On Friday, January 20th, a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge ruled that Oregon’s $500,000 cap on noneconomic damages does not violate the Oregon Constitution as applied to a verdict in favor of plaintiff Scott Busch and against Cosgrave’s client, McInnis Waste Systems, Inc. The decision has significant ramifications for future cases in Oregon subject to the noneconomic damages cap.
In this admitted liability amputation case, the jury initially awarded Mr. Busch approximately $3 million in economic damages for medical and other expenses, plus another $10.5 million in noneconomic damages for his pain and suffering, for a total of $13.5 million. Under this new ruling, the award will be reduced to about $3.5 million. Cosgrave partner Julie Smith briefed and argued the motion to apply the cap. Julie is a member of the firm’s appellate and litigation support practice group. The group is frequently asked to support trial attorneys by drafting and arguing complex motions in addition to handling appeals.