Providence Health System Oregon v. Walker

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Workers Compensation
  • Date Filed: 03-08-2017
  • Case #: A156440
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Garrett, J. for the Court; Ortega, J.; & Lagesen, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 656.268(5)(b) (2009), at the time of the request for a claim closure, a claimant’s refusal to attend an independent medical examination (IME), provides an employer with legitimate doubt as to its obligation to close the claim. 

Employer appealed an order from the Worker’s Compensation Board (the Board) assessing it a penalty and awarding attorney’s fees to Claimant. Employer argued that it had met its burden of legitimate doubt when it failed to close the claimant’s claim within ten days of claimant’s request. Under ORS 656.268(5)(b) (2009), at the time of a request for a claim closure, a claimant’s refusal to attend an independent medical examination (IME), provides an employer with legitimate doubt as to its obligation to close the claim. In this case, the Court of Appeals agreed with Employer, finding that the claimant’s refusal to submit to the IME at the time of the request for claim closure allowed Employer to reasonably conclude that it did not have sufficient information from which to determine claimant’s permanent disability attributable to her compensable injury. Therefore, Employer had legitimate doubt as to its obligation to close the claim. Reversed.

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