A civil negligence trial, which got under way in Wallowa County Circuit Court Monday, is expected to wrap up Thursday (today).

Wallowa resident Gail Eagan has charged Jan and Lorraine Swift, owners of the Wallowa Valley Stay and Wash car wash in Wallowa, with negligence in connection with a serious injury Eagan suffered when she tripped on an old rolling ladder at the car wash business in March of 2001.

The case is being heard before a jury of 12 plus one alternate, with visiting judge Greg Baxter of Baker County presiding. Local attorney Ron Schenck is representing the plaintiff, while Ron Stevenson of Portland represents the defense.

During opening statements Monday afternoon, Schenck spent most of the time informing the jury in detail about testimony that was to be given concerning Eagans badly shattered elbow, the treatment including surgery she has gone through, and the pain and loss of function she continues to suffer.

During Stevenson's opening statement, he said that while his clients strongly sympathized with Eagan's injury, he denied they did anything wrong.

He told the jury that under the law they are not allowed to factor in sympathy in their deliberations. "You don't find in someone's favor just because someone was injured. You find in favor of them because someone was negligent."

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