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Westfall v. Oregon Dept. of Corrections

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 12-29-2011
Case #: A140772
Armstrong, J. for the Court; Haselton, P.J.; & Duncan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A140772.pdf

Tort Law: The State is not immune from tort liability under ORS 30.265(3)(c) if the employee action that caused the tort was the result of the employee merely implementing routine policy decisions in the course of everyday activities.

Westfall appealed the trial court’s decision to grant the State’s motion for summary judgment. Westfall brought suit against the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) for negligence and false imprisonment based upon improper prison-release date calculations. After a hearing, the trial court concluded that the state was immune under ORS 30.265(3)(c) from employee-related tort liability. The Court of Appeals held that the DOC was not immune since its sentencing policy for calculating prison-release dates was not the product of competing policy choices but the result of DOC employees implementing a routine policy. Reversed and remanded.