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.

Federal Court Rejects ADA Suit by Security Officer but Allows Workers’ Comp Retaliation Claim to Go to Trial

By on July 27, 2015 in ADA with 0 Comments

Patrick Vasnaik worked for Providence Health & Services – Oregon as a security officer from 2006 to 2012.  His performance evaluations over the years fluctuated between requiring improvement to exceeding expectations.  However, he required several coachings over the years for not arriving on time to work.  In May 2010 he received a “documented coaching” after […]

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Appellate Court Explains How an Employer Can Protect Its Lien Rights by Filing Suit in the Name of the Injured Worker

By on July 15, 2015 in Controlling Costs with 0 Comments

Employers are aware that if the claimant has not pursued his or her third party civil action within a year of the injury, the employer can provide a 10-day notice and then sue in the name of the injured worker.  But what happens if the injured worker will not cooperate with the law suit?  Can […]

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Door Remains Closed to Suits by Employees Against Employers for Intentional Harm

By on July 7, 2015 in Compensability with 0 Comments

In New Jersey it remains extremely difficult to bring an intentional harm claim against one’s employer.  Mere knowledge and appreciation of a risk is not intent.  That was the holding in Keller v. Township of Berkeley, A-5767-12T3 (June 22, 2015). Mr. Keller worked as a laborer for the Township sanitation department and suffered serious injuries […]

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UPS Did Not Violate FMLA in Firing Employee Who Was on Intermittent FMLA Leave

By on June 29, 2015 in FMLA with 0 Comments

Intermittent leave can be extremely difficult for employers.  One important point for employers to realize is that an employee on intermittent leave who comes to work in between flare-ups may be held to all customary performance standards.  The case of Parks v. UPS Supply Chain Solutions, Inc. 2014 U.S. DIST LEXIS 13538 (E.D. Kentucky 2014) […]

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New Jersey Supreme Court Reverses Key Ruling by Appellate Court that Vested Original Jurisdiction on Employee Status With the Division of Workers’ Compensation

By on June 22, 2015 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

In 2014 an important appellate court decision was decided on whether all cases involving the interpretation of employee status must be referred to the Division of Workers’ Compensation.  On June 11, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court reversed the Appellate Division in Estate of Myroslava Kotsovska v. Saul Liebman (A-89-13) (073861). The facts were tragic.  […]

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Section 20 Settlement Versus Order Approving Settlement

By on June 12, 2015 in Uncategorized with 3 Comments

Every New Jersey workers’ compensation practitioner must evaluate the benefits of a Section 20, (which is a lump sum full and final payment), versus an order approving settlement, (which involves an award of a percentage of disability under Section 22).  About twice as many cases settle under orders approving settlement in New Jersey than under […]

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Appellate Court Affirms Some Sanctions Against Employer and Reverses Other Sanctions

By on June 5, 2015 in Controlling Costs with 0 Comments

Sanctions against an employer in workers’ compensation are rather rare, and the case of Pschunder-Haaf v. Synergy Home Care of South Jersey, A-3138-13T3, (App. Div. May 12, 2015) provides some guidance on conduct that may lead to such sanctions. The petitioner, Pschunder-Haaf, a home health aide, injured her low back when a patient fell on […]

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Plaintiff’s Disability Discrimination Claim Doomed by Contradictory Statements to Social Security

By on May 26, 2015 in Compensability with 0 Comments

Alphonso Myers worked as a security guard and was injured in that position.  He applied for and received social security disability benefits.  In his application, he advised the Social Security Administration that he was in pain all the time during the period of his application, he could only stand for twenty minutes and could only […]

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Does New Jersey Have Something Similar to Partial Temp Benefits in Workers’ Compensation?

By on May 18, 2015 in Compensability with 3 Comments

The old adage is that New Jersey is a not a partial temp state, but is that really true?  In some states, like New Hampshire, an employee who returns to work but due to disability cannot earn the amount he or she was earning before the work injury may be eligible for significant benefits.  The […]

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Judge of Compensation Properly Denied Employee’s Request for Commutation of Settlement

By on May 13, 2015 in Compensability with 1 Comment

Unlike many states, most settlements in New Jersey are paid out over a period of weeks, often with payments carrying out well into the future.  For example, if an employee receives an award of 40% permanent partial disability, the award is paid over 240 weeks in equal payments beginning with the last payment of temporary […]

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Employer Waived Its Objection to Policy Cancellation by Waiting Seven Years before Raising Issue of Proper Cancellation

By on May 8, 2015 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments

Janice Davis was injured on April 23, 2007 in a work-related accident.  She filed a claim petition promptly against Yassien Mobility Assistance & Ambulance, Inc., her employer.  On October 1, 2007, Yassien filed an answer stating that it had no insurance for workers’ compensation.  The Uninsured Employers’ Fund (UEF) was joined in the matter as […]

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Court Allows Claimant to Reopen Previously Dismissed Claim Based on Dishonesty of Claimant’s Attorney

By on April 30, 2015 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

Cases dismissed under N.J.S.A. 34:15-54 for lack of prosecution are permanently closed if not reinstated within one year.  The matter of Kost v. GPU Energy, A-0858-13T3 (App. Div. 2015) offers one exception to the rule. Richard Kost filed seven claims against GPU Energy/JCP&L in 2003.  He also filed a parallel civil action which was pending […]

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PIP Carrier’s Claim Petition Is Rejected for Failure to Show Work Connection

By on April 22, 2015 in Compensability with 0 Comments

What can a PIP carrier do when it believes the bills it has paid arise from a workers’ compensation case but the injured party has never filed a claim?  In New Jersey, the PIP carrier has a right to file a workers’ compensation claim petition in the name of the injured worker, but there is […]

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Appellate Court Fine Tunes Standards for Motions for Medical and Temporary Benefits

By on April 15, 2015 in Compensability with 0 Comments

Sometimes the seemingly minor cases have significant long-term impact.  The case of Amedeo v. United Parcel Service, A-1013-13T2 (App. Div. April 8, 2015) may be one of those cases. Thomas Amedeo suffered a work injury in 2009 in the employment of UPS.  He filed a workers’ compensation claim petition and ultimately received an award of […]

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Misuse Of The Term “Aggravation” Causes Huge Overpayments In Workers’ Compensation

By on April 9, 2015 in Key Defenses with 2 Comments

SCENARIO ONE: An employee has a preexisting arthritic knee condition that his personal physician says will require imminent knee replacement. Three months later this employee steps off a truck at work and feels pain in the knee.  He reports the incident to his employer, who sends him for treatment.  The doctor orders an MRI, stating […]

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