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Monday, November 03, 2008

Life Short, Call Now

The saga of Kay Bell continues. As most are aware, Kay Bell received some pretty crummy advice from PERS, retired based on that advice, and subsequently sued PERS when she learned that the advice was wrong and that PERS wanted money back (This has nothing to do with the problems of window retirees. Bell's case is somewhat unique). The PERS Coalition represented Ms. Bell in a jury trial in Marion County this past year. The ruled ruled unanimously in her favor and awarded her damages in excess of $100,000. Subsequently, PERS filed a motion to reduce Ms. Bell's award to $100,000 to comply with the Oregon Tort Claims Act. The judge ruled in PERS' favor, agreeing to reduce the jury's award and also to deny Ms. Bell interest on the outstanding amount.

PERS has now announced its intention -- big surprise -- to appeal the verdict to the Oregon Court of Appeals. In the meantime, a Legislative task force is exploring ways to remedy the problem that the Bell case has exposed -- PERS' responsibility to provide reasonably accurate pre-retirement estimates, and to find some way to remedy the circumstances when such estimates turn out to be completely inaccurate through no fault of the retiree. It is likely that some of this will be solved legislatively during the 2009 session.

The saga of the White case also continues. Judge Kantor cancelled the hearings on White and advised the advocates that he will either rule in favor of the defendants for summary judgement, or allow the PERS Coalition to file cross-motions for summary judgement. This case has been going on since April 2004 and has yet to be heard formally before any jurisdiction. Depositions were taken last summer with the hope that the case could be resolved during 2007. It is unlikely now that the case will be resolved before 2009, assuming there are no appeals of Judge Kantor's ruling.

If you haven't voted, be sure to get your vote in no later than 8 pm tomorrow night. It is too late to mail your ballot. Find a local ballot drop-off site and carry your ballot there. This election has too many important decisions to shrug off. Regardless of who wins, the country is in for some major changes.

1 comment:

TruthSeeker said...

When you vote, remember which Party supports Pension Rights and which Party hates unions and Pension Rights. Should be a "No Duh" for public retirees and public emplyees.

I hope we all think.