Hamilton v. Pacific Skyline, Inc.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Workers Compensation
  • Date Filed: 10-29-2014
  • Case #: A154725
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Lagesen, J. for the Court; Duncan, P. J.; and De Muniz, S. J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 656.262(11)(a), a claimant is entitled to penalties and attorney fees where a Board’s determination is not supported by substantial reason.

Hamilton petitioned for review of orders of the Worker’s Compensation Board (the Board). The Board reversed an Administrative Law Judge’s determination that Hamilton was not entitled to temporary disability benefits, and, even though Hamilton’s employer had erroneously concluded Hamilton was not entitled to temporary disability benefits, Hamilton was still not entitled to penalties and attorney fees pursuant to ORS 656.262(11)(a) because the employer’s failure to pay Hamilton’s benefits was not unreasonable. On appeal, Hamilton assigned error to the Board’s decision that he was not entitled to penalties and attorney fees. The Court held that Hamilton was entitled to penalties and attorney fees under ORS 656.262(11)(a) because the Board’s determination was not supported by substantial reason. The orders of the Board failed to identify facts that explain its conclusion that the employer had a legitimate doubt about its liability to pay temporary disability to Hamilton. See Drew v. PSRB, 322 Or 491, 500-01 (1996). Reversed and remanded to the Board to supply reasoning for its determination.

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