United States District Court, D. Oregon
WILLIAM TARR, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Connor William Tarr, Plaintiff,
USF REDDAWAY, INC., an Oregon corporation, Defendant.
J. BROWN United States Senior District Judge
Judge Paul Papak issued Findings and Recommendation (F&R,
#66) on November 7, 2017, in which he recommends the Court
grant in part and deny in part Defendant USF Reddaway,
Inc.'s Motion (#53) for Partial Summary Judgment. Both
Defendant USF Reddaway and Plaintiff William Tarr, as
Personal Representative of the Estate of Connor William Tarr,
filed timely Objections to the Findings and Recommendation.
The matter is now before this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b).
any party objects to any portion of the Magistrate
Judge's Findings and Recommendation, the district court
must make a de novo determination of that portion of
the Magistrate Judge's report. 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1). See also Dawson v. Marshall, 561 F.3d
930, 932 (9th Cir. 2009); United States v.
Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d 1114, 1121 (9th Cir. 2003)(en
s son, Connor, was killed while riding as a passenger in a
motor vehicle that was struck from behind at high speed by a
semi-truck driven by Defendant's employee within the
course and scope of his employment. The accident occurred in
California. Plaintiff, a resident of the State of Washington,
filed this action against Defendant, an Oregon
alleges Defendant was negligent in hiring its
employee-driver, failing to train and to supervise its
employee, failing to incorporate an adeguate safety system
allowing realtime monitoring of the speed of its trucks, and
is vicariously liable pursuant to the doctrine of
respondeat superior for its employee's
negligence in driving at an unsafe speed and with impaired
alertness as a result of fatigue.
moves for partial summary judgment against Plaintiff's
claims and contends (1) Oregon law applies under
choice-of-law statutes, and, therefore, Plaintiff's
noneconomic damages are capped at $500, 000 pursuant to
Oregon Revised Statutes § 13.710(1}; (2} Plaintiff has
presented insufficient evidence to support a claim for
punitive damages; and (3) Plaintiff may not recover economic
damages in federal court for lost future earnings from a
cannabis business on the ground that cannabis is illegal
under federal law.
Magistrate Judge recommends this Court find that California
law applies under the Oregon choice-of-law statute, and,
therefore, the cap on noneconomic damages under Oregon law
would not apply. The Magistrate Judge also recommends this
Court find Plaintiff should be allowed to seek recovery of
economic damages based on projected profits from his cannabis
business. Accordingly, the Magistrate Judge recommends this
Court deny Defendant's Motion as to these issues.
Magistrate Judge also recommends this Court find Plaintiff
has failed as a matter of law to present evidence that would
support an award of punitive damages, and, accordingly, he
recommends this Court grant Defendant's Motion as to this
contends the Magistrate Judge erred in his Findings and
Recommendation by concluding that California law applies in
this action and that Plaintiff is allowed to seek economic
damages based on Plaintiff's cannabis business.
in turn, contends the Magistrate Judge improperly weighed the
evidence when he recommended this Court should dismiss
Plaintiff's punitive damages claim.
Choice of Law
Oregon choice-of-law statute, Oregon Revised Statutes §
15.440 (3), provides:
If the injured person and the person whose conduct caused the
injury were domiciled in different states and the laws of
those states on the disputed issues would produce a different
outcome, the law of ...