The Supreme Court decision in Hawaii will require the State Board of Appeal for Labor and Industrial Relations to reconsider whether a nurse's diagnosed multiple chemical sensitivity is work-related.
In Porter v. Queen & # 39 ;s Medical Center The Supreme Court of Hawaii on Tuesday overturned the board's decision to deny her request for reconsideration, claiming that the nurse provided sufficient evidence that her case could be resumed. .
Adeline Porter worked as a registered nurse for Queen & # 39 ;s Medical Center from 1967 until she graduated in 2005. In 2002, Porter and other employees began to suffer from respiratory symptoms that she believed were the result of contaminated carpet and wall coverings. As a result of the alleged chemical exposure, Porter was treated in the emergency room five times in 2002 and 2003 and was diagnosed with multiple chemical sensitivities, according to court documents. She filed compensation claims for workers for ER visits, but the claims were denied. She later asked the Hawaii Board and the Industrial Relations Appeal Board to reopen her claim, but the court refused to reopen the case.
Ms. Porter argued that it was a mistake for her claim to be denied the board's conclusion that "there is no such damage as multiple chemical sensitivity." She also argued that the board should not have decided its case on the basis of whether MCS was a legitimate diagnosis, but rather whether her injuries were work-related.
The Supreme Court agreed and left the Board's decision and considered the Board's characterization. of Porter's argument for resuming his claim was "artificially narrow."
The court held that Porter clearly stated that the compensation for her claim was dependent on work-related circumstances and found that she supported this argument with substantial evidence, including letters written by the State Administrator for Disability Compensation in 2006 and 2007 to a state senator stating that MCS -injuries could be compensated if they turned out to be work-related.
The Court found that Mrs Porter's argument was in "sharp contrast" to the Board's dismissal of her claim in 2004 and referred the matter back to the Board for a decision on her work ̵