Lopez v. SAIF Corp

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Workers Compensation
  • Date Filed: 10-19-2016
  • Case #: Lopez v. SAIF
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Egan, J. For the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Hadlock, C.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 656.265, there is no requirement that the claimant’s “good cause” explanation needs to be verified by medical evidence. Rather, it is for the board to decide whether it is persuaded by the totality of evidence that is in the record, whether or not that record includes medical evidence.

The petitioner-claimant appealed from an order from the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB), denying her motion to file an employer notice of injury outside of the 90 day statutory limit as required to receive benefits under ORS 656.265(4)(a).  The claimant argued the WCB abused its discretion in denying her untimely request for benefits pursuant to ORS 656.265(4)(c).  In an order affirmed by the WCB, an ALJ denied the claimant’s untimely request for benefits, finding that absent any corroborating medical evidence, the ALJ could not, as a matter of law, find good cause to relieve the claimant of the 90 day requirement to give notice.  In finding that the WCB abused its discretion, the Court held that under ORS 656.265, there is no requirement that the claimant’s “good cause” explanation needs to be verified by medical evidence.  Rather, it is for the board to decide whether it is persuaded by the totality of evidence that is in the record, whether or not that record includes medical evidence. Reversed.  

 

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