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Maine: Res Judicata Prevents Employer from Challenging Continued Existence of Disability

July 28, 2017 (1 min read)

The Supreme Judicial Court of Maine held that a 2007 determination that an injured worker had reached MMI and had sustained an injury that resulted in a permanent impairment level of 32 percent could not be subsequently challenged by the employer on the basis that there had been a change of circumstances, as represented by an updated medical examination. The employer contended that the new examination showed the worker’s permanent impairment level had decreased to zero percent, but the worker contended the employer’s attempt to relitigate the issue was barred by res judicata principles. The Maine high court agreed. The Court concluded that if a party were able to disturb a permanent impairment finding so as to either terminate an employee’s eligibility to receive ongoing benefits or award such eligibility after it had already been denied, the statute would be completely circumvented.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Bailey v. City of Lewiston, 2017 ME 160, 2017 Me. LEXIS 170 (July 20, 2017)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 127.07.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law

 For a more detailed discussion of the case, see