Tort Actions

ORS 31.210
When general damages allowed


In an action for damages on account of a defamatory statement published or broadcast in a newspaper, magazine, other printed periodical, or by radio, television or motion pictures, the plaintiff shall not recover general damages unless:


A correction or retraction is demanded but not published as provided in ORS 31.215 (Publication of correction or retraction upon demand); or


The plaintiff proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant actually intended to defame the plaintiff.


Where the plaintiff is entitled to recover general damages, the publication of a correction or retraction may be considered in mitigation of damages. [Formerly 30.160]

Notes of Decisions

Failure to allege that retraction had been requested of magazine publishers and refused by them, as required by this section, rendered complaint insufficient to constitute cause of action for general damages for libel. Davidson v. Rogers, 281 Or 219, 574 P2d 624 (1978)

Condition of this section denying general damages unless retraction is demanded but not published does not violate Constitution, Article I, Section 10, which provides that every man shall have remedy by due course of law for injury done him. Davidson v. Rogers, 281 Or 219, 574 P2d 624 (1978)

This section does not apply in an action against a person not associated with the broadcast or print media. Wheeler v. Green, 286 Or 99, 593 P2d 777 (1979)

When claim characterized as false light alleges facts that also constitute claim for defamation, plaintiff must seek retraction under this provision from defendant as prerequisite to bringing false light claim. Magenis v. Fisher Broadcasting, Inc., 103 Or App 555, 798 P2d 1106 (1990)

Law Review Citations

19 WLR 677 (1983)


Last accessed
May 30, 2023