George Pitcher is a partner in the Portland office of Lewis Brisbois and is a vice-chair of the Asbestos Litigation Practice. Mr. Pitcher focuses on products liability, professional liability, and commercial litigation. He acts as both national and local counsel to defendants in products liability litigation.
Mr. Pitcher served as president of the Oregon Association of Defense counsel in 2019, and spent six years on the board of directors for the OADC prior to becoming president.
Mr. Pitcher has tried cases in Oregon and Washington state courts and argued cases before the Oregon Supreme Court and Oregon Court of Appeals. Cases tried to verdict include legal malpractice, medical malpractice, asbestos, professional liability, employment discrimination, breach of warranty, lemon law, commercial disputes, and breach of contract cases. Mr. Pitcher’s cases at the Oregon Supreme Court have resulted in published opinions on issues of first impression in Oregon tort law, including the standard for bringing a claim for punitive damages and the viability of “loss of chance” medical malpractice claims in Oregon.
Mr. Pitcher has defended numerous cases involving claims of significant personal injury such as paraplegia, amputations, wrongful death, cancer, brain injury, sexual assault and severe burns. He has represented manufacturers in products liability cases involving ATV rollovers, farm equipment, toys, household appliances, medical devices, class 8 trucks, and carbon monoxide poisoning.
In the area of professional liability, Mr. Pitcher regularly represents insurance agents, real estate agents, lawyers, medical professionals, architects, and engineers. He represents professionals both in professional liability claims and before various licensing agencies. Mr. Pitcher has been asked to speak to groups of medical professionals, insurance agents, lawyers, and home inspectors regarding risk management and strategies for defending professional liability claims.
Mr. Pitcher has been involved in some of the most significant tort cases in the Northwest over the last 15 years. Examples include representing an insurance agent in the Masood insurance fraud case in 2011 that resulted in the trial court entering a $10 million judgment against the plaintiff following a nine week trial in Clackamas County; the Emrick asbestos case that resulted in a defense verdict following a 14 week trial in Multnomah County; the Barabin case where the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2014 vacated a multi-million dollar judgment based on the trial court’s failure to hold a pre-trial Daubert hearing; the Bolt v. Influence case 333 Or. 572, 43 P.3d 425 (2002) where the Oregon Supreme Court announced the legal standard for presenting sufficient evidence to plead a claim for punitive damages; the Smith v. Providence case where the Oregon Supreme Court addressed “loss of chance” medical malpractice claims for the first time; and the Mason v. General Electric case 226 Or. App. 392, 203 P.3d 329 (2009) which resulted in an opinion from the Oregon Court of Appeals that has essentially ended premises liability asbestos litigation in Oregon.
Mr. Pitcher has defended numerous cases involving claims of significant personal injury such as paraplegia, amputations, wrongful death, cancer, brain injury, sexual assault and severe burns.
- Published Appellate Decisions in Cases Argued by Mr. Pitcher
- Eberhardt v. Providence Health & Services, 298 Or. App. 454 (2019)
- Smith v. Providence Health & Services, 361 Or. 456 (2017)
- State ex rel Portland Habilitation Center, Inc. v. Portland State University, 353 Or. 42, 292 P.3d 537 (2012)
- Patton v. Mutual of Enumclaw Insurance Company, 238 Or. App. 101, 242 P.3d 624 (2010)
- Mason v. Mt. St. Joseph, Inc., 226 Or. App. 392, 203 P.3d 329 (2009)
- Groth v. Hyundai Precision and Ind. Co., 209 Or. App. 781, 149 P.3d 333, Prod.Liab.Rep. (CCH) P 17,642 (2006)
- Woods v. Karl Karcher Enterprises, Inc., 341 Or. 549, 146 P.3d 319 (2006)
- Bolt v. Influence, Inc., 333 Or. 572, 43 P.3d 425 (2002)
Primary Area(s) of Practice
- Medical Malpractice
- Asbestos Litigation
- Products Liability
- Architects & Engineers
- Miscellaneous Professional Liability
- Professional Liability
- Oregon Association of Defense Counsel, Board of Directors
- Defense Research Institute
- International Association of Defense Counsel
- Multnomah County Bar Association
- Speaker, Damages Trends in NW Asbestos Litigation, Harris Martin NW Asbestos Litigation Conference, July 2019
- Speaker, Oregon Law Lightning Round Update, Oregon Association of Defense Counsel Annual Meeting, June 2019
- Speaker, Implications of Hodges Opinion on Oregon Medical and Personal Injury Defense Litigation, October 2018
- Speaker, Risk Management and Defending Claims Before State Medical Boards, American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, October 2016.
- Speaker, "Nuisance, Products, Mass Torts & Lessons Learned from A Civil Action, The Insider, & Erin Brockovich," Lewis Brisbois Webinar, May 2016
- Convention Chair, 2016 Oregon Association of Defense Counsel Annual Convention
- Speaker, “Preventing Legal Malpractice Claims,” Hartford/RiskPoint Insurance CLE Webinar, October 2015
- Director, 2014 Defense Practice Academy for Oregon Association of Defense Counsel.
- Speaker, “Seven Things that Get Podiatrists Sued,” Oregon Podiatric Medical Association Annual Meeting, October 2014.
- Moderator, “Discovery Lightning Round,” Oregon Association of Defense Counsel Annual Convention, June 2014.
- Speaker, Northwest Asbestos Litigation Conference, Tacoma, WA, June 2014.
Willamette University College of Law
Juris Doctor, first in class, 1996
- Associate Editor, Willamette Law Review
Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, 1992
- “Best Advice You Ever Got from an Oregon Judge,” January 2019, The Verdict.
- “Two Trials in Two Years—A Firsthand Account,” Quarterly Magazine for the Podiatry Insurance Company of America, April 2016.
- Co-Author, “Best Practices for Privilege Logs in Oregon State Court Cases,” The Verdict, Spring 2012.
- Co-Author, “Jury Instructions in Punitive Damage Cases: Using the New Mandates from the United States Supreme Court,” International Association of Defense Counsel Annual Meeting, 2009.
- Co-author, “Medical Monitoring: The Impact of Lowe v. Philip Morris,” Oregon Association of Defense Counsel Magazine, Summer 2008.
- “Recovery of Economic Losses in Negligence Actions: ‘Special Relationships’ and Beyond,” Oregon Appellate Almanac, 2007.
- “End of the ‘We Can’t Tell Rule’ Makes Life Much More Difficult for Appellants,” Oregon Appellate Almanac, 2006.
- "Does the Learned Intermediary Doctrine Still Exist in Oregon?” Oregon Association of Defense Counsel Magazine, Winter 2005.
- “U.S., Oregon Courts Split Over Punitive Damages,” The Portland Business Journal, November 5, 2004.
- “Fourteen Week Asbestos Trial Results in Defense Verdict,” Oregon Association of Defense Counsel Magazine, Spring 2001.
- Comment, “The End of Oregon’s Reasonable Seller Test: A Real Change in Law or a Mere Change in Terminology?” 32 Willamette Law Review 851 (1996).
- Note, “Moser v. Frohnmayer: Oregon’s Dangerous Approach to Protecting Commercial Speech,” 31 Willamette Law Rev. 685 (1995).