A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Accident Walking To Car Found Compensable In Application for Accidental Disability Pension

By on June 18, 2018 in Compensability with 0 Comments

New Jersey public employees who are unable to work due to work accidents may apply for generous accidental disability pensions, providing approximately two thirds to 70% of pay with no federal taxes owed.  The standards for an accidental disability pension are rather similar to those in a workers’ compensation case, as is shown by the […]

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Employer Did Not Violate FMLA in Firing Employee Recovering From Workers’ Comp Injury

By on June 8, 2018 in FMLA with 0 Comments

Robert Stein worked for Atlas Industries.  He tore his meniscus at work and ten weeks into his recovery he saw the treating surgeon, who allegedly said that Stein would not be released from work until August 10th.  Stein admitted that the surgeon gave him a release slip to return to work on July 20th but […]

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The Most Common Mistake In Permanency Assessments: Evaluating Medical Records, Not Individuals

By on June 1, 2018 in Awards with 0 Comments

Assessing permanent disability is such a vital aspect of every formal workers’ compensation claim petition.  New Jersey is a loss of function state unlike the more common wage loss states.  An employee can return to his or her job following treatment or surgery, perform the very same work tasks, and still remain eligible for a […]

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Why Prompt Reporting Policies Are Crucial Even If New Jersey’s Notice Statute Remains Weak

By on May 25, 2018 in Claims with 0 Comments

The failure to report a claim in a timely manner generally leads to powerful defenses that help employers prevail in workers’ compensation court.  But lack of timely notice is seldom one of those defenses in New Jersey.  That sounds like a conundrum.  Shouldn’t lack of timely notice be the first defense that jumps to one’s […]

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Appellate Division Holds Employee Who Was Required To Report To Work During Snow Storm Was Covered During Commute Even Though He Was Reporting To Normal Work Site

By on May 16, 2018 in Compensability with 0 Comments

In a rather unique unreported case, the Appellate Division recently held that a drive to the normal work site can be considered compensable on the facts in Minter v. Mattson, A-1916-15T4 (App. Div. May 10, 2018).  The case involved a kitchen worker, Antoine Minter, who called out of work due to a heavy snow storm […]

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Police Officer Who Could Not Drive Failed In His Disability Discrimination Suit

By on May 4, 2018 in ADA with 0 Comments

Jeremy Christensen worked as a patrol officer for the Warner Robins Police Department in the State of Georgia.  He completed a required 12-week certification training program.  However, he experienced shooting pains and leg cramps while driving on September 2, 2013. Nonetheless, he finished the program and began a one-year probationary period required for all new […]

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Rules Regarding Future Payments Under Permanency Awards and Commutations

By on April 27, 2018 in Awards with 0 Comments
Rules Regarding Future Payments Under Permanency Awards and Commutations

New Jersey adjusters sometimes ask why future benefits under an order approving settlement with a percentage of disability cannot be paid in a lump sum to the injured worker.  In other words, why is there a requirement that future payments be paid out over a period of many weeks or even many years? This question […]

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Audience Quiz: Two New Jersey Comp Brain Teasers

By on April 20, 2018 in Other with 1 Comment
Audience Quiz:  Two New Jersey Comp Brain Teasers

Today’s blog contains two interesting workers’ compensation quizzes, which were asked at the April 19, 2018 Millennium Seminar in Mt. Laurel, N.J.  We invite readers to email responses.  Next week the winning answers will be announced. Question One: Jane Friedman is a CPA for Best Accountants.  She left her office to visit a client one […]

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Appellate Division Rejects Reopener of High Percentage Award

By on April 13, 2018 in Awards with 0 Comments

New Jersey employers like reopener claims about as much as homeowners like back-to-back blizzards.  The general view is that employers have virtually no defenses and have to pay more with each reopener. The truth is that employers can win reopener cases where the petitioner’s expert cannot really prove the petitioner’s condition has worsened since the […]

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Employer May Have Violated Both The ADA and FMLA Regarding Plaintiff’s Knee Injury Arising Out Of His Employment

By on April 6, 2018 in Policy with 0 Comments

Skilled practitioners know they must keep an eye on potential employment litigation stemming from workers’ compensation claims.  The case of Dallefeld v. The Clubs at River City, Inc., 2017 AD Cases 244151 (D. Illinois 2017) provides a good illustration. Jason Dallefeld was the Director of Membership Sales, providing tours, selling memberships, and making sure other […]

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The Anachronistic “Sole Cause” Defense of Intoxication and Unlawful Use of Controlled Dangerous Substances in New Jersey Workers’ Compensation

By on March 23, 2018 in Other with 0 Comments

At least once a week this practitioner gets a call from an employer or adjuster asking whether New Jersey has a defense to accidents where the employee is found to be heavily intoxicated or under the influence of illegal substances.   The response is always the same: yes, there is technically a defense, but unfortunately the […]

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When Should a Judge Reconstruct An Employee’s Wages for Permanency Purposes?

By on March 16, 2018 in Awards with 1 Comment

The concept of reconstructing wages for permanency awards pertains to part-time workers with serious injuries.  For example, consider an employee who works 20 hours per week earning $10 per hour.  The employee has a serious injury that prevents the employee from earning the same amount of money or prevents the employee from working full-time in […]

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Coverage During Drives to Job Sites Under New Jersey Law

By on March 9, 2018 in Claims with 0 Comments

We all know the rules for coverage in New Jersey under the “premises rule,” the rule that replaced the former going-and-coming rule.  N.J.S.A. 34:15-36 states that one is covered for workers’ compensation purposes when he or she arrives at a place of employment owned or controlled by the employer.  That is easy enough, but what […]

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The Importance of Subsequent Treatment Notes and Records in Workers’ Comp

By on March 2, 2018 in Workers' Comp with 0 Comments
The Importance of Subsequent Treatment Notes and Records in Workers’ Comp

I have written many times about the fact that success for employers in workers’ compensation most often comes down to past medical history and causation analysis.  This is particularly true in a state like New Jersey where there is virtually no formal discovery allowed.  Employers need to know in a back claim, for example, whether […]

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Federal Court Rejects Civil Law Suit By Injured Employee

By on February 15, 2018 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments

Brian Sims suffered a terrible injury working for Express Scripts, Inc. (hereinafter ESI) on August 24, 2015 when his hand was caught in an industrial machine, leading to the amputation of his left hand and wrist.  He brought a civil law suit against his employer alleging willful and intentional conduct.  Express Scripts moved to dismiss […]

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