Beth Klein Boulder Attorney Nabs Case Of The Year Award
When faced with international travel, reluctant witnesses and a behemoth defendant, most attorneys turned down David Dawson’s case. Most attorneys except Beth Klein of Boulder law firm Klein & Frank, who received the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association Case of the Year Award for her work in winning Dawson $19 million in damages.
The verdict was years in the making but well worth the wait for Dawson, who was working in Iraq as a private contractor when he stepped into a shower that was so hot it caused third-degree burns over 65 percent of his body.
At the core of the case were three questions: Was the hot water piped to the housing units subject to sudden temperature swings? Was the manager of the residential center aware of this? And did the contractor take reasonable steps to address the problem?
To get the answers, Klein had to navigate through numerous countries, track down people with nothing more than byzantine address systems and phone directories and utilize interpreters to understand witnesses who spoke Arabic, Turkish and German.
And she had to convince people they wouldn’t be killed.
Klein worked on the case with her partner, Carrie Frank, and co-counsel Marquette Wolf of the Law Firm of Ted Lyon & Associates in Texas where the trial was held.
“What they know of us is so very bad,” Klein said of the Iraqis. “They don’t hear the nuanced political discussions on TV. They hear the bomb down the street.”
What she calls the “greatest case I’ve ever done” is now settled.