The Spence Law Firm, LLC is a proud sponsor of a new, telling documentary about North Dakota’s current energy boom and how it affects people everywhere around North Dakota. Black Gold Boom: How Oil Changed North Dakota is produced by independent producer Todd Melby and brought to you by Prairie Public, Zeega, and AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio, Incorporated.
JACKSON, Wyoming, March 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — A Black Hawk County, Iowa jury found the city of Waterloo liable in a 2008 police car collision that left 22-year-old Jarvis Boggs paralyzed and needing lifelong medical care, The Spence Law Firm LLC said today. Jurors returned a $13.6 million verdict for Mr. Boggs on Wednesday after 11 days of testimony and a day of deliberation.
Spence Law Firm partners Mel C. Orchard, III and G. Bryan Ulmer, of Jackson, Wyo., tried the case to verdict. Mr. Boggs also is represented by Thomas P. Frerichs, of Frerichs, Law Office, P.C., of Waterloo, and John J. Rausch of The Rausch Law Firm, PLLC, of Waterloo.
The lawsuit alleged that a Waterloo police officer sped through a red light – without emergency lights or siren on – and collided with Mr. Boggs’ vehicle at around 12:45 a.m. on Dec. 31, 2008. The officer … Read more
News coverage has been widespread lately over a November 5, 2010, crash caused by an unintended sudden acceleration by Paul Van Alfen’s 2008 Toyota Camry. Robert A. Krause and The Spence Law Firm, LLC, along with co-counsel Mark Robinson, represented the Van Alfen family in their bellwether case against Toyota.
The case was to be the first “test” case to go to trial against Toyota on a sudden unintended acceleration claim. That day, Van Alfen’s Toyota suddenly and uncontrollably accelerated, crashing into a wall near an exit ramp on I-80. The driver slammed on the brakes but the Camry did not stop. Van Alfen was killed in the crash, passenger Charlene Lloyd died the next day, and his wife and son were both seriously injured.
For more information about the Van Alfen case, … Read more
Gerry Spence and a team from the Spence Law Firm, including Doug McCalla, Mel C. Orchard, III, and Larissa McCalla, along with Tom Frerichs of Waterloo, Iowa, began a civil rights case Wednesday on behalf of Terry Harrington, a man who was wrongfully convicted and spent over 25 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. Harrington and Curtis McGhee (who was imprisoned at the same time) are seeking justice against the police department that allegedly coerced witnesses, hid evidence, and framed these two men of murder.
Gerry Spence shared the importance of the case with the jury in the opening statement: “The evidence will show these cops betrayed law and order, betrayed the oath they took as police officers and they betrayed their duty to protect us all,” Spence, explained. “If they can do it to the least of us they can do it to anybody.”
At … Read more
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now reporting that at least thirty-five cases of fungal meningitis, including at least five deaths, in at least six states across the country, have been detected in recent days. The meningitis is reportedly linked to tainted vials of steroid drugs made by pharmaceutical company New England Compounding Center.
Vials of methylprednisolone acetate, a steroid that is injected around the spinal cord in the lower back to relieve pain caused by ruptured disks or spinal stenosis, may have been contaminated and then sent to health care clinics across the country in the last several months. The CDC is currently investigating how the vials were contaminated. The CDC agency is advising all medical practitioners to discontinue use of all products from the New England Compounding Center.
The contaminated vials of the steroid were shipped from New England Compounding Center to more than … Read more
URGENT: The Spence Law Firm, LLC has been notified that we may have not received some attempted emails or online contacts by visitors to our website. Apparently an error or malfunction in our website email contact page(s) has prevented us from receiving emails and online contact submissions through the website. We were unaware of this problem so we may have failed to respond to some attempted contacts to our office. If you have recently attempted to contact our office and have not received a response, please recontact us immediately by emailing email@example.com or phone 1-800-967-2117. We apologize for any delay in communication–someone from The Spence Law Firm will contact you to answer questions or address your concerns, as soon as possible.… Read more
Coming into law school, some University of Wyoming students never considered becoming trial attorneys, but a rare chance to work closely with actual courtroom lawyers and judges has many of them thinking about trial work as a future legal profession. The Spence Law Firm’s Bryan Ulmer volunteered as one of the many Wyoming trial lawyers who taught and worked with the University of Wyoming law students.
