A Capehart Scatchard Blog

John H. Geaney

John H. Geaney, a shareholder and co-chair of Capehart Scatchard's Workers' Compensation department, began an email newsletter entitled Currents in Workers’ Compensation, ADA and FMLA in 2001 in order to keep clients and readers informed on leading developments in these three areas of law. Since that time he has written over 500 newsletter updates.

Mr. Geaney is the author of Geaney’s New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Manual for Practitioners, Adjusters & Employers. The manual is distributed by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE). He also authored an ADA and FMLA manual as distributed by NJICLE. If you are interested in purchasing the manual, please contact NJICLE at 732-214-8500 or visit their website at www.njicle.com.

Mr. Geaney represents employers in the defense of workers’ compensation, ADA and FMLA matters. He is a Fellow of the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers of the American Bar Association and is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a workers’ compensation law attorney. He is one of two firm representatives to the National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network. He has served on the Executive Committee of Capehart Scatchard for over ten (10) years.

A graduate of Holy Cross College summa cum laude, Mr. Geaney obtained his law degree from Boston College Law School. He has been named a “Super Lawyer” by his peers and Law and Politics. He serves as Vice President of the Friends of MEND, the fundraising arm of a local charitable organization devoted to promoting affordable housing.

Capehart Scatchard is a full service law firm with offices in Mt. Laurel and Trenton, New Jersey. The firm represents employers and businesses in a wide variety of areas, including workers’ compensation, civil litigation, labor, environmental, business, estates and governmental affairs.

Barnabas Health System Wins Coveted “Teddy” Award at National Workers’ Compensation Convention in Las Vegas

By on November 16, 2015 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

The signature workers’ compensation event in the United States takes place each year at the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The highlight of the conference is the presentation of the “Teddy” award to a select few companies, chosen from hundreds of applicants, for outstanding achievement in workers’ compensation. […]

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Understanding Idiopathic Claims and How to Prove the Defense

By on November 10, 2015 in Key Defenses with 1 Comment

The term “idiopathic defense” is widely misunderstood.  Practitioners need to appreciate when the defense applies and who has the burden of proving an idiopathic defense.  In New Jersey, and in most states, the burden is on the employer to prove an idiopathic defense.  The word “idiopathic” comes from the Greek: “idios” meaning one’s own, and […]

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Employer Did Not Have a Job Related Reason to Compel Fitness for Duty Examination

By on November 5, 2015 in ADA with 0 Comments

One of the challenges for employers is determining when a fitness-for-duty examination can be required and when it cannot be.  This issue sometimes flows from a workers’ compensation case following a long period of absence but also emerges in other situations unrelated to workers’ compensation. In Margaret Wright v. Illinois Department of Children and Family […]

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Court Rejects Respiratory Reopener Claim of Detective Investigator Who Alleged Her COPD Condition Worsened Due to Work Exposures

By on October 29, 2015 in Claims with 1 Comment

One of the hallmarks of the New Jersey workers’ compensation system is that awards of partial permanent disability can be reopened for more medical, temporary or permanent disability benefits.  In this case, Rebecca Weston, a detective investigator for the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, received an award of 55% of partial total, 31% of which was […]

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Employee Defeats School Board’s Motion for Summary Judgment in Case Involving Possible Use of Air-Conditioned Bus

By on October 21, 2015 in ADA with 0 Comments

The Clayton County School District in Atlanta, Georgia employed Edith Hill as a bus driver.  During the school year 2009-2010 Hill was assigned a non-air-conditioned bus for special needs students.  The temperatures inside the bus rose above 100 degrees and Hill found she was experiencing serious difficulty in breathing.  She filed an “Employee Request for […]

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Strategies in Winning Occupational Disease Claims

By on October 15, 2015 in Claims with 0 Comments

In part one we examined the law surrounding New Jersey occupational disease claims and trends in our state (see last week’s blog).  In this segment, we will explore strategies and tactics employers can take to win occupational disease claims. Winning workers’ compensation claims depends more than any other factor on obtaining past medical history.  Experience […]

