Certain Underwriters v. Mass. Bonding and Ins. Co.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Insurance Law
  • Date Filed: 08-16-2017
  • Case #: A156649
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Sercombe, S.J. for the Court; DeVore, P.J.; & DeHoog, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

As long as appeal is pending, finality does not attach piecemeal to the parts of a judgment or order that are not placed in direct controversy by the parties’ arguments on appeal. Liberty Northwest Ins. Corp. v. Koitzsch, 155 Or App 494, 500 (1998).

London, an insurance company, appealed the trial court’s judgment which dismissed its contribution action against Defendants, other insurers. London assigned error to the trial court’s conclusion that a final judgment concerning the underlying environmental claims of London’s contribution action had not been entered before the effective date of the 2013 amendments to the Oregon Environmental Cleanup Assistance Act (OECAA), ORS 465.475 to 465.484. See Or Laws 2013, ch. 350, §§ 4, 8. On appeal, London argued that its contribution rights against Defendants were not extinguished.  London argued that there were two separate judgments in the case: (1) a final judgment was entered on the relevant environmental claim, and (2) it was final because London did not appeal.  Defendants argued that there was only one judgment on all claims, and that judgment was on appeal when the law took effect.  As long as appeal is pending, finality does not attach piecemeal to the parts of a judgment or order that are not placed in direct controversy by the parties’ arguments in the appeal. Liberty Northwest Ins. Corp. v. Koitzsch, 155 Or App 494, 500 (1998).  The Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not err in concluding that there was no final judgment because the appeal of the single judgment in the case was pending when the 2013 amendments became effective. Affirmed.

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