Summaries by Court

Supreme Court

Rains v. Stayton Builders Mart, Inc.
Kevin Rains was a construction worker injured when a board sold by Stayton Builders Mart, and constructed by Weyerhauser, broke underneath him. After trial, a jury awarded Kevin Rains $7 million in economic and non-economic damages, to be paid in part by each defendant. After Weyerhauser appealed, the Oregon Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeals and sent the case back for further consideration.

Yeatts v. Polygon Nw Co.
Arthur Yeatts was a construction worker, working on a third-story sheet rock project, when a guard rail gave way. Yeatts fell 19 feet to the ground below. He sustained multiple head injuries as well as fracturing his arm and wrist. The Oregon Supreme Court affirmed that employees have a right to a safe workplace and agreed that the general contractor could be held responsible for its failure to provide one.

Piazza v. Kellim
Martha Paz de Noboa Delgado was a 17-year-old exchange student killed by a mentally disturbed man outside a Portland nightclub. The trial court dismissed her estate’s claim, saying that her death was unforeseeable. The Oregon Supreme Court overturned that decision, reaffirming Oregon foreseeability law and keeping the estate’s claim alive.

Chapman v. Mayfield
Jason Chapman and Richard Gilbertson were playing poker at a social club in Gresham, Oregon when Carroll Mayfield fired several shots from a .357 handgun into the club. Chapman was struck in the chest and Gilbertson in the shoulder. The plaintiffs sued the bar that Mayfield was drinking at for overserving him. The Oregon Supreme Court held that, although plaintiffs offered evidence that violence is a known result of overservice, Mayfield’s violence was not foreseeable.

Towe v. Sacagawea, Inc.
Bill Towe was riding a motorcycle on an unimproved road looking for real estate for sale. He struck a chain which had been put across the road—without warning signs—sustaining severe injuries. The Oregon Supreme Court held that a private landowner whose land is adjacent to public highways has a duty to all travelers—not just those it invites onto the property it owns—to keep its property in reasonably safe condition.

Cortez v. Nacco Material Handling Group, Inc.
Antonio Cortez was struck by a forklift backing up without warning horn or lights, sustaining severe, life-changing injuries. The Oregon Supreme Court recognized that the Oregon legislature had not limited his remedy for this injury to worker’s compensation, allowing him to maintain a claim against the sole member of the limited liability company that employed him.

Court of Appeals
LaVoie v. Power Auto, Inc.
Jury Award/Settlement
Sussan v. Polk County
Paul v. American Safety Indemnity Company
Garcia v. Dawson Construction LLC

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