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Brumage v. Esco Corp.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 02-29-2012
Case #: A147564
Schuman, P.J. for the Court; Wollheim, J.; and Nakamoto, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://courts.oregon.gov/sites/Publications/A147564.pdf

Workers Compensation: Claims for hearing loss are evaluated upon claimant’s “overall hearing loss” at the time claimant files his claim.

David Brumage (claimant) is appealing an order from the Worker’s Compensation Board that held his hearing loss was not the result of his employment and therefore not compensable. Brumage was exposed to noise at his work from 1968 to 1994. This was a major contributing factor to claimant’s hearing loss. After 1994, Brumage was moved to an area that had reduced noise and did not further his hearing loss. However, Brumage’s hearing continued to deteriorate because he suffered from presbycusis. Brumage argued that from 1968 to 1994 his hearing loss was an occupational disease. The board rejected his claim because hearing loss is only compensable if the work primarily contributes to the overall disease. On appeal, Brumage argued that the compensability of his hearing loss should be isolated to 1968 to 1994 when work was the major cause of his hearing loss. The Court rejected Brumage’s argument holding that claims for hearing loss are evaluated upon claimant’s “overall hearing loss” at the time claimant files his claim. Affirmed.