Tort Actions

ORS 31.605
Special questions to trier of fact

  • jury not to be informed of settlement


When requested by any party the trier of fact shall answer special questions indicating:


The amount of damages to which a party seeking recovery would be entitled, assuming that party not to be at fault.


The degree of fault of each person specified in ORS 31.600 (Contributory negligence not bar to recovery) (2). The degree of each person’s fault so determined shall be expressed as a percentage of the total fault attributable to all persons considered by the trier of fact pursuant to ORS 31.600 (Contributory negligence not bar to recovery).


A jury shall be informed of the legal effect of its answer to the questions listed in subsection (1) of this section.


The jury shall not be informed of any settlement made by the claimant for damages arising out of the injury or death that is the subject of the action.


For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, the court may order that two or more persons be considered a single person for the purpose of determining the degree of fault of the persons specified in ORS 31.600 (Contributory negligence not bar to recovery) (2). [Formerly 18.480]

Notes of Decisions

For causes of action accruing prior to effective date of 1995 amendments, only comparative fault of parties appearing in action may be considered. Brown v. Washington County, 163 Or App 362, 987 P2d 1254 (1999), Sup Ct review denied

Intentional misconduct is not “fault” subject to apportionment between defendants or between plaintiff and defendant. Shin v. Sunriver Preparatory School, Inc., 199 Or App 352, 111 P3d 762 (2005), Sup Ct review denied

When read with ORS 31.600 and 31.610, this section sets forth comprehensive system for allocating fault between parties and distributing liability for damages severally in accordance with that allocation. Comparative fault system eliminates need for common-law indemnity claim. Eclectic Investment, LLC v. Patterson, 357 Or 25, 346 P3d 468 (2015)

Where two defendants are at fault, and jury has assessed fault of each defendant separately, trial court may not then combine defendants’ allocated fault in judgment because this section allows court to combine defendants to be treated as single person only before jury allocates fault in special verdict. Wingett v. Silbernagel, 279 Or App 245, 379 P3d 570 (2016), Sup Ct review denied

Law Review Citations

69 OLR 147 (1990)


Last accessed
May 30, 2023