A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Court of Appeals Affirms Termination of Employee Based on Employee’s Own Doctor Report

By on April 27, 2017 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments
Court of Appeals Affirms Termination of Employee Based on Employee’s Own Doctor Report

Walter Aston worked for Tapco International for 20 years as a shipping and receiving clerk, display builder and a maintenance worker.  He suffered a heart attack in May 2010.  The company granted 12 weeks of FMLA leave as well as an additional 14 weeks of short-term disability leave.  The company policy was not to hold […]

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Appellate Division Holds That New York Worker Who Accepted A Job Offer While In New Jersey Was Hired In New Jersey Conferring Jurisdiction In New Jersey

By on April 20, 2017 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments

When an employee returns to work following a work injury, in many states that ends the workers’ compensation case, but not in New Jersey.  In our state, that just moves the case to the final stage of permanency benefits for loss of function of the body member.  The availability of loss of function awards following […]

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Petitioner Had No Duty To Intervene In Altercation, Traumatic Brain Injury Following Wrestling Incident Not Compensable

By on April 17, 2017 in Compensability with 0 Comments
Petitioner Had No Duty To Intervene In Altercation, Traumatic Brain Injury Following Wrestling Incident Not Compensable

The recent case of Benimadho v. Somerville Borough Fire Department, A-2351-15T3 (App. Div. April 10, 2017) is fascinating because it draws a line between horseplay, which is ordinarily compensable, and conduct that goes beyond what the employer approves when an employee is away from the normal place of employment. The case involved a serious brain […]

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Petitioner’s Expert’s Findings in Physical Exam Constituted Objective Evidence to Support Increase on Reopener from 35% to 45%

By on April 7, 2017 in Awards with 0 Comments

The New Jersey statute permits claimants who receive an order approving settlement to reopen claims for additional medical, temporary or permanent disability benefits.  In Holowchuk v. O’Sullivan Menu Publishing, A-5235-14T3 (App. Div. April 6, 2017), the petitioner, Robert Holowchuk, injured his low back lifting two, five gallon drums of chemicals in 2007.  He received an award […]

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Employee With Work Injury Was Properly Denied Reasonable Accommodation Request

By on March 30, 2017 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments
Employee With Work Injury Was Properly Denied Reasonable Accommodation Request

Kim Mason was injured on March 22, 2011 falling off her UPS delivery truck and injuring her wrist, requiring surgery.  She reached maximal medical improvement in October 2011. Several months later she requested accommodations for her wrist disability under the ADA.  Her surgeon completed a form which indicated that Mason could not perform all the […]

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The Going-And-Coming Rule And Multiple Employer Work Sites

By on March 23, 2017 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments

An employee works regularly in Cherry Hill, N.J. but three or four times a year is required to work at the company’s north Jersey location in Parsippany.   On the way to the Parsippany office, the employee is in a car accident and suffers serious injuries.  The employer gets the claim and confers with the carrier […]

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Job Description Of Sales Person Did Not State Driving Was An Essential Function So Jury Must Decide Whether Company Should Accommodate Request for Driver

By on March 17, 2017 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments

Employers must carefully view job descriptions because ADA law suits often turn on the wording of those job descriptions.  In Stephenson v. Pfizer, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3863 (4th Cir. 2016), a long-time sales person for Pfizer developed vision problems which disqualified her from driving.  Stephenson had been an extremely successful sales representative who had […]

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What Impact Will New Jersey’s New Opioid Prescription Bill Have on Workers’ Comp?

By on March 9, 2017 in Policy with 0 Comments

On February 15, 2017 Governor Chris Christie signed a new law requiring health insurance coverage for treatment of substance abuse disorders and certain restrictions on the prescription of opioids and other Schedule II drugs.  The bill is touted as one of the most aggressive in the nation, and compensation practitioners are asking what will be […]

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Court Dismisses Intentional Harm Law Suit Against Employer

By on March 1, 2017 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments

Injured workers continue to attempt to sue their employers in civil court for bodily injury no matter how often our courts make clear that such suits are barred unless intentional harm can be proved. For every successful claimant who meets the intentional harm standard, there are thousands whose cases are dismissed on summary judgment.  Such […]

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Camden Police Department Did Not Violate FMLA By Visiting Officer While on FMLA Leave

By on February 21, 2017 in FMLA with 0 Comments

The Fraternal Order of Police and certain police officers challenged the City of Camden Police Department for allegedly retaliating against certain officers who complained about city policies.  One of the allegations involved the Family and Medical Leave Act.  The city initiated a policy called “directed patrols” in 2008.  That policy required officers to engage with […]

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Carrier Which Failed To Provide 10-Day Statutory Notice Letter Was Permitted To Bring Suit

By on February 13, 2017 in Subrogation with 0 Comments

New Jersey employers know that they have a right to subrogate against the party who caused injury to their employee to recover workers’ compensation benefits paid, but they must wait one year before taking any action.  After one year, if the injured worker has not pursued a third party action, the employer must make a […]

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Basic Considerations in New Jersey Reopener Claims

By on February 2, 2017 in Claims with 2 Comments

Most aspects of the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act are considered favorably by employers since the law gives employers the right to control medical care and allows termination of temporary disability benefits and medical benefits at maximal medical improvement. One aspect, however, of New Jersey law invariably frustrates employers:  reopener claim petitions. These kinds of […]

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Understanding the Mutual Benefit Doctrine in Workers’ Comp

By on January 24, 2017 in Compensability with 0 Comments

Sometimes activities that would otherwise be non-compensable are covered under the Mutual Benefit Doctrine.  That doctrine covers certain activities when there is “a clear and substantial benefit” to the employer by reason of the permitted activity.  Daus v. Marble, 270 N.J. Super. 241 (App. Div. 1994).  An example might be an injury to an employee when […]

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Employee Can Proceed on ADA Claim That He Was Discriminated Against on Account of Severe Obesity

By on January 13, 2017 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments

Mark Richardson worked for the Chicago Transit Authority as a Bus Operator from 1999 to 2012.  He took an extended medical leave from work and attempted to return to his job in September 2010.  The Authority sent plaintiff for a fitness exam, and the doctor cleared Richardson to return to work. He was next required […]

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Court Upholds City’s Termination of Worker with Lupus Based on Doctor’s Note Prohibiting Outdoor Work

By on January 6, 2017 in Court Rulings, Uncategorized with 0 Comments

Jimmy Mathis worked as a laborer for the City of Red Bank in Tennessee. Eventually he rose to the position of Assistant to the Director of Public Works. Initially he would inspect for building code violations, handle animal control problems, oversee street projects and handle citizen requests. A written job description described his duties, which […]

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