Maine Revised Statutes

§107. Liability of 3rd persons; election of employee; subrogation

When an injury or death for which compensation or medical benefits are payable under this Act is sustained under circumstances creating in some person other than the employer a legal liability to pay damages, the injured employee may, at the employee's option, either claim the compensation and benefits or obtain damages from or proceed at law against that other person to recover damages. [1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 (NEW); 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §§9-11 (AFF).]

If the injured employee elects to claim compensation and benefits under this Act, any employer having paid the compensation or benefits or having become liable for compensation or benefits under any compensation payment scheme has a lien for the value of compensation paid on any damages subsequently recovered against the 3rd person liable for the injury. If the employee or the employee's beneficiary fails to pursue the remedy against the 3rd party within 30 days after written demand by the employer, the employer is subrogated to the rights of the injured employee and is entitled to enforce liability in its own name or in the name of the injured party, the accounting for the proceeds to be made on the basis provided. [1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 (NEW); 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §§9-11 (AFF).]

If the employee or the employee's beneficiary recovers damages from a 3rd person, the employee shall repay to the employer, out of the recovery against the 3rd person, the benefits paid by the employer under this Act, less the employer's proportionate share of cost of collection, including reasonable attorney's fees. [1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 (NEW); 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §§9-11 (AFF).]

If the employer recovers from a 3rd person damages in excess of the compensation and benefits paid or for which the employer has become liable, then any excess must be paid to the injured employee, less a proportionate share of the expenses and cost of actions or collection, including reasonable attorney's fees. Settlement of any such subrogation claims and the distribution of the proceeds therefrom must have the approval of the court in which the subrogation action is pending or to which it is returnable; or if not in suit, of the board. When the court in which the subrogation action is pending or to which it is returnable is in vacation, the judge of the court, or, if the action is pending in or returnable to the Superior Court, any Justice of the Superior Court has the power to approve the settlement of the action and the distribution of the proceeds therefrom. The beneficiary is entitled to reasonable notice and the opportunity to be present in person or by counsel at the approval proceeding. [1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 (NEW); 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §§9-11 (AFF).]

SECTION HISTORY
1991, c. 885, §A8 (NEW). 1991, c. 885, §§A9-11 (AFF).