Maine High Court Rules Against Employer in Medical Fee Dispute

By Staff Report

Aug. 24, 2009

An employer must pay more generous medical provider fees available under Maine workers’ compensation law than available under the federal Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, even though employees received benefits under the federal law, the Maine Supreme Court has ruled.

Maine’s high court reached that conclusion Tuesday, August 18, in the case of St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center v. Bath Iron Works.

The ruling upholds a finding by a Maine Workers’ Compensation Board hearing officer who weighed two consolidated cases—one in which an employee suffered a neck injury in 2001, and another in which a worker suffered a back injury in 2003.

Both received treatment at St. Mary’s Medical Center, which billed BIW $31,417 for treating the neck injury and $75,179 for the back injury. But BIW paid St. Mary’s according to a Longshore Act fee schedule that allows only $13,566 for the neck injury and $24,633 for the back injury.

The hearing officer concluded that federal and state jurisdiction are concurrent on this issue and found no “authority that would bar a health care provider from seeking medical payments under state law when the employees chose to proceed under the federal act.”

BIW argued on appeal to the Maine Supreme Court that the comp board lacked jurisdiction because the Maine Workers’ Compensation Act of 1992 is not applicable when employees chose to proceed under the Longshore Act. But the court affirmed the hearing officer’s finding.

Filed by Roberto Ceniceros of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

Stay informed and connected. Get human resources news and HR features via Workforce Management’s Twitter feed or RSS feeds for mobile devices and news readers.


blog workforce

We build robust scheduling & attendance software for businesses with 500+ frontline workers. With custom BI reporting and demand-driven scheduling, we help our customers reduce labor spend and increase profitability across their business. It's as simple as that.

Book a call
See the software

Related Articles

workforce blog


Minimum Wage by State in 2022 – All You Need to Know

Summary The federal minimum wage rate is $7.25, but the rate is higher in 30 states, along with Washing...

federal law, minimum wage, pay rates, state law, wage law compliance

workforce blog


California’s push for a 32-hour workweek explained, and how to prepare

Summary: California is considering a 32-hour workweek bill for businesses with over 500 staff 4 day wee...

32 hour workweek, 4 day workweek, california, legislature, overtime

workforce blog


A business owner’s guide to restaurant tipping law

Business owners in the restaurant industry are in a unique position when it comes to employee tips. As ...

restaurants, tip laws, tipping