A Capehart Scatchard Blog

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A recent unpublished case poses an unusual question:  can a party to a consent settlement for a percentage of disability award reopen the case to dispute the rate that was agreed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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The Brave New World of Telecommuting and Workers’ Compensation

By on April 2, 2020 in Compensability with 0 Comments

In response to the world-wide coronavirus epidemic, one of the most remarkable societal changes taking place in America today is the ubiquitous transition from working in an office to working from home.  The deadly coronavirus is forcing this change, but many think that even when this crisis passes, American businesses will start to reevaluate the […]

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New Jersey Workers’ Comp Courts Set for Limited Reopening April 6th

By on March 31, 2020 in Other with 0 Comments

The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation court calendars were suspended March 17, 2020 through April 3, 2020.   On Monday, March 30, 2020, the Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation, Hon. Russell Wojtenko, Jr. advised in a Notice to the Bar that a limited reopening will occur on Monday, April 6, 2020 to permit telephonic case […]

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New Jersey Supreme Court Permits Plaintiff To Proceed With His LAD Law Suit Alleging He Was Wrongfully Terminated For Legal Use of Marijuana Under The Compassionate Use Act

By on March 12, 2020 in Policy with 0 Comments

Justin Wild, a licensed funeral director, was diagnosed in 2015 with cancer and was prescribed marijuana under the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. In May 2016 Wild was working a funeral when his vehicle was struck by another vehicle that ran a stop sign.  Wild advised a treating doctor at the hospital that […]

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Why It Is Important To Understand Legal Causation In Workers’ Compensation

By on March 5, 2020 in Workers' Comp Basics with 0 Comments

The concept of legal causation is fundamental to master in handling claims. If there is no legal causation, the claim should be dismissed.  The claimant must prove an accident which arises from the employment.  There must be a work connection.  When a case poses a serious issue of legal causation, the most common mistake is […]

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The Potential Impact Of The Coronavirus On New Jersey Workers’ Compensation

By on February 28, 2020 in Compensability with 0 Comments

Many readers of this blog have inquired recently about the potential impact of the novel coronavirus on workers’ compensation claims.  Should a surge of serious coronavirus illnesses occur among New Jersey workers, would such claims be considered compensable under the law? The answer to this question depends on whether one is or is not a […]

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Transportation Issues in Workers’ Compensation

By on February 21, 2020 in Workers' Comp Basics with 0 Comments

Adjusters and employers familiar with other state workers’ compensation laws are often surprised to find out that the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act contains no statute requiring employers to pay for transportation costs to get employees to medical appointments and no mileage reimbursement provision.   When an employer requires an injured worker who has moved out […]

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