Parent v. NewPage
Sedgwick Claims Management Services
October 8, 2014
Overuse Injury Elbow Lower Back Work Capacity Roy v. BIW
Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys
Parent had an "overuse injury" to his elbows on 11/5/08 and a low back injury 11/30/09. After returning to work with restrictions, Parent’s doctor removed the restrictions and allowed him to work full-time, full duty, without any further loss of wages. Parent had a variety of non-work conditions, including a mental condition that took him out of work entirely on 5/13/10.
Parent filed petitions attempting to link his mental condition to his work, but HO Goodnough rejected that claim. Parent also claimed that he continued to have elbow and low back symptoms and should receive incapacity benefits for those conditions. NewPage argued that he had been taken out of work entirely for his mental condition and that he had no ongoing restrictions or lost time related to his prior work injuries. HO Goodnough granted Parent’s petition and ordered NewPage to pay him partial incapacity benefits relating to his prior work injuries.
Both NewPage and Parent appealed to the Appellate Division, which upheld HO Goodnough’s decision, citing the Maine Supreme Court’s decision in Roy v. BIW, 2008 ME 94, 952 A.2d 965. In Roy, the employee was receiving partial incapacity benefits when he was taken out of work for a subsequent non-work related condition, and a divided Court held that the work-related incapacity benefits must continue despite the subsequent non-work-related total disability. In Parent, the Appellate Division extended that decision to apply to employees who are not losing work time or receiving incapacity benefits when they go out of work for a subsequent non-work condition.