On May 26, 2016, the Oregon Supreme Court rejected a constitutional challenge to a state statute limiting a plaintiff to no more than $500,000 in noneconomic damages. The decision marked a victory for WLF, whose brief urged that the statute capping damages be upheld. The court agreed with WLF that the Jury Clause of the Oregon Constitution does not provide plaintiffs with a constitutional right to recover the full sum the jury estimated them to have suffered. The court held that the Jury Clause gives litigants a procedural right to insist that civil claims be heard by a jury, not a substantive right to enforce jury findings in their entirety. WLF noted no one is questioning the right of juries to decide all questions of fact. The legislature merely used its power to alter the legal consequences that attach to the jury’s factual findings. WLF’s brief was joined by the Allied Educational Foundation.
Rains v. Stayton Builders Mart, Inc.