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Oregon Supreme Court: Retired Public Servants, Health Care, and Private Rights of Action under ORS 243.303

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Ronald Doyle et al. v. City of Medford et al., (TC 0801317) (CA A147497) (SC S061463)

On review from the Court of Appeals in an appeal from the Jackson County Circuit Court, Mark S. Schiveley, Judge. 256 Or App 625, 303 P3d 346 (2013). The decision of the Court of Appeals is reversed. The case is remanded to that court for further proceedings. Opinion of the Court by Justice David V. Brewer. Justice Martha L. Walters concurred and filed an opinion, in which Justice Richard C. Baldwin joined.

Today, the Oregon Supreme Court held that, in enacting ORS 243.303(2), which requires local governments to make available to retired employees, “insofar as and to the extent possible,” the health care insurance coverage available to current officers and employees of the local government, the legislature did not expressly or impliedly intend to create a private right of action for the enforcement of that duty. The Court also declined to exercise its common-law authority to provide such a right of action sounding in tort….” [Link to full case, Opinions Issued in 2014, and the October 2, 2014, Supreme Court Opinions Media Release.]