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.

New Jersey Bans Medical Providers From Charging Claimants for Work-Related Medical Expenses

By on November 21, 2012 in Uncategorized with 1 Comment

New Jersey, like many states, has had an ongoing problem with physicians and hospitals that balance bill injured workers for work-related care.  This problem has become more acute in the age of managed care reductions where medical providers dispute the amount they are paid and then send invoices to injured workers for the unpaid balance.  […]

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Does An Employer Violate The FMLA By Performing Surveillance Of An Employee When It Suspects FMLA Abuse?

By on November 15, 2012 in FMLA with 0 Comments

FMLA abuse remains a problem for employers, leading to the question of whether an employer can obtain surveillance to make sure that the leave is taken for the reason requested.  In Vail v. Raybestos Products Company, 533 F.3d 904 (7th Cir. 2008), an Appeals Court provided very helpful guidance on this issue. Diana Vail worked for […]

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Is Distant Travel For Faith Healing Of Seriously Ill Spouse Covered Under FMLA?

By on November 5, 2012 in FMLA with 0 Comments

Maria Lucia Tayag, Plaintiff, worked for Lahey Clinic Hospital, Inc. in Massachusettsas as a Health Information Clerk.  She received favorable reviews since she began her employment in 2002.  Her husband, Rhomeo Tayag, suffered from several chronic medical conditions, including recurrent gout, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis and end-stage renal failure. Plaintiff routinely used intermittent FMLA leave for […]

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School Board Did Not Violate ADA When It Did Not Provide An Odor and Perfume Free Working Environment For Teacher

By on October 30, 2012 in ADA with 0 Comments

Nada Feldman worked as a middle school teacher for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education.  On February 18, 2009, plaintiff’s doctor provided a note to the Board of Education stating that plaintiff “should not be exposed to high concentrations of perfume or chemicals because of a documented condition.”  In a supplemental note, the physician specified that […]

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Court Holds That Obesity Not Caused by a Physiological Condition May Still be a Covered Disability Under the ADA

By on October 17, 2012 in ADA with 0 Comments

Eric Feit applied for a job with BNSF Railway Company.  The Company gave him a conditional offer of employment as a conductor trainee provided he completed a physical examination, drug screening, background check and BNSF’s Medical History Questionnaire. On February 6, 2008, BNSF advised Feit that he was not qualified for this “safety sensitive” position […]

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Cashier With Doctor’s Note Requiring Her to Sit Half the Day Was Not a Qualified Individual Under ADA

By on October 12, 2012 in ADA with 0 Comments

Fern Strickland was hired by Eckerd Corporation in 1992. She worked as a cashier for the Jones Bridge Rite Aid.  In June, 2001, she was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both knees.  Her condition made it difficult for her to walk without a cane or stand for long periods of time. In 2001, Strickland requested permission […]

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2013 Edition of Geaney’s New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Manual Now Available

By on October 9, 2012 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

The 2013 Manual is a compilation of prior editions with particular emphasis on cases decided in 2011-2012, as well as the addition of important chapters for practitioners of workers’ compensation. Some of the 2013 Edition highlights are as follows: New chapter on catastrophic claims in workers’ compensation New chapter on calculating awards in workers’ compensation […]

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Court Holds That First Employer is Responsible for Entire Case Notwithstanding Subsequent Injuries

By on October 2, 2012 in Compensability with 0 Comments

Defining what is a flare up from a new injury as opposed to objective worsening in the condition has always been more art than science.  In Allison v. L&J Contracting Company, A-1352-11T4 (App. Div. September 27, 2012), the petitioner Allison injured his low back falling in a hole on July 27, 2006.  He filed a […]

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Appellete Division Holds That Costs of Suit Under Subrogation Provision in New Jersey are Limited to $750

By on September 25, 2012 in Controlling Costs with 1 Comment

From time to time, plaintiff’s counsel takes the position that respondent’s lien is applied to the net proceeds after deduction for plaintiff’s total costs of suit.  In Greater New York Mutual Insurance Company v. Calcagno & Associates, A-0900-11T4 (App. Div. September 20, 2012), that very issue was decided. John Phillips was injured arising from work, […]

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Circuit Court Holds Employer Does Not Have to Accomodate Employee’s Commuting Issues

By on September 21, 2012 in FMLA with 0 Comments

Alisha Regan worked for Faurecia Automotive Seating, Inc., as a prototype seat builder.  At the time she began with the company, she lived 24 miles from the plant.  She and her husband then moved to a new home 79 miles from the plant.  Her commute might take two hours or longer. Regan had been diagnosed […]

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Employee Who Was Going to College While on FMLA Leave Was Properly Terminated

By on September 14, 2012 in FMLA with 0 Comments

Plaintiff worked as a supervisor for Comcast’s Retention Department.  She worked Monday through Friday. In July 2010 she requested time off on Tuesdays and Thursdays to take care of her child, who suffered from asthma.  The request was initially denied, so plaintiff used flex time or vacation time on Tuesdays and Thursdays until she ran […]

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City Properly Terminated Employee with Severe Restrictions in Connection with Return to Work

By on September 4, 2012 in ADA with 0 Comments

Workers’ compensation cases sometimes lead to ADA litigation when an injured worker contends that he or she can return to work with serious restrictions, but the employer maintains it has no job available within these restrictions.  That was the dynamic in Otto v. City of Victoria, 685 F.3d 755 (8th Cir. 2012). Leland Otto was injured […]

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An Individual Supervisor at a Public Agency May be Held Personally Liable Under the FMLA

By on August 29, 2012 in FMLA with 0 Comments

A recent case in the Third Circuit (including New   Jersey) has addressed individual liability of supervisors of public agencies.  In Haybarger v. Lawrence County Adult Probation and Parole, 667 F.3d 408 (3d. Cir. 2012), the plaintiff, Debra Haybarger, worked as an office manager for the Lawrence County Probation and Parole Agency.  Haybarger alleged that […]

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House Cleaner Injured on First Day of Work Was an Independent Contractor Not Covered Under Comp

By on August 23, 2012 in Compensability with 0 Comments

Luz Lukasik agreed to provide house cleaning services for Marguerite Hollaway and two others.  Respondents contacted Lukasik after hearing about her from an acquaintance.  At that time she was cleaning five or six other houses and one office building on a regular basis.  Petitioner Lukasik and her daughter went to the home of respondents and […]

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Third Circuit Holds That Employer Can Terminate Employee on FMLA for Violation of Paid Sick Leave Policy by Traveling Far From Home During Leave Without Permission

By on August 16, 2012 in FMLA with 0 Comments

Someone who is on FMLA is still subject to other leave policies like call-in policies and paid sick leave policies prohibiting distant travel The case of Denise Pellegrino v. Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 7902 (3d. Circuit 2012) offers important guidance for employers who struggle to deal with the FMLA in […]

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