Torrey v. Island Nursing Home
MHCA Workers' Compensation Fund
October 28, 2016
Causation Comeau v. Maine Coastal Services Medical Reaction En banc
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.