Crook County Circuit Court Awards $21.5 Million to Shooting Victim in Catastrophic Injury Lawsuit
Crook County Circuit Court Awards $21.5 Million to Dwyer Williams Cherkoss Attorneys, P.C. Client in Catastrophic Injury Case
In a civil lawsuit, Crook County Circuit Court in Oregon awarded $21.5 million to Nicholas Ricks, who suffered severe and permanent injuries in a near-fatal shooting, as cited the Complaint for case 19CV56324. In December 2019, Ricks’ attorneys filed a lawsuit against his attacker, Omar Araim, for $21.5 million for compensation for medical injuries and complications stemming from the shooting, which left him paralyzed from the waist down.
Tim Williams, managing partner of Dwyer Williams Cherkoss Attorneys, P.C. and lead lawyer representing Ricks, said, “This injury is about as bad as they get. Mr. Ricks, who is about the nicest guy you will ever meet, was senselessly shot as he was attempting to break up an altercation at a bar between two women. All he was trying to do is help, yet he paid a grave price for his altruism. Once a very active man who worked hard and played hard with his kids is now left bound to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. It is sad on an epic proportion.”
As detailed in the Complaint, the shooting occurred in a Prineville bar in December 2017, when Ricks helped to break up a fight between two women, including the girlfriend of Araim. Shortly thereafter, Araim exited the bar, retrieved a handgun from his truck, reentered the bar and approached the group. Just as Ricks had finished peacefully breaking up the altercation, Araim shot Ricks several times in the back. Araim had not been drinking nor using drugs at the time.
The Complaint further describes that Ricks suffered multiple injuries in the shooting, including damage to muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves and other soft tissue of the thorax, abdomen, internal organs, thoracic spine, lumbar region and his right arm. The gunshot wounds shattered his L1 and L2 vertebrae, causing complete paralysis of the bladder, bowel, pelvis and legs. Ricks spent four months at St. Charles Medical Center, nearly dying several times from blood clots, organ failure and infection. To date, he’s had 16 surgeries and continues to suffer with severe pain and emotional distress.
“The Court’s award represents all the civil justice system is able to provide – monetary relief for devastating and life altering injuries,” Williams explained. “While no amount of money is worth the suffering Mr. Ricks has gone through and will continue to go through for the rest of his life, it is the only recourse available to those injured by the senseless acts of others. To the extent any of the judgment can be recovered from the defendant, it will help Mr. Ricks and his family maintain some semblance of their former life.”
About Dwyer Williams Cherkoss Attorneys
We are a personal injury law firm that has arbitrated, mediated, settled, and tried more than 650 personal injury cases in the past three years alone, recovering more than $30 million for our injured clients during that time, exclusive of Mr. Ricks’ judgment.
For more than 55 years, our award-winning team of lawyers has built a reputation of competence and compassion in handling complex personal injury matters, and have gone up against some of the country’s biggest insurance and transportation companies. With a 98 percent success rate, we negotiate settlements and litigate when necessary to reach the maximum outcomes for our clients. We recognize our clients’ challenges extend beyond legal issues, and throughout the process our attorneys guide our clients as they confront physical, emotional, and financial hardships associated with traumatic and life-altering events.
With six offices throughout Oregon, we have established deep roots within our communities. Our nationally recognized attorneys are active leaders and members of trial, legal and civic associations. Looking to become a certified B Corp, Dwyer Williams Cherkoss is part of a community of leaders driving a global movement of using business as a force for good. We are committed to considering the impact of our decisions on employees, clients, other businesses, community, and the environment.