Reinisch Wilson Weier PC Workers' Compensation Defense and Employment Law

Case Law Updates

Independent contractor or covered worker? Check the Washington law

By Casondra Albrecht and John Zanetti - on: May 19, 2015
Although it may seem like a misnomer, independent contractors may still fall under the coverage of the Washington Industrial Insurance Act (“Act”). As many employers well know, the line between an exempt independent contractor and a covered worker can be elusive. While two recent Washington Court of Appeals decisions did not solve this issue for…

Final decision in Brown v. SAIF now up to the Oregon Supreme Court

By Courtney Kreutz and Kelly Niemeyer - on: May 15, 2015
Workers’ compensation practitioners had their own version of “Super Bowl Sunday” this past week when the Supreme Court of Oregon heard oral arguments May 11 in SAIF’s appeal of Brown v. SAIF.[1] Brown, as many know, dramatically altered the landscape when processing combined condition claims and represented a significant departure from well-established legal precedent. The…

Crabb v. Department of Labor and Industries: The Washington Court of Appeals holds the 2011 COLA freeze does not apply to maximum time-loss claims.

By Christy Doornink and Shawna Fruin - on: Jul 01, 2014
On June 5, 2014 the Washington Court of Appeals published a decision that affects time-loss calculations for workers receiving the maximum time-loss rate, specifically holding that workers receiving the maximum time-loss rate in 2011 are entitled to a recalculation/increase despite the 2011 cost of living adjustment (COLA) freeze. To understand the Court’s decision, background information…

Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals v. South Kitsap School District, Zimmerman, & DLI: Board should not consider the “best interest” of represented workers when evaluating structured settlements

By Christy Doornink and Shawna Fruin - on: Jul 01, 2014
Claim resolution structured settlement agreements (CRSSA) were adopted by the Washington legislature in 2011 and launched in 2012. CRSSA proponents anticipated the program would create a significant savings for the Department of Labor and Industries. However, the Department’s 2013 Report to the Legislature admitted the CRSSA program’s projected two-year savings ($405 million) was overestimated by…

Brown v. SAIF: The Oregon Court of Appeals overhauls legal precedent on definition of “compensable injury” in ORS Chapter 656

By Nathan Goin - on: May 20, 2014
The Oregon Court of Appeals recently departed from established legal precedent after adopting an “incident focused” approach to defining a worker’s “compensable injury.” On May 7, 2014 the Oregon Court of Appeals issued its decision in Royce L. Brown, Sr., vs. SAIF Corporation, ____ P.3d ____, 2014, 2014 WL 1819826 (2014) (case number to be assigned), reversing decisions by the Workers’ Compensation Board and the ALJ below that upheld SAIF Corporation’s denial of the worker’s combined condition.

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