Oregon Surpreme Court Find Emergency Instruction Reversable Error

In an auto accident case stemming from an accident on Route 22 in Linn County, the trial court gave the following jury instruction:

“People who are suddenly placed in a position of peril through no negligence of their own, and who are compelled to act without opportunity for reflection, are not negligent if they make a choice that a reasonably careful person placed in such a position might make, even though they do not make the wisest choice”

The Oregon Supreme Court ruled that it is always error for a trial court to give an emergency instruction because such an instruction is inaccurate statement of the negligence standard and constitutes improper comment on the evidence. This holding reflects the majority rule.

You can find the Oregon Supreme Court’s opinion in here.