November 7, 2016 Article

Maine Workers' Comp Alert: Appellate Division Rulings Update

Workers' Compensation Alert

Maine Appellate Division Affirms Award for Injury Resulting from Employer-Provided Hepatitis B Vaccination
In Torrey v. Island Nursing Home, Me. WCB App. Div. No. 16-34 (October 28, 2016) the Appellate Division affirmed an award of benefits, finding a compensable work injury occurred due to an adverse reaction to a hepatitis B vaccination. The employee, a CNA, received her first injection for the vaccination prior to commencing work for the employer, a nursing home. She received additional injections to complete the vaccination while employed by the nursing home, after being informed by the employer that the injections were free, encouraged, but not required. If the employee had refused she would have been segregated from working with hepatitis B residents but her employment otherwise would have been unaffected. The Appellate Division found the adverse reaction to the vaccination constituted a compensable work injury because the employee receiving the vaccination promoted the employer’s interest, was within the terms and conditions of employment and was acquiesced to by the employer.

Maine Appellate Division Clarifies that an Offset May be Taken for Old-Age Social Security Benefits Only for the Same Period in which Benefits Are Paid
In Urrutia v. Interstate Brands International, WCB App. Div. No. 16-35 (October 31, 2016) the Appellate Division reversed a decision permitting an insurer to stop benefit payments until it exhausted a credit for Social Security retirement benefits previously received for which the employer had not concurrently taken the applicable statutory offset. The Appellate Division found the order allowing a discontinuance of incapacity benefit payments impermissibly facilitated the recovery of a unilateral overpayment of benefits. The Appellate Division reasoned that section 221 requires that the offset be taken only “with respect to the same period” for which the employee is receiving or has received benefits.

Firm Highlights


Maine WC Alert: Appellate Division Reiterates Requirement to Trigger Retirement Presumption

Maine Workers' Comp Appellate Division Reiterates That Working in Customary Job Until Retirement Constitutes “Termination of Active Employment” Sufficient to Trigger the Retirement Presumption In Capitan v. NewPage Paper (WCB 19-10 [App. Div. April...


Maine WC Alert: Appellate Division Rules No Consequences Under 218 for Deferment of Receipt of Old-Age Social Security Benefits

In Pratt v. S.D. Warren (No. 19-3 [WCB App. Div. April 30, 2019]), S.D. Warren appealed a decision denying its Petition for Approval of Discontinuance of Incapacity Benefits. An employer may reduce incapacity benefits...


Maine WC Appellate Division Addresses Refusal of Suitable Work and Notice

The Maine Workers' Compensation Appellate Division recently addressed cases dealing with refusal of suitable work and notice. Both decisions rely heavily on the specific facts of each case. In the context of a refusal...


Maine WC Alert: Appellate Division Clarifies Section 327 Death Presumption

Maine Workers' Compensation Appellate Division Clarifies Burdens of Production and Proof Regarding Notice in the Context of the Section 327 Death Presumption In Estate of Deyone v. ITG Brands, LLC (WCB App. Div. 19-7...


Maine WC Alert: MAE Unit Publishes Guidance on Compliance with Recent Amendments

The Maine Workers’ Compensation Board’s Monitoring, Audit & Enforcement Unit has issued a document to provide guidance on complying with certain recent amendments to the Workers’ Compensation Act in P.L. 2019, c. 344 (LD...


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Following the recent statutory changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act, the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board has updated the language in Box 22 of the Notice of Controversy. This new version should be used as...


Maine WC Alert: Appellate Division Addresses the Issue of Timely Notice in Two Recent Decisions

For claims for which the date of injury is on or after January 1, 2013, unless otherwise provided by the Maine Workers' Compensation Act, proceedings may not be maintained unless notice of an injury...


Maine WC Alert: Latest Appellate Division Rulings on Health Insurance Payments, Social Security Benefits

The Maine Workers' Comp Appellate Division recently issued rulings in the cases of Rich v. Maine Turnpike Authority and Butler v. City of Portland. Health Insurance Payments Made by Self-Insured Employer for Health Insurance...


Maine WC Alert: New Legislation Brings Procedural Changes, Benefit Modifications

LD 756 (“ An Act To Improve the Maine Workers’ Compensation Act of 1992 ”), was signed into law by Governor Mills on June 17, 2019. LD 756 has an effective date of September...


Maine WC Alert: Appellate Division Upholds Ruling on Reinstatement Provisions and Termination of Benefits

Maine WC Appellate Division Holds That Ongoing Noncompliance with Reinstatement Provisions in Section 218 Precludes Termination of Benefits for Expiration of Durational Cap Under 213 Section 218 of the Maine Workers’ Compensation Act provides...