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.

Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Parts Company With Other Courts in Defining Care Under FMLA More Broadly

By on June 5, 2014 in FMLA with 0 Comments
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Parts Company With Other Courts in Defining Care Under FMLA More Broadly

Beverly Ballard worked for the Chicago Park District.  Her mother, Sarah, who lived with her daughter, was diagnosed with end-stage congestive heart failure in 2006 and began receiving hospice support.  Beverly acted as the primary caregiver for her mother, cooking her meals, administering insulin and other medications, draining fluids from her heart, and bathing and […]

Continue Reading »

Court in New Mexico Orders Employer to Reimburse Injured Worker for Costs of Medical Marijuana

By on May 27, 2014 in Key Defenses with 2 Comments
Court in New Mexico Orders Employer to Reimburse Injured Worker for Costs of Medical Marijuana

The State of New Mexico has a Compassionate Care Act, which provides for medical marijuana when a patient is certified for the program by his or her health care provider.  In the case of Vialpando v. Ben’s Auto. Servs., 2014 N.M. App. LEXIS 50 (N.M. Ct. App. May 19, 2014), the New Mexico Court of […]

Continue Reading »

Law Suit Improperly Filed in Civil Court Could Not Be Transferred to Division of Workers’ Compensation

By on May 19, 2014 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments
Law Suit Improperly Filed in Civil Court Could Not Be Transferred to Division of Workers’ Compensation

Sometimes attorneys, unfamiliar with workers’ compensation, file civil suits that really belong in the Division of Workers’ Compensation.  That was the situation in Garofalo v. East Whitehouse Fire Department, A-3649-12T2, A-4687-12T2, (App.Div.March 28, 2014). The case began with an injury on March 11, 2009 to Anthony Garofalo, who was a podiatric surgeon in New York […]

Continue Reading »

Can an Employee Be Paid Less on Light Duty than the Employee Was Receiving in Temporary Disability Benefits?

By on May 12, 2014 in Compensability with 6 Comments

New Jersey has a powerful provision allowing employers to terminate temporary disability benefits on an offer of light duty, provided that the offer is made.  If it is made, the employee must return to the light duty job or temp benefits will be terminated. But what happens if the light duty offer involves fewer hours […]

Continue Reading »

Worker With a Severe Eye Injury Was a Special Employee and Could Not Sue His Joint Employer

By on May 2, 2014 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments
Worker With a Severe Eye Injury Was a Special Employee and Could Not Sue His Joint Employer

There are many instances in which an injured worker argues that he was not employed so as to be able to bring a negligence action.  The case of Hernandez v. Port Logistics, A-3558-12T3 (App. Div. 2014) illustrates this situation. Daniel Hernandez was placing a box onto a load of pallets on August 23, 2011, when […]

Continue Reading »

Ninth Circuit Court Rules Employee Can Decline FMLA Rights Even If Absence Would Have Been FMLA Protected

By on April 25, 2014 in FMLA with 0 Comments
Ninth Circuit Court Rules Employee Can Decline FMLA Rights Even If Absence Would Have Been FMLA Protected

Maria Escriba worked for Foster Poultry Farms, Inc. for 18 years.  She met with her immediate supervisor on November 19, 2007, to request two weeks’ vacation time to care for her father in Guatemala who was very ill.  Her daughter purchased round-trip airfare for Escriba for November 23, 2007 with a return date of December […]

Continue Reading »

Pulmonary Award Is Reversed for Failure of Judge to Explain Why She Credited the Testimony of Petitioner’s Expert Over Respondent’s Expert

By on April 18, 2014 in Claims with 2 Comments
Pulmonary Award Is Reversed for Failure of Judge to Explain Why She Credited the Testimony of Petitioner’s Expert Over Respondent’s Expert

Frank Ascione worked for U.S. Airways at Newark Liberty International Airport as a fleet service agent since 1981.  He handled baggage and drove equipment to push back planes.  He would work in the “bag room,” transporting baggage to and from the plane.  He assisted in de-icing of planes about 20 times in his career and […]

