The Multnomah Bar (MBA) Association

&

 

 

 

for Top Golf!

– Fun for people of all golf abilities!

Date: 6/7/2018
Time: 5-8PM
Location: Topgolf Hillsboro, 5505 NW Huffman St, Hillsboro

Enjoy friendly, competitive golf games, fun and socializing. Topgolf provides a unique networking and social opportunity. Play in climate-controlled bays in teams of up to six.

Registration includes two games, hosted appetizers and a cash bar.

$75 for MBA members and non-lawyers if registered by May 31
$95 for non-MBA members

$95 for all after May 31
Adults only

To register or sponsor contact Pamela Hubbs (503.222.3275, pamela@mbabar.org).

By |May 15th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Watch Out for Drunk Drivers

 

Portland DUI LawyerDespite strict laws against drunk driving, statistics indicate that more than 14,000 people were arrested in Oregon and more than 23,000 were arrested in Washington State for driving under the influence in 2016. Many, many more intoxicated drivers escape detection without an arrest, which means there are even more drunk drivers on the road than those statistics reflect. When you are driving in the Portland area, you should always be aware of the warning signs and high-risk periods for drunk drivers.

Memorial Day Means an Increase in Impaired Driving

Many people celebrate holidays like Memorial Day with celebrations involving alcoholic beverages. Holidays are some of the most dangerous times to be on the road as a result. Even though police usually ramp up DUI enforcement, drunk drivers still cause more accidents and injuries over Memorial Day weekend than a regular weekend. Although most drunk driving occurs in the evening, especially when the bars close, Memorial Day weekend frequently involves barbecues or parties with people drinking during the day as well. With Memorial Day just around the corner, remember to take a few extra precautions to keep you and your family safe.

Steer Clear of Drunk Driving

Watch out for anyone driving erratically. Alcohol impairment affects drivers in many different ways. Some drunk drivers become overly cautious, which can mean driving too slowly, braking erratically, or hesitating at the wrong time. Others become emboldened by an impaired sense of judgment and take dangerous risks by speeding, racing, and tailgating. Other drunk drivers are simply unable to focus on the road and may weave in and out of their lane, make wrong-way turns, or drift into oncoming traffic. Some drunk drivers don’t observe stop signs or red lights and run through intersections, potentially colliding with other vehicles or pedestrians. Be wary when approaching or crossing an intersection of drivers who may not stop.

If you see someone driving erratically, stay far away—and preferably behind them, where you can see them. If you pass a drunk driver, you have a dangerous driver behind you, where you can’t see and avoid them if necessary.

By |May 2nd, 2018|Drunk Driving and DUII|

Police Brutality Plagues Portland

Police use of excessive force is a growing civil rights issue in the United States that primarily affects communities of color. Dozens of heinous instances of police brutality have made headlines from some of the country’s most racially divided cities, sparking a national movement to protect Black lives. Yet, what many culturally “aware” citizens might not know is that police brutality remains a plague on one of the country’s most seemingly liberal cities.

By |March 19th, 2018|Misc|

Top 4 Things Those with TBI Want Others to Know

March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month. At Rizk Law, we frequently help those who have survived brain injuries recover the compensation they need to carry on with their lives to the best of their ability. Traumatic brain injuries are among the most severe injuries incurred by a devastating accident such as a car accident or slip-and-fall. This year, we want to discuss the top things we have learned from TBI survivors about what they want others to know about their condition.

By |March 5th, 2018|Brain Injury|

Portland Votes for 20MPH Speed Limits

Portland City Council recently voted to set 20 miles per hour speed limits on residential streets. The council voted unanimously to reduce speeds to 20 mph from 25 mph in residential areas, which make up about 70% of the city’s street grid. The ordinance takes effect immediately on roads that lack speed limit signs. The council predicts that replacing all the 25 mph signs throughout the city will take until April and cost upwards of $300,000. Speed limits on arterial streets will not change.

Portland commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish strongly support the change. Ms. Fritz has had three family members killed in traffic collisions. She believes that excessive speed may have contributed to the death of her husband who died in 2014 in a car crash. Mr. Fish thinks law enforcement should work to enforce the policy, recalling a time driving through Northeast Portland when he drove the posted speed limits and surrounding drivers were visibly upset.

By |February 19th, 2018|General News|