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.

Employer Was Correct in Reading FMLA Request Narrowly to Exclude Foot Condition Since the Only Condition Mentioned in the Certification Was the Hand

By on February 19, 2013 in FMLA with 0 Comments

Many employees seek FMLA leave for more than one medical condition within the same year.  This can create difficulties for both employee and employer.  It is important to read medical certifications carefully, as is noted in Greer v. Cleveland Clinic Health System – East Region, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 22594 (6th Cir. 2012). The plaintiff […]

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Controversial First Responder Bill Would Create Various Presumptions in Favor of Compensability

By on February 8, 2013 in Compensability with 0 Comments

The New Jersey Assembly is considering a bill which would create presumptions that cancers and other medical conditions experienced by public safety workers are work related.  New Jersey already has laws creating presumptions in favor of compensability for firefighters and certain public safety workers in regard to respiratory conditions, heart attacks and strokes.  The new […]

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Facebook Postings by Employee Doom Her FMLA Claim

By on February 1, 2013 in FMLA with 0 Comments

Sara Jaszczyszyn worked as a Customer Service Representative for Advantage Health Physician Network.  On August 31, 2009, she saw her physician about a recurrence of back pain related to a prior car accident and two prior surgeries.  She was unable to work the next day and presented a Work Release Form on September 3, 2009 […]

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Can Job Termination Agreements Be Negotiated as Part of Workers’ Compensation Settlements in New Jersey?

By on January 25, 2013 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

There are no published cases dealing with resignation as part of workers’ compensation agreements in New Jersey.  Contrary to other states where such resignation agreements are routine, New Jersey employers and carriers seldom negotiate resignation in connection with a workers’ compensation settlement.  One main reason this practice does not prevail in New Jersey is that […]

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Medicare Smart Act Signed By President Obama

By on January 17, 2013 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

Workers’ compensation practitioners should be aware that President Barack Obama signed the SMART Act on January 10, 2013 (H.R.1845).  Just as a side, this bill was attached to a Medicare IVIG Access Bill which has nothing to do with Medicare Conditional Payments. The MSP reforms within this bill are summarized as follows: Section 201 (Conditional […]

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New Jersey Adopts McDonnell Douglas Test for Retaliation Claims in Workers’ Compensation

By on January 7, 2013 in ADA with 0 Comments

New Jersey is a state with relatively few retaliation law suits arising from workers’ compensation.  For that reason, the decision in Peralta v. Joule Staffing Services, Inc., A-1004-11T3, A-1005-11T3 (App. Div. January 3, 2013) is drawing attention from practitioners. Ronald Peralta, a native of Peru, worked as a forklift operator for Joule Staffing Services from […]

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City Properly Denied Plaintiff Donated Sick Bank Days Because She Could not Show a Catastrophic Injury as Defined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement

By on December 18, 2012 in FMLA with 0 Comments

Kelly Queen, plaintiff, worked as a police dispatcher for the City of Bridgeton.  On October 16, 2006, she experienced a racing heartbeat and left work.  Her family doctor referred her to a cardiologist.  He diagnosed her with a mitral valve prolapse condition, which may have been responsible for tachycardia and dyspnea.  She also underwent a cardiovascular […]

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Owner of Construction Company Was Covered When He Fell and Became Paralyzed While Doing Work on His Own Home

By on December 14, 2012 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments

Daniel Cordeiro owned Danny’s Construction Company, which did masonry and concrete work.  The company employed eight or nine employees.  Cordeiro purchased an investment property in Asbury Park, New Jersey.  He listed Danny’s as the repair and renovation general contractor on the construction permits.  As general contractor, Danny’s hired plumbing and electrical subcontractors and paid the […]

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Transfer to New Job Location for Medical Reasons May be a Reasonable Accommodation Under ADA

By on December 3, 2012 in ADA with 0 Comments

Clarice Sanchez worked for the US Forest Service in Lufkin, Texas.  She was injured at work falling down a flight of stairs, causing a homonymous hemianopsia — a condition that limited her to 50 percent of the total visual field in each eye.  She was unable to see objects to the left line of center […]

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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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