Mario Carillo v. SAIF, 291 Or App 589 (2018) (per curiam)
This case involves an initial left shoulder injury claim denied on a combined condition basis. In challenging the denial, the worker contended that the work injury had not resulted in any specific medical “condition,” just a need for medical services for symptoms associated with a “preexisting condition.” On that basis, the worker contended that there was no “combined condition,” and that his claim was compensable under a “material cause” standard.
The board rejected the worker’s argument, citing the Court of Appeals’ decision in Brown v. SAIF, 262 Or App 640 (2014). Based on that decision, the board concluded that a “combined condition” could consist merely of a “preexisting condition” and a “work-injury incident.” Two separate medical conditions were not required. The board thus upheld SAIF’s “combined condition” denial on that basis.
After the worker sought judicial review, the Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals’ decision in Brown, concluding that “compensable injury” in the combined condition statute meant the “accepted medical conditions” in a claim, not the “work-injury incident.” Brown v. SAIF, 361 Or 241 (2017). Given the board’s reliance on the Court of Appeals’ now reversed decision in Brown, the Court of Appeals decided to send the case back to the board for it to apply the Supreme Court’s Brown decision.
David Runner is an attorney with SAIF Corporation who periodically provides updates of important Oregon workers’ compensation litigation; used with permission. Click here to contact David.