The Sweet Taste of Victory

Wines-Gina_webWe always love a good win at SBH, but it is especially sweet when hard work results in important legal precedent. The Court of Appeals decision in Brumage v. ESCO Corp. became final last week, after the Supreme Court declined claimant’s Petition for Review. 248 Or.App. 399 (2012). In this case, it was undisputed that age was the major cause of claimant’s hearing loss at the time he filed his claim in 2009. Therefore, claimant sought compensation for the period of 1968 to 1994, because occupational noise was the major contributing cause during that time period. The Court of Appeals has previously held a claimant cannot tactically extract a portion of a disease to claim, such as just the high frequency or noise-related portion of their hearing loss. In Brumage, they extended prior holdings to apply to time, clearly stating that a claimant’s hearing loss “disease” is evaluated based on the total hearing loss that he suffered at the time he filed his claim. A claimant cannot extract a compensable time period for which he wants compensability evaluated.

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