Oregon Case Update: Court of Appeals Upholds Partial Satisfaction of Judgment for PIP Benefits
From the desk of Smith Freed Eberhard: Oregon statutes prevent an injured party from double recovery – receiving payments from its PIP insurer and the negligent party’s insurer that together are more than the injured party’s proven damages. But in cases where the verdict form does not allow the jury to determine whether the damages award includes losses that are subject to PIP benefits, will the court reduce the jury’s award by the amount of reimbursed PIP benefits? Read on to find out.
Claims Pointer: In this case arising out of a motor vehicle accident, the plaintiff received PIP benefits from his insurer. Subsequently, the defendant’s insurer reimbursed the plaintiff’s insurer for the PIP benefits. Following the jury verdict, the trial court reduced the damages award by the amount of reimbursed PIP benefits. The Oregon Court of Appeals held that when the plaintiff’s verdict form does not let the jury determine whether the damages to be awarded include PIP benefits, the court must reduce the damages by the amount of PIP benefits reimbursed.
Cooksley v. Lofland, 288 Or App 103 (2017)
Panayiota Cooksley (“Plaintiff”) and Lauree Lofland (“Defendant”) were involved in a motor vehicle accident. Following the accident, Plaintiff’s insurer provided her with $15,000 in personal injury-protection (“PIP”) benefits. Afterwards, Defendant’s insurer reimbursed Plaintiff’s insurer for the $15,000 in PIP benefits. At trial, the jury awarded Plaintiff $50,000 in economic damages and $50,000 in noneconomic damages. Defendant asked the trial court for a partial satisfaction of the judgment for $15,000, equal to the amount of reimbursed PIP benefits. The court agreed and reduced the judgment by $15,000. Plaintiff appealed.
On appeal, Plaintiff disputed the trial court’s decision to partially satisfy the judgment. Plaintiff argued that the statute...