Workers' Compensation Defense
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New Oregon Supreme Court Decision Has Potentially Far-Reaching Effects on Workers’ Compensation

On December 27, 2013, the Oregon Supreme Court issued its decision in Jon M. Schleiss v. SAIF Corporation, ___ P.3d ___, 2013, WL 6842795 (case number to be assigned), reversing decisions below by the Workers’ Compensation Board and the Court of Appeals, which had allowed apportionment of claimant’s permanent disability award. The Supreme Court, after a lengthy discussion of pre-existing conditions in the context of combined condition processing, held that neither the accelerated aging affects from smoking nor claimant’s mild degenerative disc condition qualified as legally cognizable preexisting conditions that would authorize the apportionment of claimant’s PPD. This potentially landmark case, centered around when apportionment of PPD is appropriate, calls into question the availability of apportionment where there are non-work-related conditions that contribute to a claimant’s impairment, but where there has been no formal combined condition processing.
Learn more about this case at our Spring Educational Seminar on March 20th, 2014.