United States District Court, D. Oregon, Eugene Division
OPINION AND ORDER
MICHAEL W. MOSMAN, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before me on Plaintiffs Motion for Judgment on
Dismissed Claims . For the reasons below, I GRANT
June 1, 2018, Opinion and Order , I granted in part and
denied in part Defendant Oregon Health Authority's (OHA)
Motion to Dismiss . Specifically, I granted OHA's
motion to dismiss Plaintiffs tenth claim and dismissed that
claim with prejudice. Ialso granted OHA's claim to
dismiss with prejudice Plaintiffs second, third, and fifth
claims to the extent those claims were based on OHA's
failure to provide actuarially sound rates.
tenth claim alleged a breach of the Health Plan Services
Contract ("the Contract") between Plaintiff and
OHA. Plaintiff argued that the covenant of good faith and
fair dealing in the Contract gave it the objectively
reasonable contractual belief that OHA would set actuarially
sound rates. In my June 1, 2018, Opinion and Order, I found
that no provision in the Contract explicitly granted
Plaintiff the right to actuarially sound rates. The Contract
stated that OHA would "actuarially set" the rates,
and that the actuarial methodology was described in a report
on OHA's website, but the Contract clearly stated that
the report was not part of the Contract. Further, I found
that federal and state laws requiring "actuarial
soundness" did not give Plaintiff a reasonable
contractual expectation to actuarially sound rates.
Id. at 25-26. Plaintiff subsequently moved for
reconsideration of the dismissal of claim ten. I granted
reconsideration of my ruling but declined to alter my prior
order dismissing Plaintiffs claim 10 with prejudice.
OHA and Patrick Allen later filed a Motion for Summary
Judgment , in which they moved for summary judgment on
all of Plaintiff s claims as well as on their counterclaim
for declaratory judgment. In a hearing held on September 21,
2018, 1 granted summary judgment in favor of OHA on
Plaintiffs claims four and eleven ("APA Claims"),
but denied summary judgment on OHA's counterclaim and
Plaintiffs remaining claims. I granted summary judgment on
Plaintiffs APA claims because neither the federal
Administrative Procedure Act (APA) nor the Oregon APA could
provide Plaintiff with the remedy it sought. The remedy under
the federal APA requires Plaintiff to seek review of the
Center for Medicare and Medicaid Service's approval of
OHA's rate setting. The remedy under the Oregon APA would
only result in a loss of funding to OHA. Id.
Following my rulings, Plaintiff moved for entry of final
judgment on claims four, ten, and eleven, so that it could
appeal them to the Ninth Circuit.
case involves multiple claims for relief or multiple parties,
Federal Rule of. Civil Procedure 54(b) allows a court to
grant entry of final judgment on some-but not all-claims for
relief "only if the court expressly determines that
there is no just reason for delay." Claims certified
under Rule 54(b) do not have to be separate and independent
of any claims remaining in a case, but certification is
scrutinized to "prevent piecemeal appeals in cases which
should only be reviewed as single units."
Curtiss-Wright Corp. v. General Elec. Co., 446 U.S.
1, 10 (1980).
analyzing whether it is appropriate to certify a judgment for
appeal under Rule 54(b), a court must first determine that it
has issued a final judgment-a judgment that is "an
ultimate disposition of an individual claim entered in the
course of a multiple claims action." Id. at 7.
If the court has issued a final judgment on those claims, it
must next determine "whether there is any just reason
for delay." Wood v. GCC Bend, LIC, 422 F.3d
873, 878 (9th Cir. 2005). Detemiining if there is any just
reason for delay requires a court to consider "judicial
administrative interests" and the equities involved.
Curtiss-Wright, 446 U.S. at 8. Factors to consider
in making this determination include whether the dismissed
claims are separable from the remaining claims and whether
granting certification will result in an appellate court
having to issue multiple decisions on the same issue of law
or fact. Id. The presence of one of these factors is
not dispositive but should go to the weight of the decision
making. Id. 8 at n.2. To wan-ant Rule 54(b)
certification, claims should be "truly separable."
See Wood, 422 F.3d at 879- 80. Similarity of legal
or factual issues weighs heavily against granting
certification for appeal. Id.
Rule 54(b) certification to be appropriate, I must first
determine that the judgments I have issued on the claims in
question are final. Plaintiffs tenth claim has been
considered twice and Plaintiff's fourth and eleventh
claims have been fully briefed, resolved on the merits, and
are final. Therefore, I find that the judgments issued on
Plaintiffs fourth, tenth, and eleventh claims are ultimate
dispositions of those claims. I turn next to whether any just
reason for delaying certification for appeal exists in this
Similarity of Facts
Ninth Circuit has held that certification under Rule 54(b) is
inappropriate when the dismissed claims are "closely
related, factually and legally." Wood, 422 F.3d
at 879-80. In Wood, an employee sued her former
employer, alleging age discrimination and bringing claims for
wrongful constructive discharge, age discrimination, and
retaliation under both the federal law and Oregon law.
Id. at 876-77. The claims for age discrimination and
retaliation survived summary judgment and the district court
granted 54(b) certification on the dismissed claims.
Id. On appeal, a Ninth Circuit panel held that
certification was not warranted because "certification
in this case effectively severs trial on different theories
of adverse treatment arising out of the same factual
relationship." Therefore, the claims were not truly
separable, as the dismissed and surviving claims were based
on the same set of facts. Id. at 880-81.
instant case is distinguishable from Wood because
the facts necessary to prove the dismissed and remaining
claims are unique. In Wood, the underlying facts
were the same for all legal theories presented by the
plaintiff. While the facts establishing the relationship and
dispute between the parties will overlap for any claim in the
current case because they arise out of the same overarching
business dispute, the dismissed claims rely upon facts
surrounding the Contract while the remaining claims depend on