SAIF v. Durant

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Workers Compensation
  • Date Filed: 05-13-2015
  • Case #: A154773
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Flynn, J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; & Lagesen, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 656.005(7)(a), a determination that a workplace injury is a consequential condition does not violate the Last Injurious Exposure Rule if the prior condition was determined both compensable and the major contributing cause of the current condition.

SAIF appealed an order from the Workers’ Compensation Board (the Board) finding MPP Piping, Inc. (Insured) responsible for Claimant’s shoulder condition. Claimant sustained an injury while working for Insured as a pipefitter in 2006, and underwent surgery for that condition in 2006. SAIF accepted the injury as compensable as a right shoulder strain. After the surgery, Claimant worked for two other companies as pipefitter. In 2011, Claimant suffered new symptoms in his right shoulder, and sought compensation benefits from all three past employers. Both subsequent employers denied responsibility for the injury, and argued that, because Claimant had suffered the original injury while employed by Insured in 2006, Insured was responsible for workers’ compensation benefits. In each case, the ALJ was presented with expert medical opinion attributing Claimant’s current shoulder condition to the 2006 injury which had previously been accepted by SAIF. In each case, the ALJ and, subsequently the Board, relied on that medical testimony in determining that the current condition was a “consequential condition” to the 2006 injury, and therefore MPP was responsible. On appeal, MPP, through SAIF, argued that the “last injurious exposure rule” (LIER) should apply, and therefore MPP should not be held responsible for Claimant’s current shoulder condition. The Court, after reviewing the legislative history of “consequential condition,” determined that the LIER does not apply to consequential conditions. Affirmed.

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