Cooksley v. Lofland

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Tort Law
  • Date Filed: 11-29-2017
  • Case #: A161658
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Tookey, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Shorr, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

When the “plaintiff submits a verdict form from which the jury cannot tell whether the damages award includes losses subject to PIP benefits, the court must reduce the damages award by reason of the PIP benefits.” Wade v. Mahler, 167 Or. App. 350, 356, 1 P.3d 485, rev den, 331 Or. 334 (2000).

Plaintiff appealed a trial court order, which granted Defendant’s motion for partial satisfaction of judgment under ORS 31.555(2). Plaintiff assigned error to the trial court’s conclusion that since the verdict form did not segregate damages, it was impossible to determine if the $15,000 Personal Injury Protection payment from Defendant’s insurance carrier had been accounted-for in the economic damages awarded by the jury, and thus the court was required to grant the motion. On appeal, Plaintiff argues that the she was entitled to the full damage amount despite the PIP payment because ORS 31.555(2) did not apply in this instance.  Plaintiff argues ORS 31.555(2) was inapplicable because Defendant was responsible for the unsegregated verdict form that created the ambiguity. In response, Defendant argued that the trial court did not err in granting the motion. When the “plaintiff submits a verdict form from which the jury cannot tell whether the damages award includes losses subject to PIP benefits, the court must reduce the damages award by reason of the PIP benefits.”  Wade v. Mahler, 167 Or. App. 350, 356, 1 P.3d 485, rev den, 331 Or. 334 (2000). The Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not err in granting Defendant’s motion for partial satisfaction of judgment because the verdict form did not indicate whether the jury considered PIP reimbursements in its damage award and the plaintiff’s form would not have cleared up the ambiguity. Affirmed.

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