Andrews v. Savage Services
December 16, 2013
CategoriesPartial Benefits / Refusal of Employment
§214 Partial benefits Incapacity Causation Deep Vein Thrombosis
Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys
Andrews drove a chemical tank-truck for Savage Services and was fired for failure to follow mandatory safety procedures. Two months later, his doctor diagnosed a deep vein thrombosis in his leg, which Andrews claimed was causally related to his prior work at Savage Services. The employer raised §214 as a defense, arguing that it fired Andrews for cause, disqualifying him from receiving partial benefits under §214. Hearing Officer Knopf found that §214 did not apply because Andrews did not work after the date of his claimed gradual injury, as that was the day Savage fired him.
The Appellate Division affirmed her decision, holding that §214 applies only where there is post-injury employment, and there was none here because the date of injury coincided with the date of termination. The Appellate Division noted that Savage Services did not challenge the date of injury alleged by the employee, and that should remind us to ensure that the date of a gradual injury is "the date the injury became manifest to the employee," as the Maine Supreme Court has previously held. In this case, for example, the employee had symptoms and received medical treatment "in the summer of 2010," before he was terminated. It is possible that the date of first medical treatment would be the date of injury, thus allowing §214 to apply.