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Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, Health, and Hospital Services v. Russell

Oregon Supreme Court
867 P.2d 1377 (1994)


Facts

Russell (defendant) was injured while at work. Russell was unsure who his employer was at the time of his injury and, therefore, filed four separate workers’ compensation claims. A workers’ compensation referee determined that one of the employers, insured by Aetna Casualty & Surety Company (Aetna), was the employer for workers’ compensation purposes. Russell and Aetna sought review of that decision. In the meantime, the four possible employers and their insurers, including Aetna, entered into a Disputed Claim Settlement (DCS) agreement with Russell, which was approved by the Workers’ Compensation Board (Board). Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, Health, and Hospital Services (St. Joseph) (plaintiff) provided medical care for Russell’s injuries. St. Joseph filed suit against Russell and Aetna for the medical expenses. St. Joseph claimed, among other things, that it was a third-party beneficiary to the DCS agreement. At trial, among other things, Russell testified that St. Joseph’s treatment saved his life. The jury returned a verdict for St. Joseph’s on its claim against Aetna. Aetna appealed. The court of appeals reversed. St. Joseph appealed to the Supreme Court of Oregon.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Graber, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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