Ouma v. Skipton

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Tort Law
  • Date Filed: 12-03-2014
  • Case #: A151739
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Lagesen, J. for the Court, with Duncan, P.J., & Willheim, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Medical expert testimony is not necessary to establish causation for a broken tooth, because it is a simple injury which layperson is competent to testify to establish causation.

Plaintiff appealed the trial court’s granting the directed verdict on noneconomic damages. Defendant’s pickup truck ran into plaintiff’s car while Plaintiff was stopped at a stoplight. Plaintiff sued defendant for damages, defendant admitted liability, and the issue at trial was damages for Plaintiff’s alleged injuries. Defendant moved for a directed verdict on economic damages on the ground that Plaintiff presented no evidence that the accident had caused him any economic loss. Defendant argued that under Pinkerton v. Tri-Met, the causation of Plaintiff’s broken tooth requires expert medical testimony. Trial court granted defendant’s motion, and Plaintiff appealed. The Court of Appeals held that the trial court erred in granting Defendant’s motion. The Court reasoned that this case is distinct from the facts in Pinkerton, because there was no evidence of potential other causes of Plaintiff’s broken tooth, and although the injury was pled within a list of injuries that require medical expert testimony, the broken tooth was not so similar to other alleged injuries to require expert testimony. Reversed and remanded for new trial on noneconomic damages.

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