Bova v. City of Medford

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Municipal Law
  • Date Filed: 06-03-2015
  • Case #: A144254
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Sercombe, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; & Hadlock, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 243.303(2), local governments are obligated to provide some health insurance to both current and retired employees, but may be relieved from such obligation to retired employees if the local government can show that providing healthcare insurance is unduly burdensome to the city because of cost or other circumstances.

This case came before this Court on remand from the Oregon Supreme Court. Plaintiff Bova (Plaintiff) appealed a previous judgment from this Court holding that Plaintiff was unable to show at the summary judgment stage that the City of Medford (The City) was obligated to pay health insurance benefits to retired city employees under ORS 243.303(2). The Supreme Court addressed this case along with another case, Doyle, and determined that, while retired employees do not have a remedy against The City through a tort-based private right of action, a remedy may exist through the Declaratory Judgments Act. The Supreme Court determined that ORS 243.303(2) does have limitations and does not create an absolute obligation for The City to pay retirees’ health insurance. On remand, this Court determined that the trial court had applied the wrong standard in its decision at the summary judgment stage, and remanded the case to the trial court to apply the new standard elicited by the Supreme Court’s decision in Doyle. This Court remanded to determine whether The City could show that providing healthcare insurance to retires is unduly burdensome because of cost or other circumstances, which would release The City from its obligation under ORS 243.303(2). Reversed and Remanded.

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