|Author||Subject: The following was sent by fax to Senator Derfler|
|Del|| Posted At 19:03:53 05/10/2001
I take great offense to your statement “The court is legislating again." Under the mandate of the remedy clause of Article I, Section 10 of the Oregon Constitution, the legislature may not deprive a person of a remedy for an injury to person, property, or reputation that was recognized at common law, unless the legislature makes available an equivalent remedy.
As you know, SB 369, which you co-sponsored along with Kevin Mannix, was enacted soon after an Oregon Supreme Court ruling in Errand v. Cascade Steel Rolling Mills. Inc., 320 Or 309, 888 P2d 544 (1995). The Court held that the exclusivity provision of ORS 656.018 did not provide employers with immunity from the plaintiff's civil claims which involved employer negligence because the plaintiff did not have a compensable injury as determined by the Oregon's Workers' Compensation System. SB 369 simply made “null” this ruling and your actions betrayed your oath to “honor and uphold our Constitution.”
Due to the "exclusive remedy" provisions of the workers' compensation system, Oregon workers are denied their constitutional rights, except in rare instances, to receive fair compensation in front of a jury of their peers. In cases that reach the workers' compensation board, they are not allowed to testify on their behalf. Injured workers are solely "judged" by political appointees, many of whom previously worked for insurance companies.
In addition, Section 20 “Equality of privileges and immunities of citizens” states that “No law shall be passed granting to any citizen or class of citizens privileges, or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.”
Senator, when will you start to honor your “moral” obligations to mankind and honor our Constitution. It is you that is acting like judge and jury and in the process destroying the lives of tens of thousands of Oregonians.
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