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.

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Eighteen-Foot Fall from Ladder Did Not Aggravate Preexisting Back Condition

By on January 31, 2014 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments
Eighteen-Foot Fall from Ladder Did Not Aggravate Preexisting Back Condition

Remi Beausejour had problems with his lower back dating back to 2006, when he injured his back at work.  He had pain in his back, and down through his right leg.  An MRI showed degenerative disc disease and a disc herniation at L3-4 and L4-5 levels.  He also experienced radiculopathy at the time, and was […]

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Compensability Determination Comes Down to a Measurement in Harrah’s Premises Claim

By on January 23, 2014 in Compensability with 0 Comments
Compensability Determination Comes Down to a Measurement in Harrah’s Premises Claim

The premises rule in New Jersey states that employees are covered when they are on property owned or controlled by the employer.  How far can this be stretched?  When a car accident occurs on a public street with only part of the car touching the employer’s premises, is an injury still covered under the New […]

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Employee Who Entered Drug Rehab Program Was Not Automatically Protected from Adverse Employment Action When He Left the Program Early

By on January 17, 2014 in ADA with 0 Comments
Employee Who Entered Drug Rehab Program Was Not Automatically Protected from Adverse Employment Action When He Left the Program Early

Bryan Shirley worked for Wyman-Gordon Forgings, L.P. (“W-G”) as an operator of the largest extrusion press in the world.  Company policy required that any employee who should develop a problem with drugs or alcohol must confidentially inform the HR manager in order to pursue treatment.  Failure to comply with treatment could subject the employee to […]

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Division of Workers’ Comp Best Forum to Decide Employment Issue on Home Aide Tragically Killed in Car Accident

By on January 6, 2014 in Compensability with 1 Comment
Division of Workers’ Comp Best Forum to Decide Employment Issue on Home Aide Tragically Killed in Car Accident

Saul Liebman was living alone after the recent death of his wife in September 2008.  At the time he was 81 years old.  His daughter made inquiries to find someone who could move into her father’s home and take care of him, including cooking meals and assisting in daily activities. Myroslava Kotsovska, a 59-year-old Ukrainian […]

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Employee Cannot Sue Fellow Employee Even If the Conduct Causing Injury Bordered on Criminal Negligence

By on January 2, 2014 in Compensability with 0 Comments
Employee Cannot Sue Fellow Employee Even If the Conduct Causing Injury Bordered on Criminal Negligence

What if the conduct of an employee during the course of employment is found to be so reckless as to be potentially criminal? Does that permit an injured co-employee to sue his or her fellow employee in civil court for intentional harm?  That was the issue addressed in Morales v. Christopher S. Schneider, A-0862-12T4 (App. […]

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Petitioner Prevails in Alleged Traumatic Injury Claim Even Though Pleadings Were Filed as Occupational In Nature

By on December 20, 2013 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

It is not uncommon for a claimant to file an occupational disease claim but then at trial attempt to prove a case that is much more like a traumatic injury claim.  The reverse is also sometimes true.  How do courts treat these shifting proofs? In Rivera v. United Parcel Service, the claimant began with UPS […]

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Appellate Division Reverses Award to Petitioner in Occupational Pulmonary Case

By on December 13, 2013 in Claims with 0 Comments

Anthony DiFabrizio worked for US Airways since 1985 at both Newark Airport and LaGuardia Airport.  At Newark Airport he loaded and unloaded baggage from planes, trucks and conveyor belts, as well as driving equipment to push back planes from ramp areas.  At LaGuardia he worked from 1995 to 2008 doing similar work. He also worked […]

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New Ligament in Knee May Be Cause of Complications Post-Surgery

By on December 6, 2013 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

By Ian Zolty, Esq. Have you ever heard of the anterolateral ligament? If you have not, don’t feel bad because almost no one was aware of it until recent months. The research of two orthopedic surgeons, Dr. Steven Claes and Dr. Johan Bellemans from University Hospitals Leuven in Belgium, may be breaking new ground in […]

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Appellate Division Appears To Upend Established Case Law On Medical Liens In Workers’ Comp Car Accident Cases

By on November 19, 2013 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

In one of the most puzzling decisions in decades dealing with N.J.S.A. 34:15-40, the court in Dever v. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company, 2013 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2553, (App. Div. October 23, 2013) ruled that respondent has no lien on the medical portion of a third party claim against a UM or UIM carrier. […]

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