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November 17, 2015 Article

Maine Workers' Compensation Board Appellate Division to Rule on Compensability of Medical Marijuana

In December 2015 the Workers’ Compensation Board Appellate Division will hear oral argument in Bourgoin v. Twin Rivers Paper Company, WCB No. 89-01-36-55 (March 16, 2015), a case in which the WCB found the cost of medical marijuana compensable. Ignoring the classification of marijuana under federal law as an illegal drug, the Hearing Officer found it significant that medical marijuana is, “authorized by state law and tolerated by federal law enforcement.” The Hearing Officer dismissed the argument that Maine law protects “private health insurers” from being required to pay for medical marijuana, by finding that workers’ compensation insurers “are not private health insurers, so this statute does not apply .”

In a more recent case, Noll v. LePage Bakeries, Inc., WCB No. 12-003547B (September 18, 2015), the Hearing Officer denied an employee’s petition seeking payment for medical marijuana, finding that the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act provision that the statute may not be construed to require a “. . . private health insurer to reimburse a person for costs associated with the medical use of marijuana…,” applies to shield a worker’s compensation insurer from responsibility to pay for medical marijuana. The Hearing Officer reasoned that because a workers’ compensation insurer is required to pay work injury related medical bills, it qualifies as a “private health insurer” under the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act.

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Maine WC Alert: WCB Orders Remote Hearings Unless In-Person Deemed Necessary

COVID-19 Concerns Prompt Maine WCB to Order That Hearings Be Conducted Remotely Unless It Is Deemed Necessary to Conduct a Hearing In-Person On March 25, 2020, the Maine WCB issued an order regarding the...

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Maine Workers' Comp Alert: WCB Announces Updates to Several Forms

The Maine Workers’ Compensation Board has revised several forms, which are now available here . The WCB-4 (Discontinuance/Modification) has been divided into two new forms, WCB-4D (Discontinuance) and WCB-4M (Modification). The Discontinuance, Modification, and...

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Update on COVID-19 and Maine Workers' Compensation

In this uncertain time, Preti Flaherty wants to assure you we are still providing full coverage for your Maine Workers’ Compensation and Longshore legal needs. This update briefly addresses current laws and also touches...

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Maine Workers' Comp Alert: Areas of Consideration Due to COVID-19

This alert addresses certain areas of concern with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic and Maine Workers’ Compensation. This alert touches upon new issues to consider, issues of concern for existing claims, and general concerns...

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Maine Workers' Comp Alert: WCB Announces New Nature and Cause of Injury Codes and FAQ for COVID-19

New Nature & Cause of Injury Codes The Maine Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) has updated the Injury Description Tables that are used by the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC) to...

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WC Alert: Recent Developments from Maine's Workers' Compensation Board

Frank A. Graf, MD, Reappointed to Approved List of § 312 Examiners At the February 11 meeting of the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board, Frank Graf, MD, was reappointed to the list of approved § 312...

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Attorney Evan Hansen Selected by Peers as “Lawyer of the Year” in Best Lawyers in America 2021

Preti Flaherty attorney Evan Hansen has been recognized in Best Lawyers in America 2021 as the “Lawyer of the Year” for the Portland region in the field of Workers' Compensation Law - Employers. Inclusion in...

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Maine Workers' Comp Alert: Update on Appellate Division Findings on Notice of Injury Requirements

Maine WC Appellate Division Affirms Decision Finding Untimely Notice of Injury; Reiterates Requirements for Timely Notice As background, the notice period is 90 days for dates of injury between January 1, 1993, and January...

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Maine Workers' Comp Alert: WCB Transition to In-Person Hearings Likely to Occur No Sooner Than August 2020; Section 312 IME’s Have Resumed

A conference with Maine Workers' Compensation Board Executive Director John Rohde was held last week to discuss the transition to in-person hearings at the WCB. The WCB Subcommittees also met to discuss recent developments...

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48 Preti Flaherty Attorneys Selected by Peers for Inclusion in Best Lawyers in America 2021, Including 4 “Lawyers of the Year”

Forty-eight Preti Flaherty attorneys have been named to Best Lawyers in America 2021, including four recognized on the inaugural “Ones to Watch” list for attorneys earlier in their careers and four “Lawyer of the...