A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Appellate Division Voids Penalty Assessed Against Borough for Late Payment of Award

By on May 16, 2019 in Awards with 0 Comments

There are few cases in the Division involving assessments of penalties against an employer for late payment of a settlement.  Ramella v. Borough of Seaside Heights, A-3310-17T3 (App. Div. April 8, 2019) is therefore of interest to practitioners. The petitioner, Shirley Ramella, brought a dependency claim against the Borough and its various workers’ compensation carriers […]

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Court Rules Proceedings in Workers’ Compensation Court Violated Due Process Rights of Employer

By on May 9, 2019 in Other with 0 Comments

Petitioner Joan Haggerty worked for Cape May Regional Medical Center (Crothall Service Group).  She tore her left rotator cuff and bicep tendon while working as a housekeeper.  Months later she injured her neck and left shoulder making a bed and stretching sheets.  She filed a workers’ compensation claim for each injury and later amended the […]

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Medicaid And New Jersey Family Care Liens: State Funded Medical Benefit Programs Cover Increasing Numbers of New Jersey Citizens

By on May 2, 2019 in Policy with 0 Comments

By:  Alfred Vitarelli, Esq., Shareholder, Stark & Stark Ask any practitioner about the nature of Medicare and his or her response will usually be that it is a source of medical coverage for the very poor, such as those receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income.) Alas, such an answer is no longer correct, nor is it […]

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Sole Proprietor Did Not Have Exclusive Discretion To Transform Trip Involving Car Maintenance Into A Work Mission

By on April 25, 2019 in Other with 0 Comments

Vinno Verasawmi was the sole proprietor of VKR, which manufactured custom kitchen cabinets for residential and commercial customers.  The company had two other employees. Verasawmi would visit construction sites and meet customers in the ordinary course of business. He drove a Porsche Cayenne, registered in his own name, both for personal and business use.  He […]

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Reckless Prank By Co-Employee Does Not Permit Victim To Pursue Civil Suit

By on April 18, 2019 in Workers' Comp with 0 Comments

Readers of this blog know that it is extremely difficult for an employee to sue his or her employer or co-employee in civil court.  That was proven again in Johns v. Wengerter, A-2053-17T1 (App. Div. April 1, 2019). Johns, a City of Linden firefighter, was on duty at the firehouse on November 27, 2015.  He […]

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Appellate Division Resolves Long-Standing Dispute on Lien Formula With High Third Party Settlements

By on April 4, 2019 in Settlements with 0 Comments

After at least four decades of disagreement on lien reimbursement calculations in high third party settlements, the Appellate Division this week handed down a reported decision in Liberty Mutual Insurance o/b/o Sabert Corporation v. Jose R. Rodriguez, A-0112-17T4 (App. Div. April 2, 2019).  Betsy Ramos, Esq., co-chair of Capehart’s litigation department, successfully argued the cause […]

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Employee’s Failure to Pursue Rights in Workers’ Compensation Court Precludes a Civil Suit for Failure to Accommodate under the ADA and LAD

By on March 28, 2019 in Policy with 0 Comments

As practitioners well know, many ADA law suits begin with a workers’ compensation injury.  But where is the line between an issue that must be handled in workers’ compensation and one that can be brought in civil court?  That was the issue that the New Jersey Supreme Court decided on March 25, 2019 in Caraballo […]

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The ERISA Lien – – A Federal “Partner” In State Workers’ Compensation Litigation

By on March 21, 2019 in Policy with 0 Comments

By:  Alfred Vitarelli, Esq., Shareholder, Stark & Stark If the workers’ compensation practitioner reading this otherwise dry blog finds his/her mind wandering to more exciting topics, let your mind focus on that ominous line from the 1987 classic “Fatal Attraction:” I will NOT be IGNORED!” No, I am not comparing the great acting of Glenn Close […]

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The Perez Trio of Cases and Proof of Permanent Partial Disability

By on March 15, 2019 in Claims with 0 Comments

It is a remarkable coincidence that the three cases that best explain entitlement to permanent partial disability benefits in New Jersey all involve claimants with the last name of Perez.  The most important of the three Perez cases is Perez v. Pantasote, 95 N.J. 105 (1984). This case addressed the key statutory definition in N.J.S.A. […]

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New Jersey Legislature Passes Supplemental Benefit for Certain Public Employees or Dependents of Those Employees

On February 25, 2019, the New Jersey Legislature voted to send to the Governor’s desk Senate Bill No. 1967.  The Senate passed the bill on October 29, 2018 and the General Assembly passed it on February 25, 2019. The Governor is expected to sign the bill shortly. The original bill was intended to provide a […]

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New Jersey Supreme Court Rules That Volunteer Firefighter Is Entitled To Maximum Temp Benefits Even Without Proof Of Employment Or Lost Wages

By on February 22, 2019 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments

Jennifer Kocanowski, a member of the Finderne Fire Department in the Township of Bridgewater, was injured in March 2015 while carrying equipment in response to a multi-alarm fire.  She fractured her fibula, tore ligaments in her ankle, and injured her back. Prior to the injury, Kocanowski had not worked for over a year.  She had […]

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Appellate Division Holds Officer’s Injury to Knee Wearing 25 Pounds of Equipment Was Not Idiopathic

By on February 20, 2019 in Compensability with 0 Comments

The idiopathic defense is not an easy one for employers to prevail on in New Jersey.  The basic concept is that the injury is not a result of any particular work effort and could happen anywhere, such as walking along a work corridor and suddenly feeling pain in one’s knee without falling or tripping.  But […]

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Injuries Post Job Termination

By on February 15, 2019 in Workers' Comp with 0 Comments

What happens if an employer terminates the employment of a worker, who then has an accident before leaving the work premises?  Is there workers’ compensation coverage? Does it make a difference if the employee quits as opposed to being fired and then has the injury on premises while leaving?  Does the moment of job termination […]

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Health System Properly Withdrew Job Offer Due to Failure of Applicant to Complete Vaccine Testing

By on February 5, 2019 in ADA with 0 Comments

Janice Hustvet worked for Courage Center, which merged with Allina Health System in 2013.  Hustvet worked for 15 years at Courage Center as an Independent Living Skills Specialist, educating, supporting and assisting clients with disabilities including spinal cord and brain injuries. On May 13, 2013, Hustvet completed her pre-placement health assessment.  She acknowledged that she […]

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Medical Providers Have Six Years To File Claims in Division of Workers’ Compensation

By on January 24, 2019 in Claims with 0 Comments

The New Jersey Appellate Division decided an important case on January 17, 2019 entitled The Plastic Surgery Center, PA. v. Malouf Chevrolet-Cadillac, Inc,.  The case centered on how long a medical provider has to file a claim petition in the Division, namely whether providers have two years, like claimants, or six years.  The case has […]

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