A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Hartford Insurance As Workers’ Compensation Carrier Loses Claim Against NJM For Subrogation

By on December 5, 2017 in Claims with 0 Comments
Hartford Insurance As Workers’ Compensation Carrier Loses Claim Against NJM For Subrogation

New Jersey law has very strict procedures for workers’ compensation carriers to follow in subrogation, and failure to comply with those strict rules can mean loss of subrogation rights, as noted in Pino v. Polanco and New Jersey Manufacturers, A-5027-15T4 (App. Div. November 22, 2017). Ms. Pino was injured in a work-related car accident on […]

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Police Officer Injured Working Approved Outside Assignment Cannot Sue Contractor Which Hired Township Officers Through the Municipality

By on November 27, 2017 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments
Police Officer Injured Working Approved Outside Assignment Cannot Sue Contractor Which Hired Township Officers Through the Municipality

Many police officers work outside assignments that are approved through their police department.  What happens if an injury occurs to the officer in the approved outside assignment?  What are the ramifications for workers’ compensation and civil liability purposes?  This issue arose in Dutcher v. Pedro Pedeiro and Black Rock Enterprises, LLC., A-1088-16T3 (App. Div. October […]

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Report of Plaintiff’s Personal Doctor Undercuts Her ADA Claim for Discrimination in Post-Offer Exam

By on November 16, 2017 in ADA with 0 Comments
Report of Plaintiff’s Personal Doctor Undercuts Her ADA Claim for Discrimination in Post-Offer Exam

On July 26, 2012, Stephanie Nichols applied for a job as a Senior Radiology Technologist with OhioHealth Corp at the Riverside Breast Health Center.  She had worked in similar positions for over 30 years.  Nichols received the job offer contingent on passing a medical examination.  In the health assessment form that Nichols completed, she was […]

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Retaliation Claim in Workers’ Compensation Is Not Barred Because Plaintiff Also Filed a Discrimination Claim under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination

By on November 7, 2017 in Claims with 0 Comments
Retaliation Claim in Workers’ Compensation Is Not Barred Because Plaintiff Also Filed a Discrimination Claim under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination

Can an employee maintain both a workers’ compensation retaliation claim at the same time as he alleges discrimination under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD)? That was one issue answered in Larson v. City of Paterson, A-2526-15T4 (App. Div. October 26, 2017). Carl Larson worked as a firefighter for the City of Paterson from […]

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Court Cannot Require Carrier to Pay Dependency Benefits Beyond 450 Weeks Even If Carrier Mistakenly Agreed to Pay Such Benefits at Time of Settlement

By on October 31, 2017 in Benefits with 0 Comments
Court Cannot Require Carrier to Pay Dependency Benefits Beyond 450 Weeks Even If Carrier Mistakenly Agreed to Pay Such Benefits at Time of Settlement

The case of Apperman v. Visiting Nurse Association of Westfield, A-5446-15T3 (App. Div. October 30, 2017) presented an unusual situation where a carrier agreed to pay benefits that exceeded its obligation under the statute.  The case involved the tragic death of Phyllis Apperman who died in a motor vehicle accident in December 2003. The claim […]

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When Are Drives To Physicians Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?

By on October 20, 2017 in Benefits with 0 Comments
When Are Drives To Physicians Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?

It is not uncommon for injured workers to suffer additional injuries due to car accidents on the way to a physician’s office or physical therapist’s office. So what are the rules in New Jersey on compensability? Q. Is the injured worker covered for workers’ compensation purposes in a car accident on the way to treatment? […]

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Circuit Court of Appeals Rejects EEOC Position that a Long-Term Leave of Absence Can Constitute a Reasonable Accommodation under the ADA

By on October 13, 2017 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments

The EEOC has provided guidance that in its view a fairly long leave of absence should be considered a reasonable accommodation even after FMLA leave has been exhausted.  The Court in Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc., 33 AD Cases 1113, September 20, 2017 disagreed rather strongly with that view and did not follow EEOC advice. […]

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Appellate Division Reverses Award of 47.5% for Unoperated Low Back Condition

By on October 6, 2017 in Awards with 0 Comments
Appellate Division Reverses Award of 47.5% for Unoperated Low Back Condition

