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Baker v. Liberty Northwest Ins. Co.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 06-19-2013
Case #: A140572
Schuman, P.J. for the Court; Wollheim, J.; and Nakamoto, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A140572.pdf

Workers Compensation: New occupational disease claims, brought under ORS 656.802(2)(a), must be brought within one year of discovery of injury, due to ORS 656.807.

 

Baker sought review of an order of the Workers' Compensation Board determining that his occupational disease claim for a left shoulder condition was untimely under the limitation period of ORS 656.807(1)(b), because it was not brought within one year of when Baker was informed that he had a work-related degenerative shoulder condition. Baker contends that, although he learned more than one year before filing the claim that the shoulder condition was work related, his subsequent employment with SAIF's insured caused the condition to worsen and, in effect, to become a new occupational disease, and that he is not barred from bringing a claim for that condition within one year of learning that his employment with SAIF's insured had contributed to the condition. The Court of Appeals held that Baker did not present his claim as one for a worsening of a preexisting condition under ORS 656.802(2)(b), but rather sought compensation for a new occupational disease, under ORS 656.802(2) (a). As a claim for a new occupational disease, Baker's claim was required to be filed within one year of the later of the four circumstances set forth in ORS 656.807(1).  There is no plausible interpretation of the statute that supports Baker's view that the possible dates for triggering the limitation period under ORS 656.807(1) must be satisfied with each new period of employment. Affirmed.