Dickson v. TriMet

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Tort Law
  • Date Filed: 01-10-2018
  • Case #: A158572
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Lagesen, J.; & Garrett, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

The time to give notice of intent to file a tort claim begins when a litigant knows the facts of an injury; not when a litigant becomes aware of the legal significance of those facts. Doe v. Lake Oswego School District, 353 Or 321, 297 P3d 1287 (2013) (citing Kaseberg v. Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP, 351 Or 270, 278, 265 P3d 777 (2011)).

Defendant Tri-Met, (Tri-Met), appealed a trial court judgment holding it liable for Plaintiffs' injuries incurred after an altercation on a city bus. Tri-Met assigned error to the trial court's denial of its motions for a directed verdict as to Plaintiff Thompson, (Thompson). On appeal, Tri-Met argued that Thompson's claim was untimely under the Oregon Torts Claim Act because he failed to inform Tri-Met that he planned to file a claim within the statutorily required time. In response, Thompson argued that he did not know he had a tort cause of action until he met with a lawyer after the time to file the claim passed. The time to give notice of intent to file a tort claim begins when a litigant knows the facts of an injury; not when a litigant becomes aware of the legal significance of those facts. Doe v. Lake Oswego School District, 353 Or 321, 297 P3d 1287 (2013) (citing Kaseberg v. Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP, 351 Or 270, 278, 265 P3d 777 (2011)). The Court of Appeals held that, at the time of the incident, Thompson knew of the critical facts under which his injury arose, and despite being unaware of the legal significance of those facts, failed to timely give notice to Tri-Met that he intended to sue under the OTCA. Judgment reversed as to Thompson; otherwise affirmed.

Advanced Search