English v. Liberty Northwest Ins. Corp.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Workers Compensation
  • Date Filed: 05-13-2015
  • Case #: A153438
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Flynn, J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; & Lagesen, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 656.005(7)(a)(A), the compensability of a consequential condition depends on its relationship to the compensable injury, which must be its major contributing cause, and not on the “accepted conditions” from the original injury.

Petitioner and Claimant John English, an injured worker, appealed a decision by the Workers’ Compensation Board in favor of respondents Liberty Northwest Insurance Corporation (Liberty) and employer Trees, Inc. Claimant was injured in an accident at work in 2010, and employer accepted Claimant’s nondisabling knee injury. In 2011, Claimant was injured again when he stepped off a deck with his injured leg and his knee popped, causing pain and causing him to fall. Claimant sought workers’ compensation after receiving a diagnosis of additional conditions resulting from the new injury; Claimant argued the new injuries were caused by the knee buckling, which was caused by the 2010 injury. Employer denied the request because it claimed the subsequent injuries were not part of the original “accepted conditions,” and an ALJ upheld the denial; Claimant appealed. The Court held, under ORS 656.005(7)(a)(A), the compensability of a consequential condition depends on its relationship to the compensable injury, which must be its major contributing cause, and not on the “accepted conditions” from the original injury. Reversed and remanded.

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