HLGR Wins Argument in Oregon Supreme Court Re: Public Employer Benefits

susan-marmaduke-smbob steringer headshot
HLGR lawyers Susan MarmadukeBob Steringer, and John Rake won a victory for Clackamas County in the Oregon Supreme Court on April 11, 2013. In 1985, the county had created a fund to provide certain retirement health insurance benefits. The county provided that it would pay a certain amount of money into the fund each year and it expressly made its obligation to provide those benefits contingent on the availability of sufficient funding in the fund. When insurance costs skyrocketed, the specified funding level was no longer sufficient to pay for the benefits. In James v. Clackamas County, the court upheld the county’s right to stop providing the benefits when that occurred. This is an important decision for public employers trying to create prudent and sustainable benefits programs for their employees. For additional commentary on this decision, you may read a related blog on the topic.