The City of Portland (SAIF vs. Johansen, a victory for Oregon workers

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Posted by Del on October 15, 1999 at 14:44:24:

The City of Portland was going to file a friend of the court (amicus curiae) brief in favor of SAIF to the Oregon Supreme Court in the Johansen v. SAIF case. Due to the efforts of Jennifer Webber, Billy Washington, and a few wise city officials it didn't happen.
It's sad that Portland would even consider doing something so anti-worker just because they too are an employer.
Perhaps some Portlanders should call & write their elected representatives and ask them to support what is in all workers best interest and file a amicus curiae in favor of Johansen.
Read below why this case is important and with the "just" decision will save thousands from further harm by insurance carriers.

Johansen v. SAIF Corporation
(CA A100445)
Area of Law: Workers' Compensation

The Workers' Compensation Board erred in determining that claimant was not entitled to benefits for temporary total disability for an accepted back condition consisting of a herniated disc. SAIF accepted claimant's herniated disc claim as a part of an earlier nondisabling claim for acute low back strain. SAIF and the Board took the position that, because the disc claim had been accepted as a part of an original nondisabling claim, and because the period for reclassification of the claim under ORS 656.277 had passed, the disc claim should have been processed as nondisabling unless it was successfully asserted as an aggravation claim. Claimant asserted that the disc condition was appropriately characterized as a claim for a new medical condition, for which an independent processing obligation exists and for which benefits for temporary total disability may be paid. After examining the text and context of the pertinent statutes, the court, agreeing with claimant and two dissenting Board members, held that claimant's letter describing the disc condition satisfied each of the criteria necessary to make a claim for a new medical condition under ORS 656.262(7)(a), and that employer's acceptance required processing pursuant to ORS 656.262, including payment of benefits for temporary disability.

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