Continue Reading »

Supreme Court Finds County Employee’s Injury Not Compensable

By on April 8, 2014 in Compensability with 0 Comments
Supreme Court Finds County Employee’s Injury Not Compensable

In a surprising decision from the New Jersey Supreme Court, an award to Cheryl Hersh, an employee of Morris County, was reversed on April 1, 2014. Ms. Hersh was employed by the County since September 2002 as a Senior Clerk in the Board of Elections.  In 2004 the County assigned her free parking at a […]

Continue Reading »

New Jersey Court Rejects Common Law Marriage as Basis for Dependency Benefits in Workers’ Comp Claim

By on March 28, 2014 in Key Defenses with 1 Comment

Bobbie Kehoe and Scott Sunkimat began cohabiting in their home in Point Pleasant, New Jersey in 1999.  They made a life-long commitment to each other to spend their lives together but declined to marry.  They shared utility bills and bank accounts and both of their names were on the deed to their home.  Bobbie Kehoe […]

Continue Reading »

High Blood Pressure and Temporary Vision Problems Are ADA Disabilities

By on March 17, 2014 in ADA with 0 Comments

The ADA Amendments Act has substantially broadened coverage under the law.  An example comes in Gogos v. AMS Mechanical Systems, Inc., 737 F.3d 1170 (7th Cir. 2013).  Mr. Gogos worked as a pipe welder and had been taking medication to reduce his elevated blood pressure for the past eight years.  He commenced employment with the […]

Continue Reading »

Slip And Fall At Work Accelerated Need for Surgery In Claimant With Severe Arthritic Hip Condition

By on March 11, 2014 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments
Slip And Fall At Work Accelerated Need for Surgery In Claimant With Severe Arthritic Hip Condition

Among the hardest cases for employers to contend with are those where the claimant already has an advanced degenerative or arthritic condition and then has an injury.  That was the situation when Veronica Graham, a 55-year-old Certified Nursing Assistant, fell on a wet floor at work on June 25, 2011.  She landed on her left […]

Continue Reading »

Casual Employment and Independent Contractor Defenses Often Overlap

By on March 6, 2014 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments
Casual Employment and Independent Contractor Defenses Often Overlap

Many clients ask what the difference is between the defense of independent contractor and casual employment.  The truth is that the defenses are very similar, and one important case, Berkeyheiser v. Mollie S. Woolf, 71 N.J. Super. 171, (App.Div. 1961), illustrates this point. The case involved a man who worked full time for St. Regis […]

Continue Reading »

Bungled Post-Offer Medical Examination Leaves School Liable to Job Applicant

By on February 24, 2014 in ADA with 0 Comments
Bungled Post-Offer Medical Examination Leaves School Liable to Job Applicant

A well-done post-offer medical examination requires great skill and expertise.  These elements were lacking when Adam LaFata applied for a job as Plant Engineer, essentially a custodial position, with the Dearborn Heights School District. One critical fact is that LaFata had been doing this kind of work for 10 years for the Lincoln Park Community […]

Continue Reading »

Employee Can Be Fired for Reasons Discovered While on FMLA Leave

By on February 14, 2014 in FMLA with 0 Comments
Employee Can Be Fired for Reasons Discovered While on FMLA Leave

Adesina Mercer worked for the Arc of Prince George County from 2004 to 2011.  Her job included applying for and processing initial applications for benefits for Food Stamps and Social Security. In May 2007, The Arc put Mercer on conditional employment status due to poor work performance.  She was returned to regular status the next […]

Continue Reading »

Volunteer Firefighters May Be Employees under FMLA

By on February 7, 2014 in FMLA with 0 Comments
Volunteer Firefighters May Be Employees under FMLA

The City of Gibraltar employed 41 employees, excluding its “volunteer” firefighters.  When it fired one of the firefighters, Paul Mendel, he sued under the FMLA. The city countered that it was not covered under the FMLA because it had less than 50 employees. There were 25-30 “volunteer firefighters” whom the City contended were not truly […]

Continue Reading »

Top