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York v. Paakkonen

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 10-30-2013
Case #: A151107
Egan, J. for the Court; Nakamoto, P.J.; and Schuman, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A151107.pdf

Civil Procedure: Under ORS 31.555, the Dougherty Rule does not apply in a party's favor for partial satisfaction when that same party has objected to the use of a segregated verdict form, which allows for distinguishing between the various types of economic and non-economic damages at issue in the case.

York appealed the trial court's grant of partial satisfaction. York was injured while riding in a car with Paakkonen. Paakkonen's insurance company provided York with $25,000 in personal-injury-protection (PIP) benefits under the policy. York sued Paakkonen for personal injuries sustained in the car accident. At the conclusion of trial, York obtained a jury award for her economic damages. Paakkonen filed a motion for partial satisfaction pursuant to ORS 31.555 to reduce the amount of the judgment by the amount that Paakkonen's insurance carrier had previously provided to York as PIP benefits. York appealed from the trial court's order in favor of Paakkonen, to enter partial satisfaction of York's damages in the amount of $25,000. The Court of Appeals held that the trial court erred under ORS 31.555 by ordering the entry of a partial satisfaction. Although the Dougherty Rule typically enters partial satisfaction on defendant's behalf in cases where a jury's intent cannot be discerned regarding allocation of damages due to an insufficient jury verdict form, here, because Paakkonen, objected to the use of York's proposed verdict form that would have revealed whether the awarded damages overlapped with PIP benefits, the Dougherty Rule does not apply.  The intent of ORS 31.555, to prevent double recovery of PIP benefits could be contravened by Paakkonen's objection, but would be served through York's proposed verdict form.  Reversed and remanded.