Department of Consumer and Business Services v. Zurich American and Northwest Staffing Services

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Workers Compensation
  • Date Filed: 12-07-2011
  • Case #: A142315
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Armstrong, J. for the Court; Haselton P.J. and Duncan J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 656.054, the Workers’ Compensation Board does not have authority to order the insurer responsible for a claim to reimburse the assigned claims agent directly for costs incurred in processing the claimant’s claim.

The Workers’ Compensation Board (the Board) rejected a proposed Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) order stating that On-Time Deliver, LLC (On-Time) was an employer not complying with ORS 656.052, awarded attorney fees to On-Time, and concluded that the Board lacked authority to require Zurich American Insurance Company (Zurich) reimburse an assigned claims agent, Sedqwick Claim Management Services (Sedqwick), for its costs associated with processing the claimant’s claim. Zurich filed a cross-petition for review of the Board’s conclusion that Zurich is obligated to pay On-Time’s injured employee’s workers’ compensation benefits. The court held that the Board correctly concluded that: (1) On-Time was a not a noncomplying employer; (2) Zurich is responsible for the claimant’s claim pursuant to ORS 656.850(3); and (3) under ORS 656.054, the Board does not have the authority to order Zurich reimburse Sedqwick. Affirmed on petition and cross-petition.

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