Tag: Oregon

Brown v. SAIF: The Oregon Court of Appeals overhauls legal precedent on definition of “compensable injury” in ORS Chapter 656

The Oregon Court of Appeals recently departed from established legal precedent after adopting an “incident focused” approach to defining a worker’s “compensable injury.” On May 7, 2014 the Oregon Court of Appeals issued its decision in Royce L. Brown, Sr., vs. SAIF Corporation, ____ P.3d ____, 2014, 2014 WL 1819826 (2014) (case number to be assigned), reversing decisions by the Workers’ Compensation Board and the ALJ below that upheld SAIF Corporation’s denial of the worker’s combined condition.

A Simple Equation Complicates Combined Condition Processing

In Vigor Industrial, LLC v. Ayres, 257 Or App 705 (2013), the Court boiled down the components of a combined condition to a simple mathematical formula. Simple, yes, but the equation creates a potentially significant hurtle when attempting to deny an injured worker’s combined condition.

Will University Scholarship Athletes Soon be Filing Workers’ Compensation Claims?

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a decision on March 26, 2014, which found that university scholarship football athletes are “employees” under the National Labor Relations Act[1]. In the decision, Regional Director Peter Sung Ohr, of Region 13 (Chicago), noted that the combination of the university’s restrictions on the activities that scholarship football athletes could engage in; the time requirements it placed on the athletes; recruitment of the athletes for solely their athletic abilities; payment to the athletes in the form of large scholarships; the athletes generate millions of dollars in revenue for the institution; and special rules governing the athletes beyond those applied to other students amounted to control over the athletes which fell within the definition of an employer-employee relationship.

Rescinding and Reissuing a Notice of Closure

The Oregon Workers’ Compensation Board recently published its decision in Robert G. Green, 66 Van Natta 414 (2014). In this case, the Board interpreted OAR 436-030-0023 and confirmed the circumstances under which an employer can rescind and reissue a Notice of Closure.

Oregon Court of Appeals Addresses Use of DOT Codes in Permanent Disability Calculations

The Court of Appeals acknowledged DOT codes are typically used in calculating the amount of a work disability award; however, the Court specifically did not hold that DOT codes could not be utilized in determining entitlement to a work disability award. In fact, this decision outlines the circumstances under which DOT codes could serve as evidence of a workers’ actual job duties.