United States Supreme Court Denies Certiorari in Meche v. Doucet

October 28, 2015

For your reference, we have summarized the matter of Meche v. Doucet, 2015 WL 3646805 (U.S. 2015).

On October 5th, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari in the matter of Meche v. Doucet, 2015 WL 3646805 (U.S. 2015). In Meche, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a seaman’s failure to disclose a preexisting medical condition to a predecessor employer was sufficient to deny maintenance and cure benefits under the McCorpen[1] doctrine. In order to establish a McCorpen defense, an employer must show that (1) the claimant intentionally misrepresented or concealed medical facts; (2) the non-disclosed facts were material to the employer’s decision to hire the claimant; and (3) a connection exists between the withheld information and the injury complained of in the lawsuit.

In Meche, the Fifth Circuit found that even though Meche’s current employer, Key, did not require a pre-employment medical examination or interview, his prior employer – which was purchased by Key several months after Meche was hired – did require Meche to undergo a pre-employment medical examination. The Fifth Circuit found that the current employer was entitled to rely on the pre-employment examination of its predecessor, had no obligation to re-examine the newly acquired employees, and therefore, was able to rely on the Meche’s intentional concealment of a preexisting injury to deny maintenance and cure under McCorpen.

[1] McCorpen v. Central Gulf Steamship Corp., 396 F.2d 547 (5th Cir. 1968)

Click here to review the case.
Click here to review the judgement.

If you have any questions concerning this topic, please contact Craig P. Liszt.