OHSU & Oregon Trial Lawyers Agree to Higher Lawsuit Caps
In contrast to the recent post about restrictive caps on noneconomic damages, this post is about Oregon’s trial lawyers and Oregon Health & Science University’s ( OHSU) agreement to increase liability caps for damages caused by government (OHSU falls under the umbrella of the state government) negligence. According toa story in the Oregonian, the caps would increase from the current $200,000 to $1.5 million and also discard the $100,000 cap on what are known as “intangible” harms. The state legislature will not make any decisions about altering the law until next year, and the agreement must still be considered by other governmental groups, such as the governor’s office.
The agreement between OHSU and state trial lawyers is considered a success, as the two sides had to reach a compromise: OHSU has argued in favor of damages caps while trial lawyers have argued to get rid of caps. If the recommendation is accepted by the legislature, the $1.5 million cap would begin on July 1, 2009. It would increase by $100,000 each year for five years, finally reaching $2 million. For multiple claimants, the cap would begin at $3 million and increase by $200,000 each year for five years, finally reaching $4 million.