Court Backs Awards Cap in Wrongful Death Cases

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), February 23, 2008 | Go to article overview

Court Backs Awards Cap in Wrongful Death Cases


Byline: Bill Bishop The Register-Guard

The Oregon Supreme Court on Friday ruled the state's $500,000 limit on jury awards for noneconomic damages in wrongful death lawsuits does not violate a person's right to have a jury decide damages.

The ruling stems from the 2001 death of 19-year-old Jill Dieringer, a University of Oregon student who was mis-diagnosed at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene after falling ill with a rare and rapidly fatal form of meningococcal disease.

Dieringer's mother, Lori Hughes of Vancouver, Wash., sued PeaceHealth for wrongful death and a Lane County jury in 2003 awarded $1 million in noneconomic damages. The trial judge reduced the award to $500,000 to conform with the law, and Hughes appealed.

Friday's ruling does not change Oregon law. The Legislature in 1862 set the state's first limit - $5,000 - as the maximum that could be awarded to survivors for loss of companionship and emotional suffering stemming from a wrongful death.

The Legislature in 1987 set the limit at $500,000 for those kinds of "noneconomic damages" in wrongful death cases.

Portland lawyer Linda Eyerman, who represented Dieringer's estate in the trial, argued in the appeal that the state's limit violates Hughes' right to a jury trial.

The limit renders the jury's ruling "meaningless," Eyerman said Friday.

Writing for the majority in the 4-2 ruling, Justice W. Michael Gillette reiterated the high court's long-held position, rooted in common law at the time of the state's founding.

Court rulings around that time seemed to be trending toward recognizing a common-law right to noneconomic damages in wrongful death cases, he wrote. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Court Backs Awards Cap in Wrongful Death Cases
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.