Kuralt v. SAIF

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Workers Compensation
  • Date Filed: 02-28-2018
  • Case #: A159415
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, Pres. J for the Court; Egan, Chief J.; & Lagesen, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 656.265, in order to survive a claim for worker compensation, a worker must have good cause for failing to submit a timely notice with a subjective belief which must be "induced by some actual occurrence which is susceptible to such an interpretation by him." Riddel v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 8 Or App 438, 494 P2d 901 (1972).

Plaintiff appealed an order of the Workers' Compensation Board, which reversed the ALJ's initial holding that Plaintiff's subjective belief was sufficient to establish good cause for late notice. Plaintiff assigned error to the Board's determination that Plaintiff had "good cause" to file after the 90-day expiration date. On appeal, Plaintiff argued that there were previous conversations, in regards to filing for workers' compensation, which led him to believe that he would be fired if another injury happened. In response, Defendant reasoned that the workers' subjective belief was not objectively reasonable as it was not employee policy to "discipline employees" who file for workers' compensation. ORS 656.265(4) provides that a failure to give timely notice bars a workers' compensation claim unless the notice is given within one year and the worker establishes "that the worker had good cause for the failure to give timely notice." The Court of Appeals held that because Plaintiff had based his subjective belief that he would be laid off, on an actual occurrence from which he could have reasonably inferred that he would be laid off, Plaintiff established a good cause for failing to submit a timely notice. Reversed and remanded.

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