Rarely does the Appellate Division reverse a Judge of Compensation when the only issue is the extent of permanent partial disability.   The case of Van Artsdalen v. Fred M. Schiavone Construction, No. A-3392-15T1, 2017 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2516 (Oct. 5, 2017) is that rare example. The petitioner, Mr. Van Artsdalen, was injured on January […]

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The Underutilized and Underappreciated Defense of Lack of Timely Notice

By on September 29, 2017 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments
The Underutilized and Underappreciated Defense of Lack of Timely Notice

Some defenses, like the going-and-coming rule, get all the attention but there are other less well known defenses, like lack of timely notice, which can be very powerful as a defense in workers’ compensation.  One of the reasons that the notice defense is often ignored in New Jersey is its peculiar wording.  It has three […]

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Appellate Court Reverses Order for Temporary Disability Benefits Against One of Two Potential Employers Where Employment Was Disputed

By on September 22, 2017 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments
Appellate Court Reverses Order for Temporary Disability Benefits Against One of Two Potential Employers Where Employment Was Disputed

When a petitioner files a motion for medical and temporary disability benefits and the only issue is which carrier or employer is responsible, the Judge of Compensation can order benefits paid by one of the parties pending the outcome of litigation. The logic behind this rule is that it is unfair to delay benefits to […]

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Federal Court Allows Sheriff’s Deputies to Proceed to Jury Trial On Their Claim that County Ignored Their Requests for Light Duty Assignments While Recovering from Work Injuries

By on September 14, 2017 in Claims with 0 Comments
Federal Court Allows Sheriff’s Deputies to Proceed to Jury Trial On Their Claim that County Ignored Their Requests for Light Duty Assignments While Recovering from Work Injuries

Light duty was the issue in Smith v. DuPage Cnty. Sheriff, 33 AD Cases 789 (N.D. Ill. June 5, 2017).  Four Sheriff’s Deputies suffered work injuries in 2013 and 2014 and received full salary for one year while on leave from their injuries.  After the one-year period, the officers received the statutory amount for temporary […]

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Township Prevails in Dismissing Occupational Psychiatric Claim of Former Police Officer

By on September 7, 2017 in Claims with 0 Comments
Township Prevails in Dismissing Occupational Psychiatric Claim of Former Police Officer

Occupational psychiatric claims, like all occupational claims, must be filed within time or be subject to the statute of limitations defense.  The challenge is always whether the employer can prove that the employee knew the nature of his condition and its relationship to work.  That was the issue in Bender v. Township of North Bergen, […]

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New York Staffing Company’s Carrier Must Pay Workers’ Comp for Injury In New Jersey Even Though the Policy Specified Solely New York Locations

By on August 31, 2017 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments
New York Staffing Company’s Carrier Must Pay Workers’ Comp for Injury In New Jersey Even Though the Policy Specified Solely New York Locations

Cases involving temporary staffing agencies and professional employer organizations often lead to unusual and complex legal issues in workers’ compensation.  The recent case of Detres v. Workforce Logistics Corp., A-4963-15T1 (App. Div. August 25, 2017) illustrates this point quite well by delving deeply into coverage and conflicts of law issues in a very high exposure […]

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Court Rejects Argument that Level I and II Trauma Centers Deserve Special Fee Schedules in Comp

By on August 24, 2017 in Claims with 0 Comments

In University Physicians Associates v. Transport Drivers, Inc., A-3350-15T2 (App. Div. August 22, 2017), the Appellate Division considered an argument that Level I and II Trauma Centers should be given different treatment when it comes to billing along the lines that they receive under the fee schedule for No-Fault automobile policies. The case stemmed from […]

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How Employers Can Win Trials On Reopeners

By on August 22, 2017 in Awards with 0 Comments
How Employers Can Win Trials On Reopeners

Last week I wrote about how employers should not handle reopener claims, namely trying them on reports without expert testimony.  The case of Kalucki v. United Parcel Service, A-3486-15T3 (App. Div. August 15, 2017) demonstrates the winning strategy for employers to adopt in reopener claims. The case involved an injury that took place many years […]

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