The right to free speech that is protected by the First Amendment is something that many people are willing to fight to preserve. Oregon State University recently agreed to pay out $101,000 to end a lawsuit over newspapers and distribution boxes the university trashed.
A business lives and dies by the number of satisfied customers who use their products and services. In pre-Internet days, if a patron loved or hated their shopping experience, they could offer their opinions to their friends, family and neighbors. However, now that online venues such as Yelp and Angie's List exist, a business' reputation can be seen by people from all over the world.
Oregon's health insurance exchange, operated through the Cover Oregon website, has had arguably one of the worst rollouts among state-run marketplaces in the country. Despite receiving millions of dollars in government funding and getting an earlier start than many other health insurance exchanges, the website has been a mess since its launch on Oct. 1. Even after three and a half months, not even one person has been able to enroll using the website.
A business has the right to decide what advertising it wants to run and does not want to run. However, public places do not always have the same luxury of deciding what can and cannot be advertised, as a recent Portland business just found out.
The Oregon Health and Science University Hospital could escape most of a court-ordered $12 million payment to a patient's family because of a state law that limits how much money judges can order publicly-funded entities to pay to plaintiffs who pursue civil litigation.
The Oregon Court of Appeals has rejected claims from the Friends of the Columbia Gorge that criticized the Columbia River Gorge Commission's plan to manage air quality in the region. The Friends argued the strategy does not include enough regional-specific regulation and fails to properly address many of the air-related problems directly around the Gorge, but the court disagreed with that assertion.
The Oregon Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the city of Beaverton, deciding that it is only required to pay $200,000 of the over $1 million in damages initially granted to a woman who was injured after being struck by a police car. The state's highest court agreed to hear the case after Beaverton took the case to a civil appeals court, claiming that the Oregon Tort Claims Act protects it from having to pay more than $200,000 in damages. However, the case has yet to be resolved, as the Supreme Court only forwarded its recommendation, which is not legally binding, to the appeals court.
An Oregon car dealership is considering whether to appeal a decision ordering to pay $100,000 the way it handled a debt collection case. The complex matter divided the civil appeals court that most recently heard the case; the court approved $100,000 in punitive damage with a 5-4 judgment, while the dissenting judges thought this was excessive and argued for a $25,000 award.
A real estate developer will pay $260,000 to avoid further litigation in an appeals case filed by a former Oregon official who objected to a 230-unit apartment facility currently being constructed by the developer in downtown Eugene. The man's primary concern with the project was related to its impact on traffic for the city and 10-year tax exemption granted to the development by the Eugene City Council.
The Oregon Court of Appeals has ruled against a natural gas company over a county's ability to block construction of a 41-mile pipeline despite formerly approving the project. The county commission voted in favor of zoning for a terminal that would feed the pipeline in 2010, but a new group of commissioners overturned that approval several months later. The company behind the pipeline, Oregon LNG, filed a lawsuit against the county in response, arguing that the commission's initial approval was wrongfully reversed. However, the state Court of Appeals disagreed with that assertion, blocking the civil litigation and siding with the county.