Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Alsaedi v. Conroy

Court of Appeals of Oregon

April 26, 2017

Rayaheen ALSAEDI, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
ROGER CONROY, Basant Chhetri, and Gaspar Esteban Miguel, Defendants-Respondents.

          Argued and submitted March 1, 2016 .

         Multnomah County Circuit Court 140404987; Nan G. Waller, Judge.

          Willard E. Merkel argued the cause for appellant. With him on the briefs was Merkel & Associates.

          Thomas M. Christ argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief was Cosgrave Vergeer Kester LLP.

          Before Sercombe, Presiding Judge, and Tookey, Judge, and DeHoog, Judge.

         Case Summary: Plaintiff appeals a judgment awarding her damages for property damage caused by defendants, assigning error to the trial court's denial of her exception for attorney fees under ORS 20.080. Held: Plaintiff's demand failed to meet the requirements of ORS 20.080(3). Plaintiff maintained the burden of proving that, at the time she petitioned for an award of attorney fees, her demand letter either contained the information required under ORS 20.080 or that such information was not in her possession or reasonably available to her at the time the demand was made. As a result, the trial court did not err in denying plaintiff's exception to the denial of attorney fees.

          TOOKEY, J.

         Plaintiff appeals a judgment awarding her damages for property damage caused by defendants, assigning error to the trial court's denial of her exception for attorney fees under ORS 20.080. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         We review attorney fee awards under ORS 20.080 for errors of law. Johnson v. Swaim. 343 Or 423, 427, 172 P.3d 645 (2007). On January 18, 2014, plaintiff's car was struck in rapid succession by each of the three defendants' cars. On January 28, 2014, defendant Chhetri's insurer, Travelers, issued an estimate of the cost to repair plaintiff's car. On February 26, 2014, plaintiff's attorney sent a demand letter to defendant Conroy and his insurer, Safeco. The letter stated:

"Demand is made for payment of $10, 000 in damages that resulted from the collision of January 18, 2014[, ] caused by [defendant Conroy]. Please forward payment during the next 30 days. Please consider this to be a 30[-] day pre-suit notice issued pursuant to ORS 20.080."

         Shortly thereafter, plaintiff's attorney sent identical demand letters to defendants Gaspar and Chhetri and their insurers, State Farm and Travelers.

         Plaintiff subsequently filed a complaint against defendants for the property damage to her car. The trial court referred the case to mandatory arbitration. On December 10, 2014, the arbitrator ruled in plaintiff's favor, finding defendants liable and awarding plaintiff damages. Plaintiff then petitioned for attorney fees, arguing that she was entitled to recover those fees pursuant to ORS 20.080.[1]Plaintiff's attorney fee petition included an affidavit by plaintiffs counsel, averring that plaintiff made a demand on defendants and that the attorney fees of plaintiff's counsel were reasonable; plaintiff attached the demand letters to the petition. Defendants objected to the award of attorney fees, contending that plaintiffs demand was insufficient under ORS 20.080(3), and as a result, plaintiff was not entitled to attorney fees.

         On January 26, 2015, the arbitrator filed its decision and award with the court; the award provided plaintiff damages for her property damage and costs, but denied plaintiffs request for attorney fees. Plaintiff filed an exception pursuant to ORS 36.425(6)[2] to the arbitrator's denial of attorney fees, which defendants opposed. Following a hearing, the trial court denied plaintiff's exception. The trial court then entered a general judgment and money award against defendants for the amount of plaintiff's property damage and costs.

         On appeal, plaintiff reprises her argument that she was entitled to attorney fees pursuant to ORS 20.080. Plaintiff contends that the demand letter that she sent to defendants included plaintiff's opinion of the value of the car, and therefore satisfied the requirements of ORS 20.080(3). Plaintiff asserts that an expert appraisal as to the car's value was not "reasonably available" because defendants possessed plaintiff's car, ORS 20.080 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.