Ramsey v. Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc., 042121 MEWC, 21-16

Docket NºDecision 21-16
Case DateApril 21, 2021
Decision No. 21-16
No. A.D. 19-0020
Maine Workers Compensation Decisions
State of Maine Workers’ Compensation Board
April 21, 2021
          Conference held: December 5, 2019           Attorney for Appellant: Katlyn M. Davidson, Esq. NORMAN, HANSON & DeTROY           Attorney for Appellee: Christopher J. Cotnoir, Esq.           PANEL MEMBERS: Administrative Law Judges Hirtle, Knopf, and Pelletier BY: Administrative Law Judge Hirtle           Hirtle, Administrative Law Judge          [¶1] Shaw’s Supermarkets appeals from a decision of a Workers’ Compensation Board administrative law judge (Goodnough, ALJ) granting Kevin Ramsey’s Petitions for Award and for Payment of Medical and Related Services regarding an August 22, 2017, injury. The ALJ awarded protection of the Act for a gradual bilateral knee injury after determining that Mr. Ramsey had complied with the notice requirements of 39-A M.R.S.A. §§ 301 and 302 (Pamph. 2020). Shaw’s contends that this constitutes reversible error because the record contains no competent evidence to meet Mr. Ramsey’s burden of proof of a mistake of fact that would extend the 30-day notice period.[1] We agree and vacate the decision.          I. BACKGROUND          [¶2] Kevin Ramsey was a long-term employee of Shaw’s Supermarkets. His job duties mainly involved stocking shelves, which required frequent bending and kneeling. During the five years leading up to his injury, Mr. Ramsey worked as a grocery manager but still spent a significant portion of his workday stocking shelves. Over the years, he experienced pain in both knees that worsened progressively.          [¶3] On August 22, 2017, Mr. Ramsey saw his primary care physician, at which time Mr. Ramsey questioned whether his work had caused his knee symptoms. The primary care physician did not issue a causation opinion responsive to that question until December 1, 2017. On November 3, 2017, Mr. Ramsey was seen by Shaw’s chosen medical provider, who assessed his bilateral knee condition as work related. Mr. Ramsey notified Shaw’s of his injury on November 3, 2017.          [¶4] In April 2018, Mr. Ramsey filed petitions seeking workers’ compensation benefits related to his bilateral...

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