In re Compensation of Rude, 070219 ORWC, 18-03281

Docket Nº:WCB 18-03281
Case Date:July 02, 2019
71 Van Natta 697 (2019)
In the Matter of the Compensation of JIM M. RUDE, Claimant
WCB No. 18-03281
Oregon Worker Compensation
July 2, 2019
          Jodie Phillips Polich, Claimant Attorneys           SAIF Legal Salem, Defense Attorneys           Reviewing Panel: Members Lanning and Woodford.           ORDER ON REVIEW          Claimant requests review of Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Naugle’s order that upheld the SAIF Corporation’s denial of claimant’s new/ omitted medical condition claims for a thoracic spine strain/sprain, an anterior costochondritis, a posterior costovertebral joint sprain, and a T7-8 centralized disc protrusion. On review, the issue is compensability.          We adopt and affirm the ALJ’s order with the following supplementation.          In upholding SAIF’s denial of the claimed conditions, the ALJ found the opinion of Dr. Ordonez, a neurosurgeon who examined claimant at his request, unpersuasive. In doing so, the ALJ reasoned that Dr. Ordonez’s opinion was based on an inaccurate history concerning the mechanism of injury, and that he had only examined claimant on one occasion 19 months post injury. Moreover, the ALJ found the opinion of Dr. Walters, claimant’s attending physician and occupational medicine specialist, to be most persuasive. Specifically, the ALJ reasoned that his ability to examine claimant on the day of the incident, as well as his five subsequent examinations, provided him with a superior understanding of claimant’s complaints and examination findings.          On review, claimant challenges the ALJ’s evaluation of the medical evidence. Specifically, he asserts that the opinions of Dr. Walters and Dr. Bell, a neurologist who examined claimant at SAIF’s request, are unpersuasive. Moreover, he contends that Dr. Ordonez provided a well-reasoned opinion based on complete and accurate information, and is entitled to deference as a neurosurgeon. For the following reasons, we affirm the ALJ’s order.          To establish the compensability of his claimed new/omitted medical conditions, claimant must prove that the claimed conditions exist, and that...

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