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House OKs bill removing cap on noneconomic injury damages

March 26, 2019

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon would no longer cap damages awarded for so-called “pain and suffering” resulting from bodily injury under a bill approved by the state House.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the measure passed 36-22 on Monday and now moves to the Senate.

The measure would remove a $500,000 limit on noneconomic damages that was put in place by a 2016 Oregon Supreme Court ruling. Noneconomic damages are defined in the bill as “subjective, nonmonetary losses” and could include emotional distress, humiliation and injury to a person’s reputation.

They differ from economic damages, which are usually awarded to cover the cost of medical care, lost wages and damage to property.

Supporters of removing the cap said limiting jury awards limits justice for people who have been harmed through the negligence of others. Opponents said the $500,000 cap is sufficient and that lifting it would increase costs to health care providers through larger liability insurance premiums.

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