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Pressing Matters v. Carr

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 02-08-2012
Case #: A143893
Armstrong, J. for the Court; Haselton, P.J.; & Duncan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A143893.pdf

Workers Compensation: To preserve a claim of premature closure, it is sufficient that the record contain information from which the appellant reviewer could determine that the claimant was challenging the closure of the claim.

Carr experienced strange sensations in both her hands and arms after 20 years of employment with Pressing Matters (Employer). Employer accepted her claim but later issued a notice of closure on August 28, 2008. A medical arbiter and another consulting physician subsequently reassessed Carr’s condition, which declared her conditioned had worsened and was not stable. Employer declined to postpone the reconsideration proceeding until Carr was medically stationary. However, the administrative law judge (ALJ) affirmed the closing of the claim without considering the information presented by the medical arbiter or the consulting physician. Carr appealed, and the ALJ set aside his ruling. Employer appealed to the Workers’ Compensation Board, arguing that the issue of premature closure was not preserved on appeal because Carr had not checked the box on the reconsideration form indicating a request for review of a claim closure. The Board rejected Employer's preservation argument. On appeal, the Court of Appeals held that claimant preserved the issue of premature closure because her attorney raised the issue to the ALJ and the report of the medical arbiter was in the record before the board on appeal. Affirmed.