Or. Admin. R. 438-007-0015 - Entitlement to Claims Information - Disclosure Require?ments

(1) With respect to a claim for workers' compensation benefits and as used in this section, references to the insurer and the claimant include persons acting on their behalf, and references to the insurer include the self-insured employer, claims processing agents and assigned claims processing agents for non-complying employers.
(2) Documents pertaining to claims are obtained by mailing or delivering a copy of the Request for Hearing, or a written demand accompanied by an attorney retention agreement or medical information release, to the insurer. Within 15 days of said mailing or delivering, the insurer shall furnish the claimant and other insurers, without cost, originals or legible copies of all medical and vocational reports and other documents pertaining to the claim(s) as specified below.
(3) Upon written demand by the insurer, the claimant shall within 15 days of the mailing or delivering of the demand, furnish to the insurer, without cost, originals or legible copies of all medical and vocational reports and other documents pertaining to the claim(s) as specified below, which the claimant did not receive from the insurer (or self-insured employer) making the demand. In cases involving multiple insurers, an insurer shall seek discovery in accordance with section (9) of this rule.
(4) Documents acquired after the initial exchanges shall be provided to the insurer(s) and the claimant within seven days after the disclosing party's receipt of the documents.
(5) For the purpose of this rule, "documents pertaining to the claim(s)" or any variation thereof means documents and recordings, whether written or electronic or in any other form, which consist of the following items applicable to the workers' compensation claim:
(a) Medical and vocational reports, including any correspondence to and from the medical and vocational experts who provide the reports or who agree to testify on behalf of the party sending correspondence;
(b) Official forms and notices required by ORS Chapter 656, the Workers' Compensation Division or the Workers' Compensation Board, as they relate to the claim(s);
(c) Investigative statements, including a party's statement, and investigative summaries;
(d) Correspondence to and from the Workers' Compensation Division and the Workers' Compensation Board; and
(e) Upon specific request, records of all compensation paid, payroll records, records or statements of wages earned by the claimant, and copies of bills from medical and vocational service providers rendering treatment or services to the claimant.
(6) After the disclosure required by this rule, either the claimant or the insurer may request further specific discovery of other factual documents relevant and material to an issue raised by the Request for Hearing or the Response thereto, or any other issue which thereafter arises and is subject to the jurisdiction of the Workers' Compensation Board.
(7) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the following documents pertaining to the claim(s) are not discoverable:
(a) Material protected under the attorney/client privilege as defined in Oregon Rules of Evidence ORS 40.225 Rule 503;
(b) Material which is the work product of any attorney, except that correspondence and any inclusions sent to a medical or vocational expert who writes a report that is otherwise subject to disclosure under these rules or who agrees to testify at the request of the corresponding party shall be discoverable under subsection (5)(a) of this rule;
(c) Material reflecting the mental impressions, case value or merit, plans or thought processes of the claimant or insurer;
(d) Material protected by ORS 656.260; and
(e) Material protected from disclosure under OAR 438-007-0017 (impeachment).
(8) It is the express policy of the Board to promote the full and complete discovery of all relevant facts and expert opinion bearing on a claim being litigated before the Hearings Division, consistent with the right of each party to due process of law. Failure to comply with this rule, if found to be unreasonable or unjustified, may result in the imposition of penalties and attorney fees, exclusion of evidence, continuance of a hearing (subject to OAR 438-006-0091), and/or dismissal of a request for hearing.
(9) When a new party is joined into existing litigation, the disclosure of discoverable documents and the exhibit list shall be made available to the new party by the insurer with the lowest WCB case number. This disclosure shall be made as soon as reasonable but no later than 15 days from the insurer's receipt of notice of the joinder of the new party.
(10) Any dispute under this rule regarding whether something is discoverable, in whole or in part, will be resolved by the assigned Administrative Law Judge or the designee of the Presiding Administrative Law Judge.

Notes

Or. Admin. R. 438-007-0015
WCB 1-1984, f. 4-5-84, ef. 5-1-84; Suspended by WCB 3-1987(Temp), f. 8-27-87, ef. 9-15-87; WCB 5-1987, f. 12-18-87, ef. 1-1-88; WCB 2-1989, f. 3-3-89, ef. 4-1-89; WCB 2-1995, f. 11-13-95, cert. ef. 1-1-96; WCB 2-1997, f. 12-12-97, cert. ef. 3-1-98; WCB 1-2003, f. 2-21-03, cert. ef. 5-1-03; WCB 1-2012, f. 8-22-12, cert. ef. 11-1-12

Stat. Auth.: ORS 656.726(5)

Stats. Implemented: ORS 656.307 & 656.726(5)

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