In re Compensation of Parkinson, 041119 ORWC, 17-05163

Docket Nº:WCB 17-05163
Case Date:April 11, 2019
71 Van Natta 398 (2019)
In the Matter of the Compensation of KENNETH R. PARKINSON, Claimant
WCB No. 17-05163
Oregon Worker Compensation
April 11, 2019
          Glen J Lasken, Claimant Attorneys           Sather Byerly & Holloway, Defense Attorneys           Reviewing Panel: Members Woodford and Lanning.           ORDER ON REVIEW          The self-insured employer requests review of Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Kekauoha’s order that set aside its denial of claimant’s occupational disease claim for bilateral hand and wrist conditions. On review, the issue is compensability.          We adopt and affirm the ALJ’s order with the following supplementation.          In setting aside the employer’s denial, the ALJ determined that the opinion of Dr. Hoblet, claimant’s treating orthopedic hand specialist, persuasively established that claimant’s work activities as a “chamber” welder were the major contributing cause of his bilateral hand and wrist conditions. Accordingly, the ALJ concluded that the claimed conditions were compensable occupational diseases.          On review, the employer contends that Dr. Hoblet’s opinion is unpersuasive because he did not adequately consider the relative contribution of claimant’s Type II diabetes or a “potential” inflammatory arthritis condition. For the following reasons, we disagree.          To establish a compensable occupational disease claim, claimant must prove that employment conditions were the major contributing cause of his bilateral hand and wrist conditions. ORS 656.266(1); ORS 656.802(2)(a); Lori M. Lawrence, 60 Van Natta 727, 728 (2008). The major contributing cause is the cause, or combination of causes, that contributed more than all other causes combined. McGarrah v. SAIF, 296 Or. 145, 166 (1983); Deitz v. Ramuda, 130 Or.App. 397, 401 (1994), rev dismissed, 321 Or. 416 (1995).          Determination of the major contributing cause is a complex medical question that must be resolved on the basis of expert medical opinion. Jackson County v. Wehren, 186 Or.App. 555, 559 (2013) (citing Uris v. Comp. Dep t , 247 Or. 420...

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