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Bova v. City of Medford

Court of Appeals of Oregon

May 21, 2014

JOSEPH BOVA, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
CITY OF MEDFORD, an incorporated Subdivision of the State of Oregon; and MICHAEL DYAL, City Manager of the City of Medford, as an Individual, and in his official capacity, Defendants-Appellants

Argued and Submitted July 17, 2013.

Jackson County Circuit Court. 081663E7. Timothy C. Gerking, Judge.

Robert E. Franz, Jr., argued the cause and filed the briefs for appellants.

Stephen L. Brischetto argued the cause and filed the briefs for respondent.

Before Duncan, Presiding Judge, and Wollheim, Judge, and Schuman, Senior Judge.

OPINION

Page 1257

[263 Or.App. 180] SCHUMAN, S. J.

This case is the latest battle--but probably not the last--in an ongoing war between the City of Medford and its retired employees, including plaintiff, a now-retired former city employee.[1] The underlying dispute is over the city's refusal to make available to retired employees the same health care insurance that was available to them before retirement. The trial court ruled in favor of plaintiff on his claim that the city violated a statute requiring local governments to provide the health care opportunities to retirees, ORS 243.303(2); on his claim that the city violated ORS 659.030(1)(b) by discriminating against him on the basis of his age; and on his claim that the city was in contempt of court for failing to comply with the court's order to provide the requested health care opportunities. In Bova v. City of Medford, 262 Or.App. 29, 324 P.3d 492 (2014) ( Bova I ), we affirmed the trial court's ruling holding the city in contempt, we reversed and remanded the trial court's ruling on the claim under ORS 243.303(2), and we reversed the trial court's judgment in favor of plaintiff on his claim under ORS 659A.030(1)(b). In this appeal, filed as a separate matter, the city challenges the trial court's rulings that awarded plaintiff costs and attorney fees with respect to the contempt and age discrimination claims. We reverse the award of costs and attorney fees with respect to the age discrimination claim and affirm the award with respect to the contempt matter.

As relevant to this appeal, plaintiff in Bova I alleged that (1) the city violated ORS 243.303(2), which requires that a " local government

Page 1258

that contracts for or otherwise makes available health care insurance coverage for officers and employees of the local government shall, insofar as and to the extent possible, make that coverage available for any retired employee of the local government" ; and (2) the city discriminated against plaintiff on the basis of his age in violation of ORS 659A.030(1)(b).[2] The trial court

[263 Or.App. 181] " concluded that, in failing to offer that coverage, the city violated ORS 243.303(2), * * * [and] ordered the city to provide plaintiff and the class members with health insurance coverage that included the option to purchase that same health insurance at the time they retired. The trial court later awarded plaintiff attorney fees on that claim and found the city in contempt of the court's orders to comply with ORS 243.303(2). Separately, following a trial to the court, the court concluded that, by not making the same health insurance coverage available to plaintiff upon his retirement, the city had discriminated against him on the basis of age under ORS 659A.030(1)(b)."

Bova I, 262 Or.App. at 31 (footnote omitted). The court also awarded plaintiff $48,609.96 in costs and attorney fees for successfully litigating the contempt matter and $68,771.25 for costs and ...


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