Joseph Fernands v. Riverview Psychiatric Center

Insurance Company

State of Maine

Date Decided

January 8, 2021

Panel Members

David Hirtle

Tom Pelletier

Mike Stovall


Medical Evidence Mental Stress Injury


PTSD medical expert

File Size

108 KB


Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys

Fernands injured his shoulder when he fell to the floor while separating two patients who were fighting. He filed petitions, and Judge Elwin granted them as to the physical injury and resulting depression but not as to his alleged PTSD. She discounted the LCSW’s opinion on that issue because of her qualifications, and because her PTSD opinion was based on an incorrect history that Fernands was assaulted. Fernands appealed, but the Appellate Division affirmed Judge Elwin’s decision. The panel cited Maine Supreme Court opinions in Bradbury (1966) and Dailey (1974) holding that an ALJ can accept only certain parts of a witness’s testimony and reject other parts, even in the absence of contrary evidence.

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