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Defending Occupational Disease Claims in New Jersey

By on October 8, 2015 in Claims with 1 Comment

This is a two part analysis of the defense of occupational disease claims in New Jersey workers’ compensation.  The first segment will focus on the proofs in occupational disease cases and why this practitioner believes that these kinds of claims will be filed increasingly in coming years.  The second segment will focus on how employers […]

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Employer Improperly Failed to Allow Employee to Cure Defect in FMLA Medical Certification before Terminating Employee for Excessive Absenteeism

By on October 2, 2015 in FMLA with 0 Comments

Cases in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals have great importance for New Jersey employers in connection with the FMLA.  The case of Hansler v. Lehigh Valley Hosp. Network, 790 F.3d 499 (2015 U. S. App. LEXIS 10444) (3d Cir. June 22, 2015) is worthy of study.  It involved a technical partner who was hired […]

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Appellate Court Refines Rules on Workers’ Compensation Lien Rights

By on September 23, 2015 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments

The case of Jose Moreira v. Carlos Peixoto, et. al., A-5741-12T1 (App. Div. September 10, 2015) presents a complex tale of insurance fraud that ends with an important clarification about the lien rights of an employer and the potential challenges to lien calculations by employees. Jose Moreira was injured working privately on a house owned […]

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Court Holds that Need for Knee Treatment Is Not Related to Prior Work-Related Meniscal Repair but to Preexisting Arthritis

By on September 18, 2015 in Key Defenses with 1 Comment

Employers always struggle with this dilemma:  if a claimant receives an award for knee surgery related to a repair of a torn meniscus, does that mean that future knee treatment for arthritis in the knee must be the responsibility of the employer? This issue arises often when the subject at issue is a possible total […]

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Accelerating Permanency Payments Where There Is a Large Third Party Award

By on September 11, 2015 in Uncategorized with 3 Comments

In the past month three clients have asked what they should do when there is a third party award larger than the comp award and the adjuster needs to pay a permanency award.  For example:  the claimant recovers $750,000 in a third party law suit.  The total medical and temporary disability benefits are $150,000, and […]

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Petitioner’s Claim Was Not Time Barred Because He Did Not Know the Precise Nature of His Medical Condition

By on September 2, 2015 in Uncategorized with 1 Comment

New Jersey has a statute of limitations for occupational disease claims.  In Rajpaul v. McDonald’s Corporation, A-4681-13T4 (App. Div. August 28, 2015), the proper application of the statute became the issue on appeal. In this case, the petitioner worked as a maintenance person from August 1995 until November 2005 at McDonald’s.  He began to have […]

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Law Firm Properly Terminated Support Services Assistant with Permanent Lifting Restrictions of No More than 20 Pounds

By on August 24, 2015 in FMLA with 0 Comments

Charlesetta Jennings worked as a Support Services Assistant (SSA) at Womble Carlyle, a 500 lawyer firm based in North Carolina. Her job required performing a wide variety of tasks, including managing supplies, delivering or picking up packages, copying and scanning documents, setting up conference rooms, filing for receptionists, operating copy and scanning machines, and binding […]

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Limousine Driver in Business not Unlike Uber Found to Be Independent Contractor

By on August 13, 2015 in Uncategorized with 1 Comment

In a surprising decision that is particularly topical with various states facing similar issues with the popular company UBER, the Appellate Division held in Babekr v. XYZ Two Way Radio, A-3036-13T3 (App. Div. August 6, 2015) that a limo driver was not an employee when his vehicle was involved in a crash during the course […]

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New Jersey School Board Did Not Violate FMLA When It Terminated Custodian Who Exhausted FMLA Time

By on August 6, 2015 in FMLA with 0 Comments

Colleen Pizzo worked as a custodian for the Lindenwold Board of Education in Camden County, New Jersey.  She went out of work beginning June 19, 2012 for depression.  She filed the formal FMLA request on June 26, 2012.  The Board approved the leave beginning June 19, 2012.  While she was out, Pizzo requested an extension […]

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