Regula v. Regional School Unit 23
Maine Municipal Association
August 23, 2016
Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys
The judge can adopt §312 IME findings that an employee’s exposure to acetone-based air freshener contributed to his bilateral cataracts requiring eye surgery.
Regula was a teacher at RSU 23 when he was sprayed in the face by an air freshener containing acetone. He immediately had irritation and his eyes and sought medical care for eye pain, diagnosed as bilateral cataracts requiring surgery. His optometrist Dr. Robinson said his cataracts were “probably secondary to toxic chemical exposure,” but his ophthalmologist was unsure.
Dr. Mainen did a records review and found no connection between the injury and cataracts, but Dr. Bamberger did a §312 IME and found that they were causally related, and the judge adopted the IME’s conclusions, finding no clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.
The panel affirmed the decision, holding that when a judge adopts an IME opinion, her decision can be reversed only if the IME’s findings are not supported by any competent evidence or the record shows no reasonable basis to support the decision. In this case, such evidence did exist in the form of other supporting medical opinions.