In re Compensation of Staneart, 100821 ORWC, 19-00890

Docket NºWCB 19-00890
Case DateOctober 08, 2021
73 Van Natta 745 (2021)
In the Matter of the Compensation of CHRIS STANEART, Claimant
WCB No. 19-00890
Oregon Worker Compensation
October 8, 2021
          Ransom Gilbertson Martin et al, Claimant Attorneys           Law Offices of Kathryn R Morton, Defense Attorneys          ORDER ON REVIEW          Reviewing Panel: Ousey and Curey.          Claimant requests review of that portion of Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Fulsher’s order that upheld the insurer’s denial of his new/omitted medical condition claim for a T5 compression fracture condition. In its respondent’s brief, the insurer challenges that portion of the ALJ’s order that set aside its denial of claimant’s new/omitted medical condition claim for a cervical and thoracic syringomyelia (syrinx) condition. On review, the issue is compensability.          We adopt and affirm the ALJ’s order with the following supplementation.1          T5 Compression Fracture          In upholding the insurer’s denial of claimant’s T5 fracture, the ALJ determined that the opinion of Dr. Balog, claimant’s attending physician, did not persuasively establish the compensability of the claimed condition. In reaching this conclusion, the ALJ reasoned that Dr. Balog did not sufficiently rebut the opinions of Drs. Almaraz and Bremner, who examined claimant at the insurer’s request, that there was no documentation in the medical record supporting a relationship between the T5 fracture and the 1993 work injury. Moreover, the ALJ noted that the T5 fracture condition was not mentioned in the medical record until 2014 and that Dr. Almaraz indicated that claimant had osteoporosis that predisposes a person to fractures.          On review, claimant contends that Dr. Almaraz’s opinion that the T5 fracture is unrelated to the October 1993 work injury was based on an inaccurate understanding that claimant had osteoporosis. We disagree.          [73 Van Natta 746] Dr. Almaraz posited that plausible causes of claimant’s fracture could be osteoporosis or a 2014 mechanism of injury in which claimant coughed or sneezed and had a sudden onset of thoracic pain. (Ex. 34-14). However, Dr. Almaraz...

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