Public Utility Commission

ORS 756.185
Right to recover for wrongs and omissions

  • treble damages


Any public utility which does, or causes or permits to be done, any matter, act or thing prohibited by ORS chapter 756, 757 or 758 or omits to do any act, matter or thing required to be done by such statutes, is liable to the person injured thereby in the amount of damages sustained in consequence of such violation. If the party seeking damages alleges and proves that the wrong or omission was the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct, the public utility is liable to the person injured thereby in treble the amount of damages sustained in consequence of the violation. Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, the court may award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party in an action under this section.


The court may not award attorney fees to a prevailing defendant under the provisions of subsection (1) of this section if the action under this section is maintained as a class action pursuant to ORCP 32.


Any recovery under this section does not affect recovery by the state of the penalty, forfeiture or fine prescribed for such violation.


This section does not apply with respect to the liability of any public utility for personal injury or property damage. [Formerly 757.335; 1973 c.776 §26; 1981 c.856 §1; 1981 c.897 §104a; 1987 c.447 §86; 1989 c.827 §1; 1995 c.696 §48; 1995 c.733 §63]

Notes of Decisions

This section does not require that violations be wilful, wanton, or malicious. Holman Transfer Co. v. Pac. NW Bell Tel. Co., 287 Or 387, 599 P2d 1115 (1979)

Where defendant-telephone company's erroneous directory listing did not violate "adequate service" requirement of ORS 757.020, plaintiff-physician was not entitled to treble damages under this section. Garrison v. Pacific NW Bell, 45 Or App 523, 608 P2d 1206 (1980)

Chapter 756

Notes of Decisions

Under regulatory scheme, Public Utility Commissioner has authority to promulgate rule limiting telephone company's liability for directory listing errors or omissions. Garrison v. Pacific NW Bell, 45 Or App 523, 608 P2d 1206 (1980)

Refund is proper exercise of Public Utility Commission's general powers if refund (1) is based only on information in existence at time of rate order for which refund is being made; (2) is not based on evaluation of public utility's actual expenses or revenues; and (3) is not effectuated by offsetting future rates. Gearhart v. Public Utility Commission, 255 Or App 58, 299 P3d 533 (2013), aff'd 356 Or 216, 339 P3d 904 (2014)


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021