Lindeman-Cibelli v. Maine Medical Center

Summary:  The Appellate Division panel found Hearing Officer Collier did not err in (1) adopting the opinion of one independent medical examiner over another, or (2) in determining the employer/insurer did not meet its burden of proof on the issue of changed medical circumstances and declining to reopen the compensation payment scheme.

The panel found the hearing officer could reasonably have been persuaded by the evidence it was highly probable one IME opinion was wrong. It also noted a finding that a party failed to meet its burden of proof is a conclusion of law subject to appeal; however, such a conclusion may only be overturned where the facts found by the hearing officer legally compel a contrary conclusion. The panel found the testimony in this case did not compel such a conclusion and affirmed the decision.

Lindeman-Cibelli v. Maine Medical Center