2015 ORS § 42.250¹

Terms construed as generally accepted
  • evidence of other signification

The terms of a writing are presumed to have been used in their primary and general acceptation, but evidence is admissible that they have a technical, local, or otherwise peculiar signification and were used and understood in the particular instance, in which case the agreement shall be construed accordingly.

Notes of Decisions

Determina­tion of trade custom or usage is one for trier of facts. May v. Chicago Ins. Co., 260 Or 285, 490 P2d 150 (1971)

Evidence of terms special meaning within trade within which transac­tion arose is al­ways admissible. May v. Chicago Ins. Co., 260 Or 285, 490 P2d 150 (1971)

The term contract in an exclusion clause of the insurance contract does not include obliga­tions implied at law. Larson Constr. Co. v. Ore. Auto. Ins. Co., 450 F2d 1193 (1971)

Evidence of custom is not re­quired to es­tab­lish that technical meaning was intended by parties. Bernard v. First Na­tional Bank, 275 Or 145, 550 P2d 1203 (1976)

Court interprets terms of insurance policy according to what court perceives to be understanding of ordinary purchaser of insurance. Totten v. New York Life Ins. Co., 298 Or 765, 696 P2d 1082 (1985)

Term any aircraft used in insurance contract was to be given ordinary dic­tionary meaning and included hang gliders. Totten v. New York Life Ins. Co., 298 Or 765, 696 P2d 1082 (1985)


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 42—Execution, Formalities and Interpretation of Writings, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors042.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 42, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano042.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.