Schleiss v. SAIF

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Workers Compensation
  • Date Filed: 06-13-2012
  • Case #: A146996
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Hadlock, J. for the Court; Ortega, P. J.; and Sercombe, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under OAR 436-035-0013, workers may receive permanent partial disability benefits only when the disability was caused by a compensable condition. Also, apportionment is not precluded unless the compensable injury worsened or rendered symptomatic a noncompensable condition.

Schleiss sought review of decision of the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) that granted him 5% permanent partial disability (PPD) for a compensable back injury. The WCB based the decision on a medical arbiter's finding that this compensable condition was a partial cause of Schleiss losing range of motion. The loss of range of motion was also caused by a noncompensable degenerative disease and a history of smoking. Schleiss argued that WCB erred by dividing his disability between the compensable and noncompensable conditions under OAR 436-035-0013 (2009). The Court of Appeals held that OAR 436-035-0013 allows for the distribution of PPD benefits only to workers whose disability was caused by a compensable condition and apportionment is not precluded where the compensable injury did not worsen the noncompensable condition. Affirmed.

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