Jobe v. Dirne Clinic / Heritage HealthAnnotate this Case
At issue before the Idaho Supreme Court in this appeal centered on an Industrial Commission order denying that Dr. Richard Jobe’s Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (“MRSA”) constituted a compensable occupational disease. The Commission denied Jobe’s claim because it found he failed to prove that his MRSA colonization and infection were caused by his employment with Dirne Clinic/Heritage Health (“Heritage”). Jobe appealed, arguing the Commission applied the wrong legal standard in requiring him to prove his MRSA colonization and infection were caused by his employment at Heritage. In this case, as in Sundquist v. Precision Steel & Gypsum, Inc., 111 P.3d 135 (2005), Jobe’s MRSA colonization could have been incurred under a series of different employers before it manifested during his employment at Heritage. The Commission determined Jobe had not shown it was more probable than not that Jobe had become colonized with MRSA while employed at Heritage. Furthermore, the Commission did not undertake an analysis as to whether the colonization could have been incurred under a series of different employers prior to Jobe’s employment at Heritage, thereby contravening Sundquist. In fact, the Commission used the possibility of MRSA colonization from a prior employer to Jobe’s detriment. Thus, the Commission applied an erroneous legal standard.