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McNeff v. Emmert

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 12-26-2013
Case #: A148817
Schuman, P. J. for the Court; Wollheim, J.; and Duncan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A148817.pdf

Evidence: As stated in Strawn v. Farmers Ins. Co., a plaintiff needs to show "the defendant made a material misrepresentation that was false; the defendant did so knowing that the representation was false; the defendant intended the plaintiff to rely on the misrepresentation; the plaintiff justifiably relied on the misrepresentation; and the plaintiff was damaged as a result of that reliance,"; not that there was a "meeting of the minds."

McNeff appealed the judgment and supplemental judgment of the trial court, arguing that the trial court erred by issuing a directed verdict on her fraud claim; and that the jury verdict should have been sent back for clarification because it was internally inconsistent. McNeff argued that the evidence at trial was legally sufficient to establish the elements of fraud because she did not have to show that there was a "meeting of the minds," but only that Emmert, the defendant, had an intention other than what he communicated to the McNeff. The Court agreed with McNeff, finding that there was sufficient evidence on the record to support a claim of fraud because McNeff could show "the defendant made a material misrepresentation that was false; the defendant did so knowing that the representation was false; the defendant intended the plaintiff to rely on the misrepresentation; the plaintiff justifiably relied on the misrepresentation; and the plaintiff was damaged as a result of that reliance."  McNeff further argued that the jury's award of $0.00 punitive damages should not have been grounds for dismissal of the finding of workplace discrimination, but rather resubmitted to the jury for further clarification because a finding of discrimination under ORS 659A.030(1)(a), (b). should have been grounds for punitive damages. The Court agreed. Reversed and remanded; otherwise affirmed.