Oriol v. Portland Housing Authority
Maine Employers' Mutual Insurance Company
December 24, 2014
IME§312 Adopting in Part Clear and Convincing Evidence Lower Back Wrist Foot Pre-Existing Conditions
Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys
A hearing officer can adopt an IME’s written opinion regarding causation, even if the IME’s later deposition testimony creates ambiguity.
Oriel was a maintenance worker who had significant pre-existing injuries to his low back, left wrist and right foot. He suffered an injury at work and claimed aggravations of his prior conditions. H.O. Collier found he sustained a hernia in the work accident, but denied that his ongoing low back, neck and left wrist problems were causally connected to that injury, based on Dr. Bradford’s IME opinion. Oriel appealed on grounds that Dr. Bradford’s deposition testimony supported causation and that he used an improper standard – direct causation – in determining a lack of ongoing causation. The panel affirmed the decision, finding that H.O. Collier’s decision putting the deposition testimony in context was supported by competent evidence in the record.