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Oregon Supreme Court Defines “Arthritis”


On December 9, 2010, the Oregon Supreme Court decided:

Barbara L. Hopkins v. SAIF Corp., et al., (WCB 0407794) (CA A138825) (SC S058081)

“… On review from the Court of Appeals in a judicial review from an order of the Workers’ Compensation Board. Hopkins v. SAIF, 232 Or App 439, 222 P3d 1140 (2009)….

Today, the Oregon Supreme Court held that, for the purpose of defining pre-existing conditions for workers’ compensation claims, the term “arthritis” means (1) the inflammation of one or more joints, (2) due to infectious, metabolic, or constitutional causes, and (3) resulting in breakdown, degeneration, or structural change….

Karjalainen held that the standard dictionary definition of “arthritis” as an “inflammation of one or more joints due to infectious, metabolic, or constitutional causes” was the legal meaning of the term “arthritis” in ORS 656.005(24)(a)(A). On remand, the board held that petitioner had pre-existing arthritis under that definition. Petitioner appealed and the Court of Appeals affirmed without opinion….
” (Link to full case.)

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