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SAIF Corp. v. Otwell

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 08-15-2012
Case #: A144868
Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Brewer, J.; and Sercombe, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A144868.pdf

Administrative Law: ORS 656.268 authorizes a board to modify the effective date of TTD benefits when reconsidering the notice of closure.

In 2007, Sheryl J. Otwell (claimant) filed a worker’s compensation claim with SAIF corporation (SAIF), who accepted the claim as a combined condition and began receiving temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. Based upon a doctor’s examination, SAIF terminated the TTD benefits on July 5, 2008, issued a combined condition denial and a notice of closure. Claimant sought reconsideration of the combined condition denial's effective date and the notice of closure with the Department of Consumer Business Services (DCBS). DCBS changed the effective date to August, 2008. SAIF objected to the change and argued that a combined condition denial is not subject to review, and requested a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The ALJ affirmed. SAIF petitioned for judicial review with the Oregon Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals affirmed and held that ORS 656.268 makes combined condition denials subject to review otherwise the statute, and the ability to seek reconsideration, would be illusory. Affirmed.