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.

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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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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