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Defendant Patrick Sparks appealed the trial court’s imposition of three consecutive probation revocation sanctions, the Court of Appeals affirmed, and the Oregon Supreme Court allowed defendant’s petition for review. On review, defendant argues that, under a provision of the sentencing guidelines, OAR 213-012-0040(2)(b), in order for the trial court to impose three consecutive sanctions as it did, it had to find three separate violations. The Supreme Court did not address defendant’s argument regarding OAR 213-012-0040(2)(b), because the trial court found ten separate violations. Specifically, the trial court found one violation of a condition that defendant not use illegal drugs and nine violations of a condition that defendant not contact the victim of his crimes. Defendant contends the trial court erred in finding nine violations of the no-contact condition; instead, he argued the State alleged only a single violation of the no-contact condition and, therefore, failed to provide sufficient notice to support a finding of more than one violation of that condition. The Supreme Court rejected defendant’s argument that the state’s notice was insufficient to support the trial court’s findings of multiple violations of the no-contact provision. Therefore, even under defendant’s interpretation of OAR 213-012-0040 (2)(b), the trial court could find enough separate violations to support the consecutive sanctions it imposed. View "Oregon v. Sparks" on Justia Law

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Claimant Cozmin Gadalean, a commercial truck driver, was sent on a supervised delivery by and for employer as a pre-employment drive test. He was injured when he fell from employer’s truck. The Workers’ Compensation Board denied claimant coverage, concluding that he did not qualify as a worker at the time of the injury. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that Oregon’s minimum wage laws would have entitled claimant to be paid for the delivery and that, therefore, he was a worker within the meaning of the workers’ compensation statute. The Oregon Supreme Court concluded the Court of Appeals erred, and affirmed the board’s denial of coverage. View "Gadalean v. SAIF" on Justia Law

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This case began with Petitioner Victor Uroza-Zuniga's arrest for public drinking, in violation of the Beaverton, Oregon City Code. That arrest led to a search, a charge of drug possession, a denied motion to suppress, a bench trial, conviction for unlawful possession of methamphetamine, and an unsuccessful appeal. Beaverton prohibited drinking alcoholic beverages in any public place. Yet ORS 430.402(1)(b) prohibited Beaverton, along with all other local governments, from regulating or proscribing “[p]ublic drinking, except as to places where any consumption of alcoholic beverages is generally prohibited.” Defendant argued the state statute preempted Beaverton’s public drinking ordinance, making his arrest illegal and the fruits of that arrest subject to suppression. The state, along with amici curiae the City of Beaverton and the League of Oregon Cities, argued that it fell within ORS 430.402(1)(b)’s exception, and it was therefore not preempted. The Oregon Supreme Court held Beaverton’s public drinking ordinance was not preempted and affirmed defendant’s conviction. View "Oregon v. Uroza-Zuniga" on Justia Law

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Acting as the personal representative of his father’s estate, plaintiff Dennis Sloan brought a medical negligence action against defendants Providence Health System-Oregon and Apogee Medical Group, P.C. Plaintiff claimed defendants were negligent in their care of plaintiff’s father because they failed to diagnose and treat the father's rib fractures and internal bleeding. On November 3, the father, then 85 years old, came to Providence’s hospital after falling at home and was initially treated at the emergency room. He was later admitted to the hospital, where he was treated by Apogee’s doctors. On November 7, Apogee’s doctors discharged Sloan to a skilled nursing facility, Three Fountains. On November 17, Sloan’s condition worsened significantly. Two days later, Three Fountains returned Sloan to the hospital. At the hospital, Sloan was found to have multiple displaced rib fractures and bleeding in his right chest cavity, which had caused his right lung to collapse. Later that same day, Sloan died of respiratory failure due to the bleeding in his chest cavity and the collapse of his lung. Plaintiff claimed the trial court erred in refusing to give his requested jury instruction concerning a tortfeasor’s liability for the subsequent conduct of another. The Court of Appeals agreed and reversed the trial court’s judgment in part and remanded the case to the trial court for a new trial. On defendant’s petition, the Oregon Supreme Court granted review of the appellate court's judgment, and finding no reversible error, affirmed the Court of Appeals decision, which reversed the trial court’s judgment in part. The case was remanded for a new trial. View "Sloan v. Providence Health System-Oregon" on Justia Law

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In 1999, petitioner Esteban Chavez pled guilty to delivering cocaine. In 2011, he petitioned for post-conviction relief, relying on Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 US 356 (2010), and arguing his trial attorney failed to advise him about the immigration consequences of his guilty plea in violation of the Sixth Amendment. The trial court dismissed the petition both because it was untimely and because Padilla did not apply retroactively. The Court of Appeals affirmed the post-conviction court’s judgment on the latter ground. On review, petitioner challenged both grounds the trial court identified for dismissing his petition. The Oregon Supreme Court held that although the petition was timely, the only retroactivity argument that petitioner raised on review, that Oregon’s post-conviction statutes required all new constitutional rules be applied retroactively, was not well taken. Accordingly, the Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals decision and the trial court’s judgment. View "Chavez v. Oregon" on Justia Law

