Publications
December 21, 2017 Article

WC Board Appellate Division Holds That In-house Medical Treatment Can Serve to Toll Statute of Limitations Under the Current and Former Maine Workers’ Compensation Act

Maine Workers' Comp Alert

In Davis v. Boise Cascade, WCB App. Div. No. 17-41 (December 1, 2017), the issue on appeal was whether a 2001 amendment to 39-A MRSA § 306 applies to claims governed by 39 MRSA § 95 so as to alter what constitutes a payment of benefits for those claims, and, if so, whether the administrative law judge (ALJ) properly applied that amendment to this case.

For dates of injury prior to January 1, 1993, the statute of limitations (39 MRSA § 95) does not contain a provision tolling the time for filing claims in the event that in-house medical care was provided by an employer for a work injury. Effective January 1, 1993, as part of the enactment of the Maine Workers’ Compensation Act of 1992, a new statute of limitations was passed (39-A MRSA § 306). In the new version of Title 39-A is a transition section stating that § 306 was to apply only to injuries on or after January 1, 1993, while dates of injury prior to that date were controlled by the analogous former Title 39. But in 2001, the Legislature amended § 306 to add a new paragraph (A) to subsection (2), tolling the statute of limitations when an injured worker received medical care from the employer’s in-house medical staff. Of note, the application provision of the 2001 amendment states that it “applies to all injuries and illnesses, regardless of when they occurred.” The ALJ found that the 2001 amendment to § 306 applies to the 1989 and 1990 injuries and found the medical treatment provided by NewPage’s in-house medical department had tolled the statute of limitation against Boise Cascade.

The Appellate Division affirmed, finding the ALJ’s interpretation of the amendment adding § 306(2)(A) as applying to all injuries regardless of when they occurred was a reasonable construction and involved no misconception of applicable law.

Firm Highlights

Publication

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...

Publication

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...

News

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...

Publication

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...

Publication

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...

News

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...

Publication

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...

Publication

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...

Publication

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...

Publication

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...