Daigle v. High View Manor
Maine Health Care Association
November 13, 2014
Pre-Existing Knee Injury at Workplace En Banc Causation
Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys
When an employee injures her knee falling down a set of stairs on the employer’s premises, the hearing officer can find that her injury arose out of employment and is therefore compensable.
Daigle was an LPN who worked on the 3rd floor of High View Manor. She had a pre-existing osteoarthritis in both knees requiring prior arthroscopic surgery. After her shift ended late one night, the elevator was locked, and as she went down the stairs, her left leg gave way and she twisted her right knee. She filed petitions, and High View defended on grounds that the injury was due to her underlying non-work condition, a personal risk she brought with her to the workplace.
H.O. Pelletier granted the petitions, finding that Daigle’s risk of injury on the “institutional stairs” in the workplace was substantially increased above that experienced in normal life, fulfilling “legal causation.” High View appealed, but the en banc panel affirmed the decision, finding competent evidence in the record to support it.