John Martell v. City of Portland

Insurance Company

Maine Municipal Association

Date Decided

July 25, 2023

Panel Members

Elizabeth Elwin

Katherine Gatti Rooks

Lindsey Sands


Coordination of Benefits


File Size

145 KB


Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys

John Martell v. City of Portland- The Appellate Division affirms the ALJ decision that the City was entitled to coordinate Martell’s partial incapacity benefits with his social security retirement benefits pursuant to 39-A M.R.S.A. sec. 221(3)(A)(1) even though the City had not paid into the social security system on his behalf. The plain language of the statute allows an employer to take a 50% offset of any social security benefit “received” regardless of whether the employer contributes. The panel also rejected the argument that coordination was precluded by sec. 221(3)(F), which provides that no savings or insurance of the injured employee independent of this Act may be taken into consideration in determining the compensation to be paid. The panel was not convinced this language prohibited offset in light of the plain language of sec. 221(3)(A)(1).

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