Location
Oregon
Legal Alert
From the Desk of Melanie Rose: Plaintiffs do not have endless time to file their legal actions. Rather civil claims are subject to statutes of limitation, which require a lawsuit to be filed within a specified amount of time based on the type of action—personal injury, wrongful death, breach of contract, etc. However, there are instances where these limitation periods…
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Monday February 22, 2021 By: Melanie Rose
Legal Alert
From the desk of Jeffrey D. Eberhard: In certain circumstances, if a plaintiff is successful, they can recover attorney fees. However, ORCP 54 (the offer to allow judgment rule) limits a plaintiff’s recovery of fees to those incurred prior to the date of an offer of judgment, provided the offer was more than the plaintiff’s ultimate award. Does this limit…
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Thursday February 11, 2021 By: Jeff Eberhard
Legal Alert
From the desk of Cliff J. Wilson: Cellphones are essential to everyday life. However, in Oregon, we all know that we should not use, or even handle, our cellphones while driving due in part to the state’s harsh penalties for doing so. But what happens if a defendant in a civil case admits to using her cellphone immediately prior to…
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Wednesday February 10, 2021 By: Cliff Wilson
Legal Alert
From the desk of Bill P. Taaffe: In Oregon, to prove negligence, a plaintiff must show the harm he or she suffered was foreseeable.  How one characterizes the harm—i.e., “a head injury” versus just “an injury”—clearly has a significant impact on what can be considered foreseeable. This case asks the question: Can a head injury, caused by walking into a…
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Wednesday January 27, 2021 By: William Taaffe
Legal Alert
From the Desk of Jeff Eberhard: Oregon issued civil penalties against two insurance companies for violating emergency orders related to COVID-19. What did these insurance companies do to deserve these fines? Claims Pointer: Allstate and Root Insurance Companies were fined for canceling or not renewing policies during a time they were prohibited from doing so by a COVID-19 Emergency Order. …
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Wednesday December 16, 2020 By: Jeff Eberhard
Webinar
Smith Freed Eberhard Partners Jeff Eberhard and Bill Taaffe discuss major cases of the past year in Oregon, with a focus on Commercial Lines claims management during this one hour presentation. Why Watch This Webinar? This webinar is designed for claims professionals and provides a basic overview of significant cases over the last year and their impact on Commercial Lines claims management. This…
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Thursday November 19, 2020 By: Jeff Eberhard
Legal Alert
From the desk of Josh Hayward: In UM and UIM claims, attorney fees may be recoverable by the insured. However, there is a statutory safe harbor provision that prevents an insured from being awarded fees if certain criteria are met. Part of the criteria is that the insurer must accept coverage and only contest liability of the uninsured and damages.…
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Thursday November 19, 2020 By: Josh Hayward
Success Story
Claims Alleged:         False Imprisonment; Assault and Battery; and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress Injuries Alleged:       Concussion; Nasal Fracture; Facial Contusions and Abrasions; and Emotional Distress Admitted Liability:    No Amount Claimed:       $995,000 The Overview: Managing Partner at Smith Freed Eberhard, Jeff Eberhard, successfully defended an individual against claims of assault and battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction…
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Thursday November 19, 2020 By: Jeff Eberhard
Legal Alert
From the desk of Cliff Wilson: The one constant in litigation is that the Plaintiff carries the burden to prove every element of their case.  In complex scenarios, however, sometimes Plaintiffs will argue to push their burden on to the Defendant, particularly in cases involving insurance company defendants, like cases involving underinsured motorist claims (UIM).  Recently, the Oregon Court of…
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Thursday November 12, 2020 By: Cliff Wilson
Legal Alert
From the desk of Jeff Eberhard: Under the ORLTA, during an eviction action for nonpayment of rent, a tenant may counterclaim. If that happens, the ORLTA provides a withholding remedy where the tenant may pay their rent into a court fund. At the end of the proceedings, if this fund contains enough to cover the outstanding rent, the tenant may…
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Friday November 6, 2020 By: Jeff Eberhard
Legal Alert
From the desk of Josh Hayward: How many cats is too many?  The jury is still out on that, but a recent Oregon Court of Appeals opinion suggests that it is probably not wise to allow a tenant to keep 100 cats.  In this case, Plaintiff filed suit against State Farm after the company denied coverage under a “domestic animal”…
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Friday October 23, 2020 By: Josh Hayward
Webinar
Smith Freed Eberhard Partners Josh Hayward and Cliff Wilson discuss major Personal Lines cases of the past year in Oregon with a focus on the impact these cases will have on Personal Lines claims management. In this hour-long webinar presentation, Josh and Cliff discuss recent developments in Oregon law including: (HB 4212) The statute of limitations on most civil claims…
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Friday October 23, 2020 By: Josh Hayward
Legal Alert
From the desk of Jeff Eberhard: Oregon Rule of Civil Procedure (“ORCP”) 54(E) provides that a defendant may serve an offer on the plaintiff for a judgment that can be entered against the defendant and the plaintiff has the right to decline the offer. However, if the ultimate judgment obtained by the plaintiff is not more favorable than the offer,…
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Tuesday October 13, 2020 By: Jeff Eberhard
Legal Alert
From the desk of Joshua P. Hayward: To avoid attorney’s fees in a UIM case, an insurer must agree to binding arbitration and limit the issues to the liability of the uninsured/underinsured motorist and damages. If a proper safe harbor letter is sent, can an insurer allege that its own insured was at fault for causing the collision without injecting an…
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Thursday September 17, 2020 By: Josh Hayward
Legal Alert
From the desk of Jeff Eberhard: Hear Ye Hear Ye! Read all about it. The Oregon Supreme Court has issued a landmark opinion addressing once and for all a topic of heated debate between Oregon’s plaintiff and defense bars. No matter the side, plaintiff or defendant, attorneys will agree that parties who can prove they were injured by a defendant’s…
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Monday August 17, 2020 By: Jeff Eberhard
Legal Alert
From the desk of Jeff Eberhard: Plaintiffs have an interest in being able to bring lawsuits to recover for damages they believe were caused by a defendant. Defendants have a countervailing interest in ensuring that they are not forever exposed to a potential claim. The legislature’s answer to protecting both of these interests? Statutory time limitations within which a plaintiff must bring their claim following an injury or damaging…
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Thursday July 16, 2020 By: Jeff Eberhard
Legal Alert
From the desk of Jeff Eberhard: Health plan contracts may provide broad rights that an injured plaintiff must repay any liability and/or UIM payments received.  If Oregon PIP/health insurance statutes are applied, the likelihood of repayment is much less.  However, as the Oregon Court of Appeals recently found, the activities of the third-party administrator play a role in determining whether they are or are not an actual insurer for purposes of…
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Thursday July 16, 2020 By: Jeff Eberhard
Legal Alert
From the desk of Cliff J. Wilson: A Plaintiff’s unpreparedness for trial does not constitute a free pass to postpone trial once it has been set.  In this case, the Oregon Court of Appeals addressed a scenario where a plaintiff attempted to postpone trial into the following year due to a pending mental health crisis.  The trial court’s denial of his motion…
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Thursday April 16, 2020 By: Cliff Wilson
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