South-Western Legal Studies in Business

Compensation Only Covers Time Needed to Recover from Injury or Disability
Description Maine high court held that a worker who suffered an allergic reaction to latex was due compensation only for the time her health was impaired, not for the entire time it would take the employer to remedy the cause of her allergy, since she was capable of doing other work that did not impair her health.
Topic Employment Law
Key Words Injury Duration; Compensation; Allergy
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Sanders had health problems while working for several nursing homes. The problem was diagnosed as latex allergy, which caused breathing problems. She was advised not to work where latex was present. Nevertheless, after a couple years she returned to work at a nursing home. When she suffered an allergy attack, she was advised not to return until the carpeting could be replaced in the nursing home, half a year later. She went to work elsewhere and filed for workers' compensation. She was awarded benefits covering the half-year time it would take to replace the carpet. The employer appealed.
Decision

Vacated and remanded. Sanders is entitled to workers' compensation only to cover the few days needed for her condition returned to normal. She had not suffered a long-term injury that justified long-term disability coverage, as she was capable of working in places where latex was not present.

Citation Sanders v. Seaside Nursing Home, 861 A.2d 1283 (Sup. Jud. Ct., Maine, 2004)

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