Willamette Law Online

Oregon Court of Appeals


ListPreviousNext


Klutschkowski v. Peacehealth

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 09-21-2011
Case #: A138722
Haselton, P.J. for the Court; Armstrong, J. & Duncan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A138722.pdf

Tort Law: The noneconomic damage limitation of ORS 31.710 is not precluded by the remedy clause of Article I, section 10, nor the jury trial provisions of Article I, section 17, and Article VII, section 3 of the Oregon Constitution when the cause of action did not exist at the time the Oregon Constitution was adopted.

Because Bobbi Klutschkowski’s earlier child had a shoulder dystocia during birth, any subsequent children were likely to have the same issue. Oregon Medical Group (OMG) did not inform Bobbi of the risk during her next pregnancy, and her son Braedon was disabled at birth because of shoulder dystocia. A jury awarded almost $2 million in damages. OMG appealed, claiming improper language in the jury instructions, and that the awarded noneconomic damages should be reduced due to a statutory cap. The Court of Appeals found that OMG did not preserve a reviewable objection to the jury instructions. However, the Court did find that the statutory cap on noneconomic damages imposed by ORS 21.710 applied to this specific case. Klutschkowski had no protected right to a remedy under the Oregon Constitution because the claim is not one that existed at the time the Oregon Constitution was adopted. General judgment reversed and remanded to reduce noneconomic damages to $500,000; otherwise affirmed.