Scott v. KesselringAnnotate this Case
Defendant rear-ended plaintiff’s vehicle, and plaintiff suffered physical and emotional injuries as a result. Plaintiff claimed that her emotional injuries were so severe that she attempted to take her own life and was hospitalized. Defendant disputed responsibility for that harm on the ground that her conduct did not unreasonably create a foreseeable risk of such harm but argued that the court should exclude certain evidence of her conduct—that, immediately before the collision, she had been using her cellphone—as irrelevant and unfairly prejudicial. Reasoning that evidence of defendant’s conduct could affect the jury’s determination of the foreseeability question and was not unfairly prejudicial, the trial court denied defendant’s motion. After a jury verdict in plaintiff’s favor, the trial court entered judgment, and defendant appealed. The Court of Appeals reversed. The Oregon Supreme Court agreed with the trial court, affirmed the judgment that it entered, and reversed the contrary decision of the Court of Appeals.