Cornelius, Oregon, in Washington County, about 20 miles West of Portland, gained its initial lease on life as a result of shortsighted decisions by neighboring Forest Grove and Hillsboro. In the 1870s much of what now makes up this small town of just under 12,000 people was farmland owned by the Cornelius family. The area was then known as “Free Orchards.” When he heard that the railroad intended to cross his property after having been denied rights-of-way by both Forest Grove and Hillsboro, Thomas Cornelius recognized an opportunity.
Cornelius built buildings and opened businesses (including a warehouse and two sawmills) to provide other local farmers with access to the railroad. In the process he turned Free Orchards into a regional hub for transport and commerce – a fact honored by local residents two decades later when they renamed the settlement “Cornelius” in honor of Thomas and his family.
Today, that same spirit can be found close by in the Law Office of Matthew D. Kaplan at 50 SW Pine St 3rd Floor in Portland, Oregon. The sort of opportunity Thomas Cornelius saw in his community more than a century ago comes, however, with certain risks. A certain amount of caution is always a prudent part of modern life. Unfortunate accidents that can occur almost anywhere.
Indeed, statistics compiled over a number of years by the federal government’s Consumer Product Safety Commission paint a startling picture of how dangerous seemingly safe recreational activities can be. According to a 2010 CSPC report:
- There were 35,900 consumer product-related deaths in the United States during 2008
- Both the year-by-year figures and the three year moving average of such deaths have climbed steadily since the late 1990s
- Children under the age of 14 are particularly vulnerable to consumer product-related injuries: in 2010, 19.7 percent of toddlers (ages 1 to 4) received medical treatment for consumer product-related injuries
- The only group with a higher injury rate than toddlers was the very elderly (age 85 and over), among whom 27.2 percent required medical attention.
The Law Office of Matthew D. Kaplan is located at 50 SW Pine St 3rd Floor, Portland, OR 97204. Matthew D. Kaplan’s office telephone number is (503) 226-3844.