Torrey v. Island Nursing Home

Insurance Company

MHCA Workers' Compensation Fund

Date Decided

October 28, 2016

Panel Members

Timothy Collier

Elizabeth Elwin

Glen Goodnough

Sue Jerome

Evelyn Knopf

Tom Pelletier

Mike Stovall


Legal Causation


Causation Comeau v. Maine Coastal Services Medical Reaction En banc

File Size

318 KB


Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys

In Torrey v. Island Nursing Home, Torrey was a CNA who, at the employer’s suggestion, received a vaccination against the hepatitis B virus, administered at the workplace by a nurse. Torrey developed symptoms diagnosed as complex regional pain syndrome and incurring medical bills and lost time. Torrey filed a petition, but INS controverted it, arguing that Torrey got the shot for her own sake, not to help her employer, so her vaccination reaction did not “arise out of” her employment.

Judge Hirtle granted Torrey’s petition and INS appealed. The panel reviewed the Comeau factors in detail and affirmed the underlying decision, giving “significant deference” to the Judge’s ruling, correctly noting the limitations of appellate review, and pointing out that Torrey’s immunization clearly benefited her employer because it would have allowed Torrey to safely manage patients with hepatitis B.

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