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.

Court of Appeals Explains When Employer Can Require Fitness for Duty Exam in Case Involving University of Maryland Professor

By on October 3, 2014 in ADA with 1 Comment
Court of Appeals Explains When Employer Can Require Fitness for Duty Exam in Case Involving University of Maryland Professor

When can an employer require a physical or mental fitness-for-duty examination? That was the issue in Coursey v. University of Maryland Eastern Shore, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12407 (4th Cir. 2014). Over a period of years, beginning in 2004, students and faculty members lodged complaints about the conduct of Professor Leon Coursey.  The allegations concerned […]

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Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Finds Leave in Excess of Six Months Is not a Reasonable Accommodation

By on September 23, 2014 in ADA with 0 Comments
Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Finds Leave in Excess of Six Months Is not a Reasonable Accommodation

Grace Hwang worked as an assistant Professor at Kansas State University.  Before the fall term began, she found out she had cancer and needed treatment.  She requested a six month leave of absence, which Kansas State granted.  As the spring term approached, Hwang’s doctor indicated that she would need additional leave time.  She requested another […]

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Court Finds Joint Employment for Golf Course Superintendent and Applies “Bunkhouse Rule” in Holding Injury at Residence to Be Compensable

By on September 15, 2014 in Compensability with 0 Comments
Court Finds Joint Employment for Golf Course Superintendent and Applies “Bunkhouse Rule” in Holding Injury at Residence to Be Compensable

Eric Hanisko worked as a superintendent of a 120-acre golf course in West Windsor, N.J.  He accepted a written offer of employment in February 2008 on behalf of BCGM, a corporation specializing in golf course management, and CGC, the owner of the golf club.  His employment package included housing at the club. On April 11, […]

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OSHA Is Considering New Reporting Procedures for Employers for Work Injuries

By on September 4, 2014 in Uncategorized with 1 Comment

Employers continue to deal with federal intrusions in workers’ compensation: the Medicare Secondary Payer Statute and now new rules being considered by OSHA.  On November 8, 2013, OSHA published a notice of proposed rule-making to amend the agency’s regulations on reporting injuries and illnesses. OSHA is concerned that injury reporting may be inaccurate because employers […]

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Claimant with Parkinson’s Disease Failed to Prove Work Accident Aggravated His Condition and Failed to Prove Entitlement to Second Injury Fund Benefits

By on August 25, 2014 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments

Kevin Durnien worked as a tractor-trailer driver for United Parcel Service (UPS) from 1996 to 2008.  He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2003 but continued to drive for UPS for several years. On October 25, 2007, Durnien was injured when he fell on his elbow while making a warehouse pickup.  He injured his rotator […]

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MRSA Claim Found Compensable Based on Timeline of Work Injury

By on August 13, 2014 in Compensability with 1 Comment
MRSA Claim Found Compensable Based on Timeline of Work Injury

Kenneth Nichols worked for Midstates Packaging, Inc. as a mechanic. He was injured on April 7, 2008, while trying to take the transmission out of a Hyster forklift. While underneath the forklift, Nichols heard a pop in his shoulder when the forklift rolled off the blocks and over his left shoulder. He did not notice […]

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New Jersey Supreme Court Rejects Dependency Arising from Employee’s Stroke While Telecommuting

By on August 5, 2014 in Compensability with 0 Comments

In a long awaited decision, the Supreme Court of New Jersey has overturned an award in the matter of James P. Renner v AT&T (A-71-11) (068744).  The case has drawn national attention because it dealt with a stroke claim from an employee who telecommuted quite regularly. Cathleen Renner worked for AT&T for 25 years as […]

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Appellate Division Reverse Large Award to Claimant with PTSD Post-September 11, 2001

By on July 29, 2014 in Uncategorized with 1 Comment
Appellate Division Reverse Large Award to Claimant with PTSD Post-September 11, 2001

Inez Graham worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.  She began her employment in June, 1987 as a toll collector.  She was injured in 1989 when she slipped and fell while working at the Holland Tunnel.  She received an award in 1993 of 30% partial permanent disability for her left leg […]

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Appellate Division Reverses Judge of Compensation and Remands Case to a Different Judge

By on July 21, 2014 in FMLA with 0 Comments
Appellate Division Reverses Judge of Compensation and Remands Case to a Different Judge

Mary Liu worked as a dealer at Bally’s Casino in Atlantic City.  On November 10, 2012, she was dealing a game of poker.  A customer whom she knew well “signified a check by forcibly striking the table very hard.” Petitioner was not facing the customer and felt startled by the noise.  She said her heart […]

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Carrier that Mistakenly Represented Employer Cannot Use Comp Court to Obtain Reimbursement

By on July 10, 2014 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments
Carrier that Mistakenly Represented Employer Cannot Use Comp Court to Obtain Reimbursement

Shaun Cronrath, a Burlington County College employee, was injured at work when he was attacked by a fan while coaching a basketball game.  He filed a claim petition, and Travelers Casualty Insurance Company of America (hereinafter “Travelers”) filed an answer on behalf of the College.  Travelers negotiated a settlement of $35,000 on behalf of the […]

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Senate Passes Bill to Eliminate Voluntary Offer Credits Due Employers in New Jersey

By on July 2, 2014 in Uncategorized with 1 Comment

The New Jersey Senate passed S374 by a vote of 23-12 on Monday, June 30, 2014.  The bill effectively ends the benefit that employers obtain from making voluntary offers of permanency under N.J.S.A. 34:15-64. New Jersey has an unusual practice of requiring employers to pay 60% of the attorney’s fee of the claimant in an […]

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Court Rules that Telecommuting Could Be Reasonable Accommodation under the ADA

By on June 30, 2014 in ADA with 1 Comment
Court Rules that Telecommuting Could Be Reasonable Accommodation under the ADA

Telecommuting is a trend that is rapidly growing in the United States, and telecommuting requests are also on the rise as a potential reasonable accommodation under the ADA.  A recent Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals case, EEOC v. Ford Motor Company, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7502 (6th Cir. 2014) illustrates how difficult it can be […]

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Appellate Court Defers to Compensation Judge on Assessment of Partial Permanent Disability

By on June 23, 2014 in Uncategorized with 1 Comment

One of the most challenging aspects of New Jersey workers’ compensation practice is estimating the level of permanent partial disability, particularly in a system in which the evaluating physicians have such disparate estimates.  The New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation does not use AMA Guidelines, which makes it even harder to reconcile widely diverging medical […]

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Partner in Limited Liability Corporation Was Not Covered in Fall from Ladder

By on June 16, 2014 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments

Rodney Farnath fell off a ladder at work and filed a motion for medical and temporary disability benefits against 34th Street Markets, LLC.  Farnath was a limited partner in the LLC.  Farm Family Casualty Insurance Company, the workers’ compensation carrier for the employer, declined coverage on the grounds that the policy issued to the LLC […]

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NJ Business Owner Sentenced to Jail for Workers’ Comp Insurance Fraud

By on June 9, 2014 in Key Defenses with 2 Comments

New Jersey has a strong fraud statute, and it applies both to employees and employers.  Most of the cases that have been highlighted in this blog have concerned employees.  However, in a recent development, a Spring Lake, New Jersey man, was sentenced to 180 days in jail, 150 days of community service, and three years […]

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