Wingett v. Silbernagel

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Law
  • Date Filed: 06-29-2016
  • Case #: A151510
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Egan, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Hadlock, C.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 31.605(4), a trial court may not hold two individuals jointly liable when a jury has found them severally liable. Under ORS 471.565(2), there is no right of action against a social host who serves alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person.

Wingett appealed a trial court's ruling that held a husband and wife (Silbernagle) severally liable in Wingett's negligence suit; Silbernagle cross appealed, seeking reversal of Wingett's statutory claim under ORS 471.565(2). On appeal, Wingett assigned error to the trial court’s refusal, post-verdict, to combine the allocated fault of the Silbernagels under ORS 31.605(4) based on a theory that they were acting “in concert” and should be jointly liable. The Court concluded that ORS 31.605(4) does not permit a trial court to combine defendants’ allocated fault in the judgment when the jury has assessed the fault separately. On the Silbernagels cross-appeal, the Court reversed the statutory liability judgment, because the Supreme Court held in Deckard v. Bunch, 358 Or 754, 370 P3d 478 (2016), that ORS 471.565(2) does not provide an independent statutory right of action against a social host who serves alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person. On appeal, affirmed; on cross-appeal, statutory liability claim reversed; otherwise affirmed.

Advanced Search