- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Property Law
- Date Filed: 03-10-2021
- Case #: A166528
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Shorr, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J. & James, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Plaintiff appealed a jury’s verdict in a lawsuit regarding claims of timber trespass. Plaintiff had three assignments of error: (1) trial court’s issuance of a directed verdict that stated “plaintiff had no rights to timber” in part of the property at issue; (2) the denial of plaintiff’s motion for a directed verdict in regards to Defendant’s raised defense of adverse possession; and (3) the jury instruction that included “multiplier to the damages award if the jury found… ‘casual’ or ‘willful’ timber trespass.” Plaintiff argued that she had a quitclaim deed to the land at issue, and this deed conveyed her the land as, under ORS 93.310, “[w]hen a road is the boundary, the rights of the grantor to the middle of the road are included in the conveyance” which meant she “obtained title to the midpoint of Beaver Valley road.” Under ORS 19.415(2), “the erroneous grant of a directed verdict on a claim does not categorically require reversal; if the verdict on the claims that were submitted to the jury demonstrates that the jury necessarily would have rejected one or more elements of the claim…. then [the court] will not deem the…directed verdict to have substantially affected the plaintiff’s rights.” Yoshida’s Inc. v. Dunn Carney Allen Higgens & Tongue, 272 Or App 436, 458, 356 P3d 121 (2015), rev den, 358 Or 794 (2016). The Court found that the jury was presented with two theories, and that any error made was harmless. As to the other assignments, the Court found that Defendant presented evidence to support a defense of adverse possession so a denial of the motion for a directed verdict was proper. Affirmed.