Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Compensation of Gadalean

Supreme Court of Oregon

April 18, 2019

In the Matter of the Compensation of Cozmin I. Gadalean, Claimant.
v.
SAIF CORPORATION and Imperial Trucking, Inc., Petitioners on Review. Cozmin I. GADALEAN, Respondent on Review,

          Argued and submitted May 10, 2018

          On review from the Court of Appeals (WCB 14-03356) (CA A161887). [*]

          Julie Masters, SAIF Corporation, Salem, argued the cause and filed the briefs on behalf of petitioners on review.

          Julene M. Quinn, Portland, argued the cause and filed the brief on behalf of respondent on review.

          Before Walters, Chief Justice, and Balmer, Nakamoto, Flynn, and Nelson, Justices, and Landau, Senior Justice pro t empore. [**]

         [364 Or. 708] Case Summary:

         Claimant, a commercial truck driver, was injured when he fell from employer's truck during a pre-employment drive test that consisted of an actual delivery for an employer. The Workers' Compensation Board denied claimant coverage, concluding that he did not qualify as a worker at the time of the injury. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that Oregon's minimum wage laws would have entitled claimant to be paid for the delivery and that, therefore, he was a worker within the meaning of the workers' compensation statute.

         Held:

         Claimant was not a worker within the meaning of ORS 656.005(30) because he did not reasonably expect a remuneration in exchange for completing the driving test.

         The decision of the Court of Appeals is reversed. The order of the Workers' Compensation Board is affirmed.

         [364 Or. 709] NELSON, J.

         This case requires us to decide whether the definition of "worker" in the Workers' Compensation Law encompasses a claimant injured during a pre-employment drive test that consisted of an actual delivery for an employer. To qualify for workers' compensation, a claimant must be a "worker." ORS 656.027. ORS 656.005(30) defines "worker," in part, as a person "who engages to furnish services for a remuneration." Claimant, a commercial truck driver, was sent on a supervised delivery by and for employer as a pre-employment drive test. He was injured when he fell from employer's truck. The Workers' Compensation Board (the board) denied claimant coverage, concluding that he did not qualify as a worker at the time of the injury. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that Oregon's minimum wage laws would have entitled claimant to be paid for the delivery and that, therefore, he was a worker within the meaning of the workers' compensation statute. Gadalean v. SAIF, 286 Or.App. 227, 398 P.3d 503 (2017). For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the Court of Appeals erred, and we affirm the board's denial of coverage.

         FACTS

         We take the historical facts from the board's findings set out in its order. Those include the earlier findings of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), which the board adopted along with its own factual summary.

         In May 2014, claimant responded to employer's job advertisement for a truck driver position. He applied for the position by email and submitted his resume online. He also completed a drug screen and provided employer with copies of his current Commercial Driver's License, medical card, social security card, and DMV records, along with the results of the drug screen.

         Soon thereafter, employer's owner, Van Hyning, had claimant come to his office for an interview, where they discussed his application and the requirements of the job. Claimant was scheduled to take a mandatory U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) pre-employment [364 Or. 710] driving test. The board found that no offer of employment was made during that meeting.

         On June 4, 2014, claimant met with Hanson, one of employer's truck drivers, for the driving test. Claimant drove one of employer's trucks, with Hanson as a passenger, to a designated delivery location. While disconnecting hoses from the trailer at that location, claimant fell four or five feet from the truck to the ground. He landed on his left hip and experienced significant pain. Claimant's injury rendered him unable to drive the truck, and Hanson drove to the next stop, where they picked up an empty container before returning to employer's premises.

         Van Hyning did not ask claimant to come back to finish the driving test. Claimant did not fill out any employment tax forms. He did not receive any written offer of employment.

         After the accident, claimant sought medical treatment for his injury and was diagnosed with left hip strain. On June 10, 2014, claimant filed an injury claim with SAIF, alleging that he had injured himself on June 4, while working for employer as a truck driver. Claimant also submitted Workers' Compensation Form 801 to employer. On that form, under "date worker hired," employer wrote "pre-employment driving test," because claimant had not been hired yet and the driving test and evaluative process had been unpaid work.

         As part of SAIF's investigation of his claim, claimant told a SAIF investigator that he had understood that Van Hyning had "want[ed] to evaluate me," which was why he had sent claimant with another driver. Claimant did not know whether June 4 had been considered a training day or a preemployment evaluation day. As he understood it, the agreement was that Van Hyning would assess how he performed on June 4, and, if he passed, he would "continue working." Claimant also told the investigator that he had not received any written offer of employment nor filled out any employment tax form.

         SAIF denied compensability of the claim, asserting that claimant had not been a subject worker at the time of [364 Or. 711] the injury because he had not met the definition of "worker" in ORS 656.005(30). On claimant's request, an ALJ later conducted a hearing, at which he considered the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.