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.

Court Rejects Occupational Stress Claim

By on June 27, 2012 in Claims with 1 Comment

Employee could not prove objectively verified stressful conditions  New Jersey has a sensible occupational stress standard, namely that the person claiming work stress as a cause for psychiatric illness must prove objectively that the work conditions were stressful.  Since all employees experience some degree of stress, this standard is not very easily met. In Knight […]

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No Legal Malpractice Where Plaintiff Did Not See Comp Attorney Until Two Years After She Knew of Her Stress Condition and Relationship to Work

By on June 18, 2012 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments

New Jersey has a statute of limitations for both traumatic and occupational disease claims.  In Millar v. Darren J. Del Sardo, Esq. A-4388-10T1 (App. Div. April 27, 2012), both statutes of limitations came into play. Plaintiff Cynthia Millar began working for Cablevision in 1997 as an account executive.  She began treating with a psychologist for […]

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Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Holds That Plaintiff Failed to Adequately Explain How He Receives SSD Benefits and Can Still Be Able to Work

By on June 11, 2012 in ADA with 0 Comments

EEOC could not explain how employee could claim ability to work with accommodation while getting SSDI payments. Michael Turner worked for Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) as a unit secretary since 1984.  In 2005, Turner was hospitