City of Portland v. Moses & Town of Raymond & Town of Casco
Maine Employers' Mutual Insurance Company
February 22, 2016
CategoriesApportionment Apportionment Gradual Injury
EMT Firefighter PTSD Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Apportionment Mental Injury §354 §201(4)
Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys
The panel denied Portland's appeal from Judge Jerome's decision denying its Petition for Apportionment against the towns of Raymond and Casco. Moses was an EMT and firefighter who claimed PTSD as a gradual work injury resulting from his exposure to various traumatic events. Portland entered into a consent decree accepting the injury and granting Moses medical and incapacity benefits. Portland then filed petitions against Raymond and Casco for apportionment contribution.
Judge Jerome found that, although Moses’ prior work for Casco and Raymond contributed to his PTSD, Portland failed to establish that he suffered a unique work injury during those prior employments. She relied on the §312 IME opinion of Dr. Barkin that Moses’ work for Portland was his “predominant stressor.”
The panel affirmed Judge Jerome's ruling that both §354 and §201(4) require an actual injury, in addition to a "significant contribution" to an employee's disability. It also affirmed her ruling that Moses suffered a single gradual injury, rather than a series of gradual injuries each time he responded to a call for emergency services. This decision reflects the limited application of §201 (4) in apportionment cases, and calls into question whether apportionment is truly available in gradual injury cases.