In the Matter of the Compensation of Karista D. Peabody, Claimant.
SAIF CORPORATION and Oregon Health & Science University, Respondents. Karista D. PEABODY, Petitioner,
and Submitted April 16, 2019
Workers' Compensation Board 1602309.
M. Quinn argued the cause and fled the briefs for petitioner.
Allison Lesh argued the cause and fled the brief for
Hadlock, Presiding Judge, and DeHoog, Judge, and Aoyagi,
Or.App. 705]PER CURIAM.
seeks review of an order on reconsideration of the
Workers' Compensation Board (board) awarding attorney
fees of $12, 500 pursuant to ORS 656.386(1) for services at
hearing and on review instead of the $31, 000 attorney fee
award that claimant had requested. She raises three
assignments of error. We reject claimant's first
assignment without discussion, writing only to address the
second assignment, in which she contends that the board's
conclusion "that a reasonable fee for claimant's
attorney's services *** is $12, 500" lacks
substantial evidence and reasoning.Specifically, claimant argues
that the board made findings of fact, but did not explain how
its findings led to its conclusion that an attorney fee award
of $12, 500 was reasonable. She seeks reversal of the
board's order and a remand to the board with instructions
to provide a sufficient explanation of the attorney fee
award. In response, SAIF and Oregon Health and Science
University contend that the board sufficiently explained the
basis for the attorney fee award to permit meaningful
appellate review. We agree with claimant that the board erred
by not adequately explaining the basis for the attorney fee
of the board must be supported by substantial reason."
Taylor v. SAIF, 295 Or.App. 199, 203, 433 P.3d 419
(2018). As we explained in Taylor,
"an order is supported by substantial reason when it
articulates the reasoning that leads from the facts found to
the conclusions drawn. The substantial reason requirement
exists both for purposes of meaningful judicial review and to
ensure that the agency gives responsible attention to its
application of the statute. In the specific context of
attorney fee awards in workers' compensation cases, the
Supreme Court has cautioned that, in order to permit
meaningful appellate review, the board cannot simply recite
certain factors and then state a conclusion; rather, it must
articulate how the application of those factors
supports the amount of fees awarded."
295 Or.App. at 203 (emphasis in original; citations and
internal quotation marks omitted).
Or.App. 706] Here, the board's order states that it
"consider[ed] the factors set forth in OAR
438-015-0010(4) and appl[ied] them to this
record." The order also identifies the specific
factors that the board considered. However, the order does
not "articulate a connection between those factors"
and the amount awarded as attorney fees "sufficiently to
allow us to understand the board's reasoning."
Taylor, 295 Or.App. at 203; see also Schoch v.
Leupold & Stevens, 325 Or. 112, 119, 934 P.2d 410
(1997) ("The Board, however, did not explain how any of
the rule-based factors that it considered *** weighed in its
decision-making process and led to the fee that it awarded.
The answer is not apparent to us from a mere recitation of
those factors."). Because the board simply gave a
conclusion and did not explain how the factors it considered
resulted in its decision, the board's order lacks
substantial reason. More information is necessary for us to
review the fee award. Accordingly, we reverse and remand for
reconsideration of the attorney fee award.