State Representative (and Ater Wynne attorney) Shemia Fagan is hosting a free Cover Oregon training for businesses and individuals interested in learning about the new online health insurance marketplace. This hands-on training will be more extensive than the presentations Cover Oregon has conducted, as attendees can bring their laptop computers, connect to Wi-Fi ,and walk through the website and options during the training. A representative from Cover Oregon will be on hand to answer questions and guide the training.
Wednesday, October 30, 7:30am - 9:00am
Monarch Hotel, Pacific Ballroom, 12566 SE 93rd Ave Clackamas, OR 97015
Bring your laptop! Wireless access is available, and a Cover Oregon representative will be on hand to walk you through the process of getting signed up.
RSVP to email@example.com
Last week the Oregon Supreme Court invalidated a statutory cap on noneconomic tort damages. The plaintiffs in Klutschkowski v. PeaceHealth asserted a medical malpractice claim to recover for injuries their son had sustained during birth. Plaintiffs contended that the damages cap violated the right to a remedy of Article I, Section 10 of the Oregon Constitution, and the right to jury trial of Article I, Section 17. The Court applied the reasoning of the 2001 case Smothers v. Gresham Transfer, which held that if the common law recognized a right to recover when the Oregon Constitution was adopted in 1857, then a court may enforce a statute abolishing the remedy only if the legislature provides a constitutionally adequate substitute remedy. The Court concluded that the claim at issue in this case did exist in 1857 and could not be limited by a statutory cap.
Justice Jack Landau wrote a lengthy concurring opinion, acknowledging that the majority properly applied the Smothers analysis, but questioning Smothers and other cases requiring "imaginative reconstruction of nineteenth-century case law" in order to resolve issues of state constitutional law. Justice Landau challenged "the notion that this state's constitution today means no more than what it meant in 1857" and characterized the "hyper-originalism" required by the case law as "untenable." He next disputed the historical interpretation of the remedy clause adopted in Smothers: "My own view is that it is unlikely that the framers intended the remedy clause to serve as a limitation on legislative authority." He suggests that the Court in future cases "should invite advocacy . . . to address the issues that I have raised."
The question now is whether other members of the judiciary will take up Justice Landau's call to broadly re-think how they interpret the Oregon Constitution.
Ater Wynne invites you to attend its next employment law seminar, on Thursday, September 19, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., at Portland's World Trade Center. A panel will discuss Gender Equality: Emerging LGBT Issues in the Workplace. For details and on-line registration, go to the Ater Wynne Resources Page.