Dischinger Orthodontics v. Regence BlueCross BlueShield

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Standing
  • Date Filed: 10-18-2017
  • Case #: A158123
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Egan, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Shorr, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

When a claim for declaratory judgment under ORS 28.020 is based on the same underlying facts as a claim barred by ORS 65.084(1), the standing limitations of the more specific statute prevail under ORS 174.020(2).

Dischinger Orthodontics appealed the trial court’s grant of Regence BlueCross BlueShield’s motion to dismiss under ORCP 21 A(6) for lack of standing. Dischinger assigned error to the trial court’s ruling that the standing limitations under ORS 65.084(1) controlled rather than the Declaratory Judgment Act of ORS 28.020. On appeal, Dischinger argued that ORS 28.020 allows relief because Dischinger sought a declaration of rights, not a challenge of a corporate action barred by ORS 65.084(1). In response, Regence argued that ORS 65.084(1) governed Dischinger’s claim because it is the more specific statute.  Regence further argued that Dischinger’s claim was properly dismissed because ORS 65.084(1) bars the claim that Regence did not have the power to use the profits in a specific manner. If a general statute and a specific statute both govern an area of law, the specific statute takes precedence over the general statute. ORS 174.020(2); State ex rel Juv. Dept. v. M. T., 321 Or 419, 426, 899 P2d 1192 (1995). The Court of Appeals found ORS 65.084(1) to control because it is more specific than ORS 28.020. The Court held that the trial court did not err in granting Regence’s motion to dismiss under ORCP 21 A(6) because ORS 65.084(1) barred Dischinger’s claim and the plea for declaratory judgment was based on the same underlying facts barred by ORS 65.084(1). Affirmed. 

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