Court: Injury en route to comp hearing not covered

Posted Oct. 14, 2010, at 1:05 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s supreme court says a workers’ compensation beneficiary isn’t eligible for additional benefits for a car crash that happened en route to a mediation meeting.

Kurt Feiereisen, a NewPage employee, was injured on the job in 1987, 1997 and again 2007, and he was traveling to a mediation hearing on those injuries when he was involved in a car crash.

In a 4-2 ruling, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court found that NewPage cannot be made responsible for the injuries en route to the hearing in Lewiston. Justice Ellen Gorman wrote that injuries occurring during travel to mediation or litigation don’t fall under the workers’ compensation system.

Two dissenting justices said Feiereisen should be eligible for payments under the workers compensation system because his travel to the meeting was mandatory.

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