Morgan v. Valley Property and Casualty Ins. Co.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 12-28-2017
  • Case #: A158506
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Devore, P.J. for the Court; Garrett, J.; & Wollheim, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under OEC 803(6), a business record is a document that is routinely prepared in the course of a business’s activities and preparer owes a legal duty to report accurately. State v. Cain, 260 Or App 626, 633-34 (2014).

Defendant appealed a judgment awarding Plaintiff damages after a warehouse fire. Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s admission of a spreadsheet prepared by Plaintiff’s third party insurance adjusters under the business record exception to the hearsay rule. On appeal, Defendant argued the spreadsheet does not qualify as a business record because it was not prepared in the ordinary course of business, but rather in preparation of litigation. Defendant further argued the spreadsheet was created by a third party that “did not owe a duty to report accurately.” In response, Plaintiff argued that the spreadsheet’s creation used prices personally known to the insurance adjusters and could be relied upon to accurately reflect the amount of property lost in the fire. Under OEC 803(6), a business record is a document that is routinely prepared in the course of a business’s activities and preparer owes a legal duty to report accurately. State v. Cain, 260 Or App 626, 633-34 (2014). The Court of Appeals determined the trial court erred because the preparer of the spreadsheet “was not providing routine information, prompted by law with no accuracy required.” The Court found that the reporting was not routine because the nature of the relationship was “unavoidably adversarial” and the error was not harmless. Reversed and remanded.

Advanced Search