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Defendant Double Press Manufacturing, Inc. petitioned for review of a Court of Appeals decision affirming a trial court judgment against defendant that included an award of noneconomic damages to plaintiff Zeferino Vasquez, in the amount of $4,860,000. In the course of his employment with a feed dealer, plaintiff was responsible for operating and cleaning a machine used in hay baling. One day in 2010, plaintiff did not follow the machine's shut-down procedure; to remove jammed material, plaintiff climbed into an area of the machine where a hydraulic ram was located. The machine, still in automatic mode, pinched plaintiff between a hydraulic ram and the frame of the machine, crushing his spine and causing other injuries. As a result of those injuries, plaintiff was rendered paraplegic. Defendant contended the Court of Appeals erred in concluding that the remedy clause of Article I, section 10, of the Oregon Constitution precluded a reduction of plaintiff’s noneconomic damages to $500,000 in accordance with the statutory damages cap set out in ORS 31.710(1). Plaintiff requested review of another aspect of the decision, arguing that the Court of Appeals erroneously rejected his statutory argument that his claim was exempt from the damages cap. The Oregon Supreme Court agreed with plaintiff, and affirmed the judgment of the trial court and the decision of the Court of Appeals, but on different grounds, namely, that plaintiff’s claim fell within a statutory exception to the damages cap for “claims subject to * * * ORS chapter 656.” View "Vasquez v. Double Press Mfg., Inc." on Justia Law

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A teenage boy, GP, who had been dating defendant Jonathan Black’s daughter, reported that defendant had had inappropriate sexual contact with him at defendant’s residence. That report triggered an investigation, and that investigation uncovered four other teenage victims, one of whom was JN. Ultimately, defendant was indicted and proceeded to a jury trial. Defendant sought to offer the testimony of Dr. Johnson, a child psychologist, to explain the established protocols for interviewing children and to identify portions of the interviews of GP and JN that, in his opinion, did not meet those protocols. The judicially created "vouching rule" precludes one witness from commenting on the credibility of another witness’s trial or pretrial statements. This case required the Oregon Supreme Court to determine whether certain evidence defendant sought to offer at his trial violated that rule. After review of the specific facts presented by this case, the Supreme Court concluded that the proffered testimony did not violate the vouching rule and that the trial court’s preclusion of that evidence was not harmless. Therefore, the Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals, and the judgment of the circuit court, and remanded to the circuit court for further proceedings. View "Orgon v. Black" on Justia Law

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In previous proceedings before the Oregon Supreme Court, the Court agreed with defendant Santiago Vallin that the trial court had erred in imposing a sentence under ORS 137.717(1)(b) (2015). The Court concluded the 2017 version of that statute, Or Laws 2017, ch 673, section 5, governed defendant’s sentence. Accordingly, the dispositional “tag line” of the opinion remanded the case for resentencing. Although he prevailed on the merits, defendant petitioned for reconsideration of the Supreme Court's opinion, specifically seeking modification of the tag line in light of his conditional plea, which he was permitted to withdraw on remand. The state did not file a response in opposition to defendant’s petition. The Supreme Court allowed defendant’s petition for reconsideration and modified its earlier tag line, to remand the case for further proceedings as: “The judgment of the circuit court is affirmed in part and reversed in part, and the case is remanded to the circuit court for further proceedings.” View "Oregon v. Vallin" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs in this case were Clackamas County District Attorney John Foote and two individuals, Mary Elledge and Deborah Mapes-Stice, who identified themselves as both crime victims and voters. Together, plaintiffs brought an action against Oregon, seeking a declaration that HB 3078 (2017), which amended ORS 137.717 (2015) to reduce the presumptive sentences provided therein for certain property crimes, was enacted in violation of Article IV, section 33, of the Oregon Constitution, and therefore was invalid. Article IV, section 33, was adopted by the voters in 1996 as Ballot Measure 10, and provided a two-thirds majority in both houses of the legislature was necessary “to pass a bill that reduces a criminal sentence approved by the people under [Article IV, section 1, of the Oregon Constitution].” Plaintiffs argued the longer presumptive prison sentences set out in ORS 137.717 (2015) had been “approved by the people” in 2008, when Ballot Measure 57 was adopted, and could not lawfully be reduced by the simple majorities that HB 3078 had garnered to amend the statute. The State appealed the trial court's order invalidating HB 3078 as unconstitutional. Among other things, the state contended plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the underlying declaratory judgment action. The Oregon Supreme Court agreed plaintiffs lacked standing, and vacated the declaratory judgment. The matter was remanded with instructions to dismiss the action. View "Foote v. Oregon" on Justia Law

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In the three months plaintiff Ashley Schutz worked for Defendant O’Brien Constructors and project manager Keely O’Brien, she had declined multiple invitations by Keely O’Brien to join him and other coworkers for drinks after work. Plaintiff nevertheless felt pressured to accept an invitation so that she would advance in the firm. Plaintiff sued her employer and its agent, alleging that she had been seriously injured in an auto accident after she was pressured to attend a work-related event where she had become intoxicated. The trial court granted summary judgment for the defendants, concluding that they were entitled to statutory immunity under ORS 471.565(1) and that that grant of immunity did not violate the remedy clause of Article I, section 10, of the Oregon Constitution. The Court of Appeals disagreed with the trial court’s remedy clause analysis and reversed. On review, the Oregon Supreme Court concluded defendants were not entitled to statutory immunity under ORS 471.565(1). The Court of Appeals’ judgment was vacated, the trial court reversed, and the matter remanded for further proceedings. View "Schutz v. La Costita III, Inc." on Justia Law