Sheldon v. US Bank

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Workers Compensation
  • Date Filed: 10-12-2016
  • Case #: A156285
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Garrett, J. for the Court; Lagesen, P.J. & Hadlock, C.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

In a workers' compensation claim, the claimant is only required to adequately explain why idiopathic factors were not the cause of the injury, not to disprove every other possible cause of the injuries.

Claimant (Sheldon) appealed the administrative law judge's decision to uphold the Workers' Compensation Board's denial of her injury claim. Claimant argued that the Board erred in its determination that she failed to persuasively eliminate idiopathic reasons for her fall. Employer (US Bank) argued Claimant's injury was caused by idiopathic factors associated with her obesity and diabetes, not by risks associated with her employment. A claimant in a workers' compensation claim is only required to show that is was less than equally likely that idiopathic factors caused the accident. The Court held that Claimant must only adequately explain why idiopathic factors were not the cause of the injury. Claimant need not disprove all possible explanations for an unexplained injury. The Court held that the Board did not apply the correct legal standard when it made its determination. Vacated and remanded. 

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