Nearly 70 volunteer attorneys and judges, mostly from Wyoming, offered valuable instruction to 24 third-year UW College of Law students during the recent two-week Summer Trial Institute at UW. Actual courtroom reporters also attended the second annual event.
The volunteer group served as faculty members for one or two days each, and some gave a week of their time, says Steve Easton, UW College of Law dean. He adds that the institute is an intensive “boot camp” experience for the UW students, who learn … Read more
Kent W. Spence and Grant H. Lawson of The Spence Law Firm, LLC, recently settled a personal injury case against Precision Drilling Company LP (formally known as Grey Wolf Drilling Company, LP). A Wyoming worker, Darrell Jent, who suffered severe and permanent injuries when he was catapulted off a falling derrick, has agreed to a confidential settlement with Precision Drilling Company. The Spence Firm had filed the injured worker’s lawsuit in Wyoming federal district court.
The suit alleged that the A-leg bolts attaching the A-leg to the derrick had been loosened by the Defendant’s employees and were not properly reattached and tightened. One of the legs came lose during the lowering of the derrick, causing the derrick to crash down, which destroyed the drilling rig. At the time the Plaintiff was working as a consultant on the drilling operation and did not know the A-leg was loose. As he was … Read more
The Spence Law Firm is winding down another successful experience with its legal interns. Alex Obrecht, Nate Nicholas, Nick Morgan, and Nick Crandall (from left to right) spent an exciting summer with our Firm, researching, writing, traveling, helping us prep for trials, and attending settlement conferences. At the end of the summer our 2L law clerks spent the day at the Trial Lawyer’s College on the Thunderhead Ranch outside Dubois, Wyoming, with Gerry Spence. Gerry taught a session on cross examination to the Trial Lawyers College that morning, and had lunch with the group. They worked with famed theater and communications coach Josh Karton in the afternoon before heading back to Jackson.
The Spence Law Firm is proud of its internship program and salutes the hard work and talent of these four young men. If you are interested in working with The Spence Law Firm or learning more about our … Read more
Bryan Ulmer of The Spence Law Firm is pursuing a claim against Scentsy, Inc., a global marketer of wickless candles and other products, for misappropriating the business concept of a family friend of its chief executive officer.
The lawsuit was filed last Wednesday in Ada County district court on behalf of Eva Marosvari, a former friend of Scentsy CEO R. Orville Thompson, his wife, Scentsy president Heidi Thompson, and Heidi Thompson’s mother Alice Kalilmoku.
According to the complaint, Scentsy solicited ideas for children’s products early in 2009. Ms. Marosvari – a friend of the Thompsons who was an independent direct sales consultant responsible for about 50 “downline” sellers – created a concept with 19 stuffed animals and an interactive children’s video game.
Encouraged by Scentsy management, Ms. Marosvari developed, designed and refined the children’s product line later marketed as “Scentsy Buddies” in 2010. The idea was an instant hit within Scentsy management. Even before product development was completed, Scentsy directors … Read more
Mel Orchard III, a lawyer with The Spence Law Firm, is representing a local biker who was blindsided by a delivery truck last May while biking north on the road to Moose. One year later, after enduring several surgeries and a major infection, Al Moreno is back on his feet and fully aware of how his life has been altered. Read more on Al’s road to recovery: http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/article.php?art_id=8564… Read more
Mel C. Orchard of The Spence Law Firm, LLC, on behalf of an Afton couple, has filed a civil lawsuit against Grand Targhee Resort and Action Integrated Management after their son was improperly secured to a zip line before he fell 25 feet to the ground. The young boy was one of 17 middle school students attending a summer program at Grand Targhee Resort in 2008.
According to the complaint, the employee who took the reservation neglected to properly record it or to notify Action Integrated Management that there was a group intending to use the course. As a result, when the group arrived there were not enough people to operate the course. A resort employee improperly pressured an Action Integrated Management staff member to allow an untrained resort employee to work the zip line. The untrained resort employee failed to “properly and safely” secure the boy, and he fell … Read more
North Dakota is changing. The Bakken Oil boom has created an influx of jobs in oil drilling and the construction industry. The increase of activity in these industries also leads to an increase of workplace injuries and fatalities, bringing North Dakota to the No. 5 most dangerous state in the nation for workers.
