A Capehart Scatchard Blog

The Essential Workers Legislation In New Jersey: What It Means and What It Does Not Mean

By on September 16, 2020 in Legislation with 0 Comments

On Monday, September 14, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed S2380 dealing with COVID-19 and essential workers in respect to workers’ compensation benefits.  The bill was signed on the very last day before the bill would have automatically become law.  It is important to consider what this bill does and what it does not […]

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Update On Essential Workers And Hand And Foot Bills

By on September 11, 2020 in Legislation with 0 Comments

Many readers have asked about the status of two very significant bills affecting New Jersey workers’ compensation practice.  They are S2380 and A4134. S2380 – The Essential Employees Bill We are down to the wire on S2380.  The Governor has until September 13, 2020 either to sign this bill or veto it; otherwise, S2380 will […]

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The Crucial Importance of Investigating Subsequent Accidents

By on August 28, 2020 in Workers' Comp Basics with 0 Comments

Workers’ compensation claims professionals know how important it is to ask about prior injuries in workers’ compensation.  That information can bear directly on causation and will often lead to credits at the time of settlement. But an underrated area of investigation remains subsequent injuries that take place after the date of the workers’ compensation injury but […]

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When Are Injuries That Occur At Work Not Covered By Workers’ Compensation?

By on August 14, 2020 in Workers' Comp Basics with 0 Comments

There is a fairly widespread belief that any injury that occurs at work must be covered under workers’ compensation.  But that is not true.  There are several categories of injuries that happen at work which simply are not compensable.  Injuries which do not arise out of employment are not covered in workers’ compensation.  Not only […]

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Respondents Can Reopen Cases Too

By on August 7, 2020 in Claims with 0 Comments

Employers and workers’ compensation professionals are very familiar with reopener petitions or applications for modification of awards.  A reopener may be filed by the petitioner within two years of the last payment of indemnity benefits or the last authorized treatment date, but not many workers’ compensation professionals realize that employers can also apply for modification […]

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Divided Supreme Court Upholds Right of Employer to Pursue Subrogation For Payment Of Workers’ Compensation Benefits Even Where Employee Cannot Sue Due to The Limitation-On-Lawsuit Option

By on July 23, 2020 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments

One of the most significant cases for employers in many years is N.J. Transit Corp. v. Sanchez, 2020 LEXIS 520 (N.J. May 12, 2020).  This decision is really a game changer for employers, carriers and third party administrators.  The conventional wisdom has always been that if an injured worker cannot sue for personal injuries in […]

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Governor Signs COVID-19 Accidental Disability Pension Law

By on July 9, 2020 in Legislation with 0 Comments

A3945 was signed into law on July 1, 2020 by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.  The law provides for both an accidental disability pension for an eligible member who becomes totally disabled from COVID-19 as well as a death benefit for eligible beneficiaries if the covered member should die from COVID-19.   This new pension […]

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Gathering Information to Make Decisions on Compensability of COVID-19 Cases

By on June 25, 2020 in Compensability with 0 Comments

Employers, third party administrators and insurance carriers have for months been expending a great deal of time collecting information needed to make compensability decisions in respect to COVID-19 claims.  There are many important questions to be asked in making such decisions.  This blog focuses not so much on specific questions but on areas of inquiry. […]

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Appellate Court Allows Employee To Reopen Terms Of A Consent Settlement To Reconstruct Wages

By on June 12, 2020 in Settlements with 0 Comments

A recent unpublished case poses an unusual question:  can a party to a consent settlement for a percentage of disability award reopen the case to dispute the rate that was agreed to in the settlement?  The case is Calero v. Target Corporation, A-2650-18T3 (App. Div. June 10, 2020).    Ms. Calero and Target Corporation agreed […]

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Appellate Division Rejects Argument That Employee Was On A Special Mission And Was Compelled To Report To A Training Meeting

By on June 4, 2020 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments

A key doctrine in the law known as “respondeat superior” provides that an employer is responsible for the acts of its employees performed within the course of their employment.  Whether that doctrine applied to an employee who had a motor vehicle accident after being summoned to a training meeting was the issue in Samol v. […]

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Appellate Division Finds that Dismissal of Comp Case and Motion for Medical and Temporary Disability Benefits Violated Petitioner’s Due Process Rights

By on May 18, 2020 in Benefits with 0 Comments

In the past few years there have been several unreported cases in which the Appellate Division has found a violation of the due process rights of respondent.  McGory v. SLS Landscaping, A-4837-18T2 (App. Div. May 8, 2020) presents the first reported case in many years on the violation of a party’s due process rights, in […]

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Are There Workers’ Compensation And Employment Consequences For Failure To Use Protective Devices Required Under COVID-19 Policies?

By on May 4, 2020 in Other with 0 Comments

I had a recent discussion in relation to an upcoming COVID-19 webinar with former Supervising Judge of Compensation, Ray. A. Farrington, who sat in Hackensack, N.J. Judge Farrington raised an important question about what employers can do when employees ignore safety rules concerning COVID-19 in respect to both workers’ compensation and employment law. Suppose an […]

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Enhanced Legal Presumptions Do Not Make Sense For Pandemic-Related Claims

By on April 27, 2020 in Legislation with 0 Comments

Proposed Senate Bill 2380 sponsored by New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney seeks to create a new legal presumption of compensability for “essential employees,” including public safety workers and virtually all health care workers who file COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims.  This proposed presumption would require the Judge of Compensation to presume that any COVID-19 claim […]

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Policy Holder Made Material Misrepresentations To Its Workers’ Compensation Carrier Warranting Finding Of Fraud Under N.J.S.A. 34:15-47.4

By on April 13, 2020 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments

N.J.S.A. 34:15-79(a) is the source of considerable litigation in workers’ compensation.  It provides that “Any contractor placing work with a subcontractor shall, in the event of the subcontractor’s failing to carry workers’ compensation insurance as required by this article, become liable for any compensation which may be due an employee or the dependents of a […]

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Preventive Actions Do Not Trigger Temporary Disability Benefits In Comp and New Paid Emergency Sick Leave Act For Coronavirus For Employers With Less Than 500 Employees Effective April 1, 2020

By on April 6, 2020 in Workers' Comp Basics with 0 Comments

Let me begin with a correction to a prior blog.  A few weeks ago I wrote in a blog about a hypothetical scenario where an employer requires an employee to be quarantined because the employee was exposed to a fellow employee who tested positive for COVID-19.  Several readers wrote to disagree that the period of […]

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