Torts Keyed to Prosser
Clarke v. Oregon Health Sciences University
The son of the Plaintiff Clarke family underwent surgery at Defendant Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) hospital for repair of a congenital heart defect. Due to negligence of OHSU employees, the boy suffered brain damage from prolonged oxygen deprivation and became permanently disabled. His guardian sought $17 million in damages from OHSU and its employees. The individual employees sought dismissal based on a provision in the Oregon Tort Claims Statute that makes the remedy against the state exclusive. Plaintiff challenged the constitutionality of the statute based on the $200,000 damages cap applicable to tort actions against the state. The trial court, therefore, granted a $200,000 damage award and the court of appeals affirmed the judgment, but reversed it against the individual defendants, finding that the exclusive remedy provision violated the Oregon Constitution.
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