United States District Court, D. Oregon, Medford Division
MERCY FLIGHTS, INC., an Oregon nonprofit corporation, Plaintiff,
COUNTY OF JOSEPHINE, an Oregon political subdivision, AMERICAN MEDICAL RESPONSE NORTHWEST, INC., a Colorado corporation, Defendants.
CLARKE, Magistrate Judge.
Mercy Flights, Inc., brings this cause of action against the
defendants, Josephine County, Oregon, and American Medical
Response, Northwest, Inc., ("AMR") seeking
declaratory and injunctive relief. The case comes before the
Court on cross motions for summary judgment filed by
Plaintiff (#23), Defendant Josephine County (#26), and
Defendant AMR (#29). For the reasons below, the Plaintiffs
motion (#23) is GRANTED, and the defendants' motions
(#26, 29) are DENIED. Plaintiff is entitled to declaratory
and injunctive relief, and judgment shall be entered for the
judgment shall be granted when the record shows that there is
no genuine dispute as to any material of fact and that the
moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S 242, 247 (1986). The moving party has the
initial burden of showing that no genuine issue of material
fact exists. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, Ml U.S. 317,
323 (1986); Devereaux v. Abbey, 263 F.3d 1070, 1076
(9th Cir. 2001) (en banc). The court cannot weigh the
evidence or determine the truth but may only determine
whether there is a genuine issue of fact. Playboy
Enters., Inc. v. Welles, 279 F.3d 796, 800 (9th Cir.
2002). An issue of fact is genuine "if the evidence is
such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the
nonmoving party." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.
purposes of this motion, the defendants do not dispute the
material facts as stated by Plaintiff Mercy Flights. Mercy
Flights is an Oregon nonprofit corporation which provides
prehospital emergency air medical transportation services in
Oregon, California, Idaho and Washington. Mercy Flights holds
a 14 CFR Part 135 Air Carrier and Operator certificate from
the Federal Aviation Administration and is an airline as
defined in the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 (ADA).
the 911 system is activated in Josephine County for a person
who has an injury or illness and who is transported to Three
Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass (TRMC), the emergency
department or attending physician makes a medical diagnosis
of that patient's condition. (Decl. Doug Stewart (Plf.
Ex. 1)). When a patient is deemed critical, or when they have
a medical condition that exceeds the resources available to
TRMC, the patient requires a critical care transport service
to a facility that has that service available. (Plf. Ex. 1).
TRMC physician support staff determine the geographically
closest hospital that can provide the service the
patient's condition requires. Id.
patient requires critical care transport by air out of
Southern Oregon, Mercy Flights is contacted. When the call is
received, the Mercy Flights' communication center
collects information on the patient and immediately activates
the Mercy Flights' critical care flight transport team.
The critical care flight transport team consists of a
Registered Nurse and Paramedic. The critical care flight
transport team provides a level of care during transport that
is comparable with the level of care the patient receives in
the Emergency Department or the Intensive Care Unit at TRMC.
the critical care flight transport team arrives at TRMC the
Registered Nurse member of the team receives a patient
condition report and begins the assessment of the patient.
After consultation with the treating physician, a treatment
plan is agreed upon and the patient is prepared for
transport. Once the patient is ready, they are transported on
the Mercy Flights ground ambulance to the Medford Airport
where the patient and the critical care flight transport team
are then transferred to a Mercy Flights Aircraft for flight
to the appropriate facility. This process is streamlined, and
the preparation of the patient takes a minimal amount of
time. The critical care flight transport team is assigned to,
and remains with, the patient throughout the duration of the
transport - from hospital bed to hospital bed. The critical
care Paramedic and Registered Nurse work together to provide
an advanced level of care from the time that the patient is
collected at TRMC to the time the patient is delivered to the
receiving facility. Id.
2013, Josephine County passed Ordinance No. 2013-007, which
regulates ambulance services in Josephine County. The
Ordinance reads in relevant part:
SECTION 10. ASSIGNMENT OF AMBULANCE SERVICE AREAS
No person shall provide ambulance service in Josephine County
unless the BCC has issued a license and assigned an ASA to
that person pursuant to this section.
SECTION 12. PROHIBITED ...