DiNicola v. State of Oregon

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
  • Date Filed: 08-31-2016
  • Case #: A150967
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Tookey, J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; & DeHoog, J.

For purposes of issue preclusion, where the issue in both proceedings requires the application a particular legal standard to the same set of facts, the issue is identical when the legal standard in both proceedings is the same or similar.

In a previous and separate wage claim proceeding, the Oregon Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s determination that Plaintiff was not "employed" by the State within the meaning of the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 § U.S.C. §§ 201 to 219. DiNicola v. State of Oregon, 246 Or App 528, rev den, 352 Or 377 (2011), cert den, 134 S Ct 724 (2012). While that case was pending appeal, Plaintiff brought this action against the State, alleging, pursuant ORS 652.355, ORS 659A.230, ORS 659A.030, and ORS 659A.203, and 29 U.S.C. § 215(a)(3), that the State had unlawfully retaliated against Plaintiff for filing overtime wage claims against the State. The trial court granted the State’s motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s complaint, pursuant to ORCP 21 A(8). The trial court held that the previous court’s ruling in DiNicola (plaintiff was not an employee of the state), was controlling on this issue. Plaintiff appealed. The Court held that because the issue in the previous wage claim proceeding and the issue in this retaliation proceeding were based on identical facts and the same legal standard, DiNicola conclusively established the issue of who employed Plaintiff. Therefore, the claims were barred by issue preclusion. Affirmed.

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