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Verrill Dana, LLP

Verrill Dana, LLP is one of New England's preeminent regional law firms. With offices in Portland and Augusta, ME; Boston, MA; Westport, CT; Providence, RI; and Washington D.C. Verrill Dana provides sophisticated legal representation to businesses and individuals in the traditional areas of litigation, real estate, business law, labor and employment law, employee benefits, environmental law, intellectual property and estate planning.  The Firm also has industry-focused specialties including higher education, health care and health technology, energy, and timberlands. 

Disclaimer:  The content presented in this blog is for general information only, is not intended to constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon by any person as legal advice. While we welcome you to contact our blog authors at hrlawupdate@verrilldana.com, the submission of a comment or question does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Firm and you. 

Entries in Workers Compensation (21)

Wednesday
May242017

PODCAST - Workers Compensation in a Modern Marine Economy

The so-called “blue economy” is evolving at a rapid pace.  As a result, innovative marine-based businesses are finding themselves exposed to risks when technological development outpaces legal development.  This podcast discusses the risk of worker’s compensation exposure that modern marine businesses face and how best to manage that exposure. Listen to the podcast below or download it on Soundcloud or iTunes

Tuesday
May022017

Breaking News on Medical Marijuana in Maine Workers' Compensation

We have just learned that the State of Maine Supreme Judicial Court, sitting as the Law Court, has accepted Bourgoin v. Twin Rivers Paper Co., L.L.C., and Decision No. 16-26, one of a pair of Administrative Law Judge decisions addressing medical marijuana that the Appellate Division affirmed last summer.  The Law Court will examine the question of whether the Administrative Law Judge erred by compelling reimbursement for medical marijuana as reasonable and necessary under the Workers’ Compensation Act, despite the fact that marijuana remains a Schedule I drug under federal law.

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Wednesday
Mar012017

Twist and Shout, or A Small Victory in the Fight Against Creeping Non-Occupational Injury Coverage In Maine Workers’ Compensation

In a decision issued on February 17, 2017 (Fuller v. Hannaford Brothers Company, App. Div. 7-17), the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board Appellate Division revisited the two-pronged “arising out of” and “in the course of” standard necessary for an injury to be work-related.  As many readers know, an injury must both “arise out of” and “in the course of” employment for the injury to fall within workers’ compensation coverage.  Generally speaking, “arising out of” means that the injury must have its genesis in some duty, motion or activity required of the employee in the normal course of her work.  “In the course of” means that the employee must have been at a work or work-related location, performing work or otherwise advancing work interests.  The idea behind the two-pronged requirement is to separate those injuries that the employee may suffer in normal life, but for the fact that the employee just happened to be at work, from those injuries that truly have a cause related to some aspect of the work.  In this manner, workers’ compensation coverage is limited to injuries that are tied to the work, rather than becoming a supplemental form of health insurance.  Anecdotally, Maine, with its aging and deconditioned workforce, has seen an increase in claims that appear to be non-occupational, pre-existing albeit occasionally quiescent conditions brought under the umbrella of work-related injuries due to minor work activity or claimed work events.  Examples include overuse claims when the work performed by the employee is highly mechanized and non-repetitive, or degenerative joint claims when the body habitus of the employee coupled with the employee’s age and work history suggest that there is no link to work.

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Monday
Sep192016

Calling All Workers' Compensation Attorneys!

As the sole Maine representative to the National Workers' Compensation Defense Network, Beth Smith, will be attending the NWCDN Annual Conference in Chicago later this week. Why? Fellow NWCDN member Bob Wilson explains in a blog post entitled "The NWCDN Road Show Hits Chicago and I Won't Miss It This Year": http://www.workerscompensation.com/compnewsnetwork/from-bobs-cluttered-desk/24536-the-nwcdn-road-show-hits-chicago-and-i-won%E2%80%99t-miss-it-this-year.html

See you in Chicago!

Monday
Sep192016

Will The New Maine Opiate Control Law Impact the Workers’ Compensation System?

Stories of the horrors of opiate over-prescription and abuse are abundant, and Maine has not been spared the ravages of that epidemic.  In response to the growing problem, Governor LePage, in April of this year, signed into law a bill intended to place some limits on the prescription of opioids in situations involving both “acute pain” and “chronic pain”.  Under the new law, health care providers will be limited to prescribing no more than a 30-day supply of opioid medication in any 30-day period for patients with chronic pain.  However, there is no limit on the number of times that a 30-day prescription can be written by a provider.  The practical impact on chronic pain patients in the workers’ compensation system will be one of two outcomes:  either, patients will now have to visit their providers every thirty days rather than the every three to six months schedule typical in long-term workers’ compensation chronic pain cases; or providers will be decreasing the number of opioid prescriptions issued to chronic pain patients as their practices suffer from limits on the ability to accommodate every-thirty-day appointments for medication renewal.

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Friday
Jul152016

“Capturing” the Affect of Pokemon Go in the Office

This is reality. This is not a test. There are Pokémon in your office. Well, maybe; it’s more like there are not real Pokémon chilling outside your door, but more that in an augmented reality there are graphical elements placed within your real world. The thing is, either way, it can result in real productivity drains—likely 151 productivity drains (for those still learning that’s how many Pokémon there apparently are to collect), but this blog post will only comment on a few. So let’s get to it; while we have all seen people walking around waiving their phones in the air over the course of the last two weeks, have we sat down and considered the implications of this in the work environment?

  1. Integration: There’s something fascinating about augmented reality, I mean, look at the image here, I pulled six attorneys away from their desks to “capture” Butterfree (yes there is an attorney hiding behind the Pokémon). Is this a way to bring people together in your organization? Maybe, it brought us together—but there are probably other options to consider. At the same time, I thought starting this post off on a positive note was nice.

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