Dennis Freed

Dennis Freed

Partner

Biography

Denny is a founding member of Smith Freed Eberhard. His practice specializes in complex civil cases with a focus on catastrophic personal injury claims.

With over 41 year’s experience, Denny is a seasoned attorney in a variety of litigation areas, including job-site injury, premises liability, construction dispute, products liability, business tort, large automobile and commercial transportation injury, fraud and property trespass. Denny has conducted over 300 jury trials and arbitrations involving numerous individuals and business entities. He has also participated in legislative sessions on behalf of the Defense Bar.

Relevant Cases
Denny won a defense verdict in a multi-million dollar brain injury trial against a major hotel chain. He was successful in minimizing the damage verdict in representing a large developer in a landslide trial. Denny also won a defense verdict in a $2 million dollar wrongful death trucking accident claim. Finally, Denny achieved acceptance of a defense tender during trial in a $13.2 million dollar wrongful death products liability case.

  • In Brown v. Salishan, Denny represented a major hotel chain in a multi-million dollar brain injury trial. The claimant alleged that a golf driving range at a resort had been negligently designed. The negligent design resulted in a practice swing hitting the claimant in the head. This allegedly caused a disabling brain injury. After a two week trial, the jury exonerated Denny’s client, the resort owner, and rendered a complete defense verdict.
  • In the case of Vivero v. Eastwood, Denny minimized the verdict and liability share in a catastrophic leg amputation. Denny’s client was primarily responsible for causing an auto accident that resulted in a below-the-knee leg amputation. By simplifying the case and focusing the jury on comparative fault, Denny was able to establish a significant percentage reduction, which minimized the net verdict well below the projected and anticipated values.
  • Denny’s client, North Santiam Paving, was a developer who had built infrastructure for a residential development on what later turned out to be an old landslide that “came alive”. Several homeowners sued for significant structural damage and diminished value to their homes. Denny was able to use several experts in different fields that effectively refuted the claimants’ experts. As a result, the jury delivered a very reasonable verdict and distributed significant fault to another defendant. The result was well below the amount offered in settlement.
  • In the case of Estate of Sasuki v. Binder, Denny won a defense verdict in a $2 million dollar wrongful death trucking accident claim. Denny’s client was a driver who was sued, along with other defendants, for contributing to a catastrophic truck/car collision in icy weather, which resulted in a death. Initially, the jury found Denny’s client only .1% negligent. Although this was an excellent result and beyond expectations, upon Denny’s motion, the Judge ruled that Denny’s client was fault-free and allowed a judgment in his favor.
  • Estate of Groth v. Hyundai was a wrongful death products liability lawsuit. Denny’s client was a distributor of a “vertical lathe” manufactured by Hyundai. A piece in the lathe broke away and killed the claimant. During the trial, and after the selection of a jury, Denny put strategic pressure on Hyundai, forcing an acceptance of his tender of defense. The jury went on to ultimately render a verdict for approximately $13.5 million, however, Denny’s client was fully protected from any responsibility.

Insights & Thought Leadership
Denny has lectured on advanced trial techniques and insurance coverage issues to insurance companies, professional trade groups and fellow attorneys.

Professional Certification & Accolades

  • Member, Oregon State Bar Association
  • Member, American Board of Trial Advocates (a jury trial lawyer honorary)
  • Oregon Super Lawyers - Top 50
  • Member, Defense Research Institute
  • Member, Oregon Association of Defense Counsel
  • Member, Council on Litigation Management
  • Martindale-Hubble "AV Preeminent" Rated
  • Best Lawyers in America - Oregon

Bar Admissions

  • Oregon
  • Washington

Education

  • Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College, J.D., 1974
  • Oregon State University, B.A., 1970
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