Ajir v. Buell

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Insurance Law
  • Date Filed: 04-22-2015
  • Case #: A152885
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Flynn, J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; & Lagesen, J.

Under ORS 278.215(2), a self-insured public body is obligated to provide the UM/UIM coverage according to ORS 742.500 to ORS 742.504 unless there is a signed, written election that lowers the limit.

Ali Ajir brought an action for a declaration that “Clackamas County is self-insured for $500,000 in Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage and should be directed to arbitrate [his] claim for UIM benefits under that coverage.” This action resulted from a vehicle accident Ajir was involved in while on duty as Clackamas County deputy sheriff where he was injured in a collision with a car driven by Buell. Buell was insured for $25,000, which Ajir was able to collect. Since his damages exceeded that amount he amended his claim to add the County. Both parties filed for summary judgment. The trial court granted summary judgment for the County and denied summary judgment for Ajir. Ajir appealed arguing that the County, according to ORS 278.215(2), is obligated as a “self-insured public body to provide the UM/UIM coverage” required under ORS 742.500 to ORS 742.504. Looking at the statutory language and the legislative context, the Court held that the requirements to lower the UIM were not met so the County's policy remained at the $500,000 limit. Reversed and remanded.

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