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Doyle v. City of Medford

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 05-15-2013
Case #: A147497
Duncan, J. for the court; Schuman, P.J.; and Wollheim, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A147497.pdf

Municipal Law: ORS 243.303(2) does not create a private right of action for damages.

The appeal involved four plaintiffs whom all retired from employment with the City of Medford.  All of the plaintiffs tried to continue their health insurance plans with the city, but the city’s health insurance plan, as applied to the plaintiffs at retirement, did not cover retirees.  The lower court interpreted ORS 243.303(2) as an obligation on local governments to make the same health insurance they provide to active employees available to retired employees.  Additionally, the court held that a private right of action was necessary to effectuate the legislature’s intent.  The Court of Appeals overturned that holding, because it did not find the language of the statute, nor legislative intent, to expressly create a private right of action for damages when a local government fails to meet statutory obligations.  The Court of Appeals also held that the trial court erred in hearing a disparate impact claim by plaintiff’s based on age discrimination, because that claim was not pleaded.  In addition, the Court of Appeals held that the trial court erred in allowing plaintiff’s breach of contract claims to proceed, because those were also not pleaded.  Reversed on appeal; cross-appeal dismissed as moot.