Chase v. Eastern Maine Medical Center
October 13, 2020
CategoriesMental Stress Injury
Mental Stress Psychological Trauma §201(3) Burden of Proof
Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys
Chase was a nurse who suffered psychological trauma after seeing a disfigured patient at work. He also had pre-existing and subsequent psychological trauma. He filed petitions seeking benefits for a mental injury, and he was evaluated by Dr. Gallon and Dr. Voss. §201 (3) of the Act requires the employee to prove by clear and convincing evidence that his mental injury was predominantly caused by work stress.
Dr. Gallon opined that his work trauma was not the predominant cause of his psychological injury, and Dr. Voss opined that it was the predominant cause. Judge Hirtle denied the petition on the grounds that the employee had failed to sustain his heightened burden of proof on the predominant cause of his mental injury. Chase appealed, but the Appellate Division panel affirmed the decision, finding that Judge Hirtle was within his discretion to credit one mental health opinion over the other.