Clayton v. State of Maine

Date: December 16, 2016

Topic: Entitlement to Incapacity Benefits During Full-time School Attendance

In a recent decision by the Maine Workers’ Compensation Appellate Division, the panel upheld Administrative Law Judge Pelletier’s determination that full-time school attendance does not preclude an award of partial incapacity benefits. The employee’s Petition for Award was granted at the hearing level, providing him with ongoing partial incapacity benefits for a work-related right hand and wrist injury. The Department argued the employee’s decision to attend school full-time without working constituted a removal from the workforce, disqualifying him from receiving incapacity benefits during that period.

The panel disagreed with their arguments and affirmed the decision, providing the employee only needed to show a decrease in his ability to earn due to the effects of the injury.

Full Text,_Department_of_Defense,_Veterans_&_Emergency_Management_12-16-16.pdf

Genest v. S.D. Warren Company

Decided: November 3, 2016

Topic: Average Weekly Wage Calculation with Fringe Benefits

It may be tempting to read this recent Appellate Division decision and choose to overlook it due too much math being involved to figure out what exactly has been decided and whether it matters. Luckily for you, I’ve done all the math and will just tell you now – the difference in the two arguments in dollars and cents could be astounding for similar lifetime cases. Plainly, the employer/insurer argued the benefit should be capped at $97.78, but the panel affirmed the Administrative Law Judge’s decision the employee is entitled to $156.05. Here are the facts that get us there…

Torrey v. Island Nursing Home

Decided: October 28, 2016

Topic: Arising out of employment

In a recent en banc decision by the Maine Workers’ Compensation Appellate Division, the panel upheld Administrative Law Judge David Hirtle’s determination that a non-mandatory vaccination injury arose out of the employment. The Workers’ Compensation Board director, Paul Sighinolfi, determined the issues presented by Torrey v. Island Nursing Home warranted consideration by the entire panel of Administrative Law Judges, thus why it is called an *en banc *decision. Also unique is that the oral argument for this case was held live at this past year’s Comp Summit at the Samoset Resort before a large crowd.

Cantara v. Dube Design & Construction, Inc.

Decided: October 20, 2016

Topic: Payment of benefits pending appeal

Promptly pay what is ordered whether or not you agree with the decision – this is the message the Maine Workers’ Compensation Appellate Division recently affirmed in a pair of decisions in “Cantara v. Dube Design & Construction, Inc”. Administrative law judge Mike Stovall had ordered payment of incapacity benefits during the initial proceeding on account of Mr. Cantara being deemed an employee and not an independent contractor. Those benefits were not paid within the mandatory 10 day period and Mr. Cantara pursued penalties under 39-A M.R.S.A §324(2). $5,000.00 was awarded