Thompson v. The Aroostook Medical Center
Cross Insurance, TPA
February 12, 2020
CategoriesPartial Benefits / Refusal of Employment
Shoulder Hospital torn labrum Refusal of Employment
Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys
Thompson was a radiology technician at TAMC, and in 2014 she injured her left shoulder maneuvering a heavy patient in a wheelchair. She had surgery for a torn labrum and developed frozen shoulder requiring manipulation under anesthesia, never returning to work. TAMC voluntarily paid her benefits but unilaterally discontinued them on October 2016. Thompson file a Review and Request for Provisional Order, which Judge Pelletier granted.
Two §207 exams and a §312 IME found Thompson could do only “one-armed light work that does not require bimanual manipulation in pulling, pushing, and repeated overhead activity.” TAMC offered her accommodated work in the billing department consistent with her restrictions, but Ms. Thompson declined the job on the advice of her mental health providers who were treating her for anxiety and depression. Judge Pelletier found that Thompson had “good and reasonable cause” to refuse the light-duty job offer. TAMC appealed.
The appellate panel affirmed the decision, reiterating past decisions holding that even non-work related reasons can satisfy the “good and reasonable cause” requirement for refusing a job, and that determination is left for “the sound discretion of the factfinder.”