On April 25, 2012 The Bureau of Labor Statistics released new findings from the 2010 census of fatal occupational injuries. According to this report, North Dakota was 1 out of 28 states that saw an increase in fatal workplace injuries in 2010. For more information on fatal occupational injuries in the United States, please see http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/worker_memorial.htm.
The Spence Law Firm and SAFER continue to monitor these developments and fight for enhanced worker safety laws. For more information, contact us at 800-967-2117.
Tyson E. Logan, of The Spence Law Firm, LLC, has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a Casper woman who was poisoned by carbon monoxide gas in her apartment as she slept. The suit alleges the woman suffered a traumatic brain injury in her apartment when the furnace or the ventilation system leaked. Firefighters and investigators that responded to the scene found carbon monoxide levels of 500 parts per million inside the Casper apartment. The exposure to the carbon monoxide caused the woman a permanent traumatic brain injury.
According to the complaint, the apartment complex owners or management knew the furnaces were in need of repair or replacement, and at least one had leaked carbon monoxide in dangerous levels less than a year before the woman was poisoned. The suit alleges that despite such knowledge, the defendants, in reckless disregard for the safety of the tenants, did nothing to … Read more
On April 27th, several dozen workers, citizens, advocates, clergy members and public officials gathered in Casper to observe Workers’ Memorial Day. The event was part of a national effort to fulfill the promise of a safe workplace for all and pay tribute to those who lost their lives while working.
The statistics are sobering. Between 1992 and 2009 there were 622 workplace fatalities in Wyoming, an average of one death every ten days.
Workers’ Memorial Day presents an opportunity to step back from statistics, data, fatality rates and epidemiological studies in order to honor those who have perished and listen to the stories of their survivors. We heard one of those stories Friday.
On Feb. 19, 2007, C.J. Moss was electrocuted while working on a drilling rig. He was 26 years old. C.J. was survived by his wife, Natalie Moss, and their four-year-old son. Mrs. Moss spoke to … Read more
Mel C. Orchard of the Spence Law Firm donates time to help resolve local public interest case.
Estate of Jose Gregorio Bautista Leon vs. Jacob Hill
On June 29, 2010, in Teton County, Idaho Mr. Bautista Leon, 60, was riding his bicycle from an after work dinner party to his home when he was struck from behind by a 1981 GMC pickup truck driven by Jacob Hill. Mr. Bautista Leon, who had been working legally in the United States, died shortly thereafter as a result of his injuries leaving behind a wife and two children in Mexico. Following the accident, Mr. Hill tampered with evidence by removing the rear reflector of the bicycle and throwing it into a field. In addition, the vehicle did not have adequate headlamps or windshield wipers. Mr. Bautista Leon was an avid cyclist and marathon runner who had lighting on both the front and rear … Read more
Wyoming’s workers should take time to read Dr. Timothy Ryan’s memorandum to Gov. Matt Mead, “Occupational Fatality Recommendations.” The Dec. 19 report brightly illuminates the need for sweeping changes in state policy to ensure the safety of Wyoming’s workers.
Wyoming had the nation’s highest or second highest workplace fatality rate in the country for eight of the nine years between 2001 and 2009. In 2010 there were 34 workplace fatalities in Wyoming, a 78 percent increase from 2009. While the total number of injuries has declined, “… major injuries remain a problem” with some 700 workers hospitalized every year — and that number is increasing.
We support Dr. Ryan’s four main recommendations calling for more data collection and monitoring, more encouragement of industry efforts to reform itself, and more courtesy inspections by OSHA, which allow companies to have a state safety inspection without fear of citations for violations of safety … Read more
A Wyoming worker who lost his leg when he was run over by a railcar at a Wyoming trona mine and soda ash facility has agreed to a confidential settlement with the defendant mining company, his former employer. G. Bryan Ulmer and Tyson E. Logan of The Spence Law Firm, LLC represented the worker and his wife. The Spence Firm had filed the injured worker’s claims under the Federal Employer Liability Act (FELA) and the Wyoming Railroad Act (WRA) against the employer mine / railroad company in Wyoming federal district court.
This case alleged numerous railroad liability claims against the company for the dangerous and defective equipment at the rail loadout facility in Green River, Wyoming. Specifically, the complaint alleged that the railcar’s cut lever stuck as the employee attempted to uncouple one railcar from another during the loadout process, and the train suddenly lurched on the tracks.
The suit … Read more