In the Matter of the Compensation of Alicia G. Tono, Claimant. SAIF CORPORATION and HCW CLIENTS, Petitioners,
ALICIA G. TONO, Respondent
Argued and submitted July 2, 2014
Workers' Compensation Board. 1200495.
David L. Runner argued the cause and filed the briefs for petitioners.
Spencer D. Kelly argued the cause for respondent. With him on the briefs was Welch, Bruun & Green.
Before Duncan, Presiding Judge, and Wollheim, Judge, and Lagesen, Judge.
[265 Or.App. 526] LAGESEN, J.
The question in this case is whether ORS 656.039(5) limits the workers' compensation coverage available to a home care worker funded by the state on behalf of the client to only those injuries suffered by the worker while performing state-funded activities--as distinguished from those activities not funded by the state--for the client. We conclude that it does not.
This case arises on SAIF Corporation's (SAIF's) petition for judicial review of an order of the Workers' Compensation Board (board). The pertinent facts are not disputed. Claimant is a home care worker within
the meaning of ORS 410.600. At the time of her injury, she was employed by her client/employer through a program administered, in part, by the State of Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS). As part of that program, a DHS Case Manager generated a " Service Plan" for claimant's client/employer and an associated " Task List" for claimant. The " Service Plan" and " Task List" set forth the number of home care service hours for which claimant's home care client/employer was eligible under the program and identified the tasks for which the claimant would be compensated. Claimant's Task List for her client/employer provided, among other things, that she was to assist the client with " moving around outside," [265 Or.App. 527] " [p]lacing food/utensils within reach," " [b]reakfast [p]reparation," and " get[ting] in/out of a vehicle." The Task List did not specifically authorize claimant to transport the client/employer or to conduct any services for the client/employer away from the client/employer's home. Under the DHS program, claimant's client/employer was her employer, and was responsible for hiring claimant, directing claimant's work, and, ultimately, firing claimant. However, claimant was paid through DHS for providing the services on the Task List.
One morning, after claimant had performed some services on the Task List, the client/employer requested that claimant take her out for breakfast because the client/employer did not want to have breakfast at home. Claimant complied with the request and, while driving her client/employer to get breakfast, was involved in a motor vehicle accident. Claimant sustained injuries requiring medical treatment.
Thereafter, claimant submitted a workers' compensation claim to petitioner SAIF in connection with the injury. SAIF denied the claim on the ground that claimant's injury " did not arise out of or occur within the course of [her] employment." Claimant requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), and, following the hearing, the ALJ upheld SAIF's denial, also concluding that claimant's injury " did not arise out of or in the course and scope of her employment." The ALJ found that claimant had taken the client/employer out to breakfast at the client/employer's direction but that that activity was not on claimant's Task List. Based on those findings, the ALJ concluded that claimant's injury did not occur in the scope of her employment because it did not occur during a Task List activity.
Claimant appealed the ALJ's order to the board, and the board reversed the ALJ's order and set aside SAIF's denial of claimant's claim. The board concluded that claimant's injury arose out of, and occurred in the course of, claimant's employment, based on the fact that the injury occurred during her employment hours, while she was performing a service for her employer, and at the direction of her employer, even though the injury occurred during an activity that was not included on the Task List. As a result, [265 Or.App. 528] ...