Appeal from Circuit Court, Douglas County. Don H. Sanders, Judge.
Allan H. Coons, Eugene, argued the cause for appellant. With him on the brief were Coons & Malagon, Eugene.
Al J. Laue, Assistant Attorney General, Salem, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Lee Johnson, Attorney General, and John W. Osburn, Solicitor General, Salem.
Fort, Judge. Schwab, Chief Judge, and Foley, Judge.
This is an appeal by the claimant from a decision of the circuit court denying her any award for permanent partial disability, allegedly sustained as the result of an on-the-job injury occurring in January 1968. The hearing officer had awarded her 240 degrees. On appeal to the Workmen's Compensation Board by the defendant the Board reduced the award to 64 degrees. The workperson appealed that order to the circuit court, resulting in the denial of any award.
The defendant concedes, and the evidence is clear, that claimant suffered a compensable industrial injury. She received prompt medical treatment and remained under constant medical care and treatment thereafter. The injury resulted from a fall from a height of several feet to a concrete floor, claimant landing in what the medical reports refer to as a "prat fall" position. The injury was to the coccygeal and lumbar sacral area. She continued on her job as a cook in a cafe for a few months while receiving treatment until the pain and discomfort in the injured area
required her to stop working. Thereafter she was on permanent partial disability for approximately 18 months. The Closing and Evaluation Division then issued two determination orders, the last of which was on February 3, 1970, some two years after the injury. Neither of these allowed permanent partial disability. On February 16, 1970, claimant was involved in a motor accident, receiving serious injuries to her upper thoracic area, head and neck, and to one knee. The injuries included some broken ribs and a simple fracture of the right wrist. Most of the problems and resulting differences among the reviewing authorities below arise out of this unfortunate occurrence. Some time after the 1968 injury she was knocked down by a blow to the head by her husband, from whom she is now divorced. No claim for aggravation is asserted by the claimant here as a result of either of those occurrences.
As a result of the motor accident, Mrs. Smith filed a civil action for damages. The complaint filed in her behalf therein included the allegation that prior to the motor accident of February 16, 1970, Mrs. Smith was a healthy, able-bodied woman, and able to work. Mrs. Smith verified that complaint.
Three different views of the effect of this evidence were taken below.
The hearing officer concluded:
"The fact that claimant signed a complaint in a civil action, following her accident of February 1970, wherein she recited she was an able bodied woman, able to work, does not persuade me that she was so in fact. Legal pleadings are often overstated to give full leeway for subsequent jury findings or to ...