Gallant v. Webber Oil
Maine Employers' Mutual Insurance Company
April 7, 2015
IME§312 Clear and Convincing Evidence Skin Contrary Evidence
Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys
A hearing officer can reject an IME opinion, given clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.
Gallant was an oil burner service technician. 10 years after he started work for Webber, he noticed a change in the skin on his forearms. One of his doctors diagnosed contact dermatitis from the oil, but another of his doctors concluded that his condition was not related to oil fumes or contact with oil. Dr. Castorina agreed that it was not work-related, as did Dr. Mainen in a records review.
Gallant file a petition and had an IME by a dermatologist. The IME found that Gallant’s skin problems were work-related, as they coincided with a change in the fuel oil and they waxed and waned depending on his exposure to the oil at work. H.O. Greene rejected Dr. Rovner’s IME opinion, however, finding “clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.” At hearing, Webber Oil witnesses flatly denied Gallant’s factual allegations about the change in the oil composition, and Gallant’s other medical records showed that treatment improved his skin condition even while he was at work. H.O. Greene denied Gallant’s petition, and he appealed.
The panel affirmed the decision, finding that H.O. Greene explained the reasons for rejecting the IME, including his assessment of Gallant’s credibility and the contrary opinions of the other doctors.