- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Workers Compensation
- Date Filed: 08-24-2022
- Case #: A174136
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Mooney, P.J. for the Court; Pagán, J.; & DeVore, S.J.
- Full Text Opinion
Claimant appealed the Workers' Compensation Board (board) order that affirmed the ALJ’s order, upholding SAIF's denial of claimant's injury claim for a left foot condition. Claimant assigned error to the board's determination that work was not the major contributing factor to the left foot injury. Instead, the board found that the compensable injury was combined with a preexisting diabetic condition, and this was the major contributing factor. An injury is compensable when it arises “out of and in the course of employment requiring medical services or resulting in disability or death” and “if the work is a material contributing cause of the injury.” ORS 656.005(7)(a); Coleman v. SAIF, 203 Or App 442, 446 (2005). “However, when an otherwise compensable injury combines with a preexisting condition to cause or prolong a disability or the need for treatment, the combined condition is compensable only if the otherwise compensable injury is the major contributing cause of the disability or need for treatment.” SAIF v. Harrison, 299 Or App 104, 106 (2019) (citing ORS 656.005(7)(a)(B)). Because Claimant established a compensable injury, the board had the burden to establish that preexisting diabetes was the major contributing factor to the left foot injury. After reviewing the testimony of two medical witnesses and the findings of the board, the Court found that the board’s conclusion was supported by substantial evidence. Affirmed.