Archives: Legal Developments—Oregon

Subscribe to Legal Developments—Oregon RSS Feed

Important Policyholder Win in the Oregon Court of Appeals: Contractors—This Is Good News

On May 10, 2017, the Oregon Court of Appeals made several significant holdings in the appeal of an insurance policy garnishment proceeding. The court of appeals held that a liability insurer’s exclusion for multi-unit new residential construction was ambiguous and, when construed against the insurer, did not apply to defeat coverage for construction-defect claims in … Continue Reading

Environmental Groups Seek to Kill “Zombie Permits”

Environmental groups recently sued the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (“DEQ”) over its alleged failure to renew permits in a timely manner. Most permits issued by DEQ under the Clean Water Act have an initial term of five years. According to the complaint, at least 75 percent of all such permits in Oregon have exceeded … Continue Reading

BEWARE—The Pollution Exclusion Is Alive in Oregon

This article was originally posted on The Northwest Policyholder, Miller Nash Graham & Dunn’s insurance coverage blog. Contractors, builders, real estate managers, and others should be aware of a March 9, 2017, decision by an Oregon federal judge who found that carbon monoxide is included in the plain meaning of “pollutant” as defined in a … Continue Reading

City of Corvallis Loses the First Round of the Voter Annexation Fight

On February 24, 2017, Judge Matthew J. Donohue, Benton County Circuit Court, released a decision upholding SB 1573, which exempts certain annexations from voter approval. A number of cities in Oregon have home rule charter provisions that require voter approval of annexations. This requirement, however, sometimes works at cross-purposes with Oregon’s overall land use planning system, which … Continue Reading

Isn’t One Trial Enough? Jury Award Reversed and Remanded for Insufficient Evidence of Damages in Construction Contract Claim.

On October 26, 2016, the Oregon Court of Appeals reversed a general judgment and money award in favor of a general contractor because (1) the general contractor had failed to support its claim for damages for bonding and insurance costs with sufficient evidence, and (2) the money award improperly included a contractual markup on costs … Continue Reading

LUBA Decision Blocks Proposed Right 2 Dream Too Move to the Central Eastside

The City of Portland has been struggling for several years to find a permanent location for the Right 2 Dream Too (“R2DToo”) tent camp, currently located at the corner of NW 4th and Burnside. An August 30, 2016, decision by the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (“LUBA”) effectively blocks the latest solution. The City … Continue Reading

Opening the Door to Owner and General Contractor Liability Under Oregon’s Employer Liability Law

General contractors and other employers (even some owners) have greater exposure under Oregon’s Employer Liability Law (the “ELL”) to injured workers based on the recent Oregon Supreme Court decision in Yeatts v. Polygon Northwest Co. The ELL imposes liability on all “owners, contractors or subcontractors and other persons having charge of, or responsibility for,” work … Continue Reading

Lack of Evidence of Prior Use Not Fatal to Implied Easement Claim

On August 10, 2016, the Oregon Court of Appeals issued a decision on an implied easement claim, finding that the lack of evidence regarding the use of the easement before the initial conveyance of the benefited property was not fatal to the claim. Dayton v. Jordan, 280 Or App 236 (2016).  In Dayton, the parties own abutting … Continue Reading

Controversial Cap on Damages Against Public Entities and Employees Upheld in Horton v. OHSU

While this case is not specifically related to the development industry, we believe the constitutional issues will be important to this blog’s audience and our public sector clients. In May 2016, the Oregon Supreme Court upheld a controversial statutory cap on damages recoverable from state agencies and employees, in the process overruling two important Oregon … Continue Reading

Employment Law Issues for the Development Industry

Recently, several of my colleagues have written articles on employment law issues, ranging from best hiring practices to Oregon’s new minimum-wage laws. Since employment issues are prevalent in all industries, including development, it dawned on me that I should capture and consolidate a few of these resources from time to time and share them on … Continue Reading

Justice Thomas Signals that the Supreme Court May Review Inclusionary Zoning

Just days after the Oregon Senate approved a bill that would allow inclusionary zoning—i.e. permitting local governments to condition the grant of incentives to developers on the inclusion of affordable housing in new developments—at least one United States Supreme Court Justice has sent a signal that the Court may wish to review such laws (as … Continue Reading

New Property Owners, Beware: Possible Shortened Time to Bring Defective-Construction Claims

The Oregon Supreme Court issued a decision on February 19, 2016, affirming a decision to dismiss a homeowner’s claim against a builder for defective construction. In Shell v. Schollander Companies, Inc., 350 Or 552 (2016), defendant, a builder, began construction on a “spec” home in 1999. When the home was approximately 95 percent complete, plaintiff … Continue Reading

In Oregon, Insurers Must Defend Against a CERCLA Information Request

On August 30, 2013, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a groundbreaking decision, requiring an insurance company that has issued comprehensive general liability policies to defend a policyholder that has received an information request from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) under Section 104(e) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”). See … Continue Reading

Cause vs. Convenience: New Court of Appeals Decision Suggests That Choice in Termination of Subcontract May Limit Ability to Recover for Defective Work

A general contractor cannot offset the cost of defective work performed by a subcontractor if the subcontractor sues to recover unpaid fees after being terminated for convenience. According to a new Oregon case, termination for convenience denies the subcontractor an opportunity to cure any defects before it has completed its work and therefore cuts off … Continue Reading
LexBlog