Weiss v. Maine Soapstone Co.
Maine Employers' Mutual Insurance Company
February 14, 2019
Neck Partial Incapacity Back IME§312 Work Search Witness Credibility
Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys
Weiss injured his neck and shoulders at work in 2009, and in 2012 the WCB awarded him 55% partial incapacity benefits. The 2016 he filed a Petition for Review seeking 100% partial and compensation for a low back injury that was "overlooked" before. Weiss tried to show changed medical circumstances with comparative medical evidence and a 312 IME opinion, and to show a change in economic circumstances with a work search. Judge Pelletier denied his petition, and Weiss appealed pro se.
Dr. Bradford's IME found that Weiss’s shoulder was no worse than it was at the time of the prior decree. Weiss objected to Dr. Bradford's report being submitted after Dr. Bradford violated the Board's 14-day period for the 312 examiner to provide the report, but the appellate panel found no "particular consequence for failing to timely submit the report." Weiss claimed that his back injury was overlooked by his prior counsel, but the panel still affirmed that this claim was barred by res judicata. Finally, Weiss claimed that his work search evidence established changed economic circumstances, but the panel found that Judge Pelletier expressly found that Weiss was not credible and did not conduct his work search in good faith, so the appellate panel affirmed the decision.