Willamette Law Online

Oregon Court of Appeals


Schleiss v. SAIF

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 06-13-2012
Case #: A146996
Hadlock, J. for the Court; Ortega, P. J.; and Sercombe, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A146996.pdf

Workers Compensation: Under OAR 436-035-0013, workers may receive permanent partial disability benefits only when the disability was caused by a compensable condition. Also, apportionment is not precluded unless the compensable injury worsened or rendered symptomatic a noncompensable condition.

Schleiss sought review of decision of the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) that granted him 5% permanent partial disability (PPD) for a compensable back injury. The WCB based the decision on a medical arbiter's finding that this compensable condition was a partial cause of Schleiss losing range of motion. The loss of range of motion was also caused by a noncompensable degenerative disease and a history of smoking. Schleiss argued that WCB erred by dividing his disability between the compensable and noncompensable conditions under OAR 436-035-0013 (2009). The Court of Appeals held that OAR 436-035-0013 allows for the distribution of PPD benefits only to workers whose disability was caused by a compensable condition and apportionment is not precluded where the compensable injury did not worsen the noncompensable condition. Affirmed.