REQUESTS & ORDERS
In 1995 there were 288 requests for court review of Workers'
Compensation Board (WCB) decisions, fewer than any year since
1989. See Figure 1. The number of board orders on review was
the lowest in six years, while the appeal rate of those orders
(about 21 percent) was the lowest in five years.
The number of court decisions, 172, was also the lowest since
1989. This count excludes three reconsiderations by the court,
four orders on remand from the Oregon Supreme Court, one case
where the issue was non-complying employer, one review of a
contested case decision by the Department of Consumer and
Business Services (see last paragraph), and 26 remands to the
Board. The most frequent reasons for remanding: recent changes
in the law (14 cases), the board needs to address or determine a
fact or issue (six cases), and the board's order did not fully
explain its actions or conclusions (two cases).
The number and relative frequency of each issue are given in the
table. Cases without one of the issues specified in the table
are categorized as "other-issue" cases. The percentage of
extent of disability and other-issue cases were the
second-lowest of the past eight years, while the percentage of
cases with compensability issues, 53.5 percent, was the highest
of that period. The most frequent other issues (including those
in cases with a specified issue) were penalty (27 cases),
claimant attorney fees (19 cases), responsibility (14 cases),
medical services (eight cases), and jurisdiction (seven
Court issue dispositions and WCB affirmation rates are also
given in the table. The court reversed the board in two extent
of permanent disability cases, three claim denial cases, two
aggravation denial cases, and one partial denial case. Of the
six compensability reversals, four were for claims denied by the
board. The WCB affirmation rate for extent of permanent
disability was over 91 percent, but it was still the lowest of
the past five years. The rate for other issues and the overall
rate (80.0 and 89.0 percent, respectively) were the highest of
the past four years. See Figure 2.
The median time lag from request for court review to the date of
the court order was 299 days (9.8 months). See Figure 3. The
claimant was the petitioner in a typical 60.6 percent of the
cases. SAIF was the insurer in 43.4 percent of the cases
(includes multiple-insurer and non-complying employer cases),
compared to last year's 31.9 percent. In three cases the
claimant wanted permanent total disability (PTD) status, and one
case was about the suspension of PTD benefits, in the only
PTD-issue case with PTD granted at any level, the court affirmed
the board's rescission of that award.
DCBS CONTESTED CASE
The above discussions concern court review of WCB decisions;
however, decisions by the DCBS director on workers' compensation
"contested cases" are also appealable to the court. In the only
court case in 1995, the court reversed the director's order. The
director had affirmed the Appellate Review Unit's denial of
claimants request for reconsideration of a determination order
after the insurer-requested reconsideration was completed.
If you have questions about the information contained in
this document please contact by e-mail or phone:
Research Analyst, Research & Analysis Section, Information
Management Division (503) 947-7343
This document was originally published in May
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA), this publication is available in alternative formats by
calling (503) 378-8254 (V/TTY).
The information in IMD publications is in the public domain and
may be reprinted without permission.