In re Compensation of Mora, 011419 ORWC, 17-03735

Docket Nº:WCB 17-03735
Case Date:January 14, 2019
70 Van Natta 26 (2018)
In the Matter of the Compensation of SILVIA FLORES-DE MORA, Claimant
WCB No. 17-03735
Oregon Worker Compensation
January 14, 2019
          Donald M Hooton Attorney At Law, Claimant Attorneys           SAIF Legal Salem, Defense Attorneys           Reviewing Panel: Members Curey and Ousey.           ORDER ON REVIEW          Claimant requests review of Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Naugle’s order that upheld the SAIF Corporation’s denial of claimant’s occupational disease claim for bilateral upper extremity conditions. On review, the issue is compensability.          We adopt and affirm the ALJ’s order with the following supplementation.          In upholding SAIF’s denial, the ALJ was not persuaded that claimant’s work activities were the major contributing cause of the claimed bilateral upper extremity conditions. In doing so, the ALJ concluded that the opinion of Dr. Bedolla, claimant’s primary care physician, was unpersuasive.          On review, claimant disagrees with the ALJ’s decision to uphold the employer’s denial. Based on the following reasoning, we affirm the ALJ’s decision.          To establish a compensable occupational disease, claimant must prove that employment conditions were the major contributing cause of the disease. ORS 656.266(1); ORS 656.802(2)(a). The “major contributing cause” is the cause, or combination of causes, that contributed more than all other causes combined. Dietz v. Ramuda, 130 Or.App. 397, 401-02 (1994), rev dismissed, 321 Or. 416 (1995).          Because of the disagreement between medical experts regarding the compensability of the claimed condition, the claim presents a complex medical question that must be resolved by expert medical opinion. Barnett v. SAIF, 122 Or.App. 279, 282 (1993). More weight is given to those medical opinions that are well-reasoned and based on complete information. Somers v. SAIF, 77 Or.App. 259, 263 (1986).          [70 Van Natta 27] Here, we find that Dr. Bedolla’s opinion, the only one supporting the compensability of claimant’s disputed bilateral upper extremity...

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