Wyers v. American Medical Response Northwest, Inc.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Tort Law
  • Date Filed: 12-31-2014
  • Case #: A149258
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Nakamoto, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Egan, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

ORS 124.100(5) requires that the defendant know of the existence of the requisite circumstance at the time of the alleged "permitting." An action is deemed permitted when the person knowingly acts or fails to act under circumstances in which a reasonable person should have known of the physical abuse.

Plaintiffs appealed the lower court decision granting summary judgment motion by American Medical Response Northwest, Inc. (American) for violations of ORS 124.100. Haszard was a certified medical technician and paramedic. American, which provides ambulance services, employed Haszard to attend to persons being transported by ambulance. Haszard used his position to engage in acts of sexual abuse of various female patients while in transit to hospitals. Haszard had a history of sexual misconduct on the job. Priest, a manager for American, mischaracterized one of these reports and downplayed the conduct. There were many instances where American failed to investigate or even report sexual misconduct by Haszard, even after being informed of it. Plaintiffs brought claims against American for "permitting" Haszard to sexually abuse plaintiffs. The trial court consolidated the cases and assigned the matter to a judge. The trial court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment. Plaintiffs appealed, arguing that a reasonable juror could find that American had violated ORS 124.100. The Court held there was sufficient evidence from which a reasonable juror could find that American "permitted" Haszard to sexually abuse plaintiffs. The Court concluded that the trial court erred when it granted defendant's motion for summary judgment. Reversed and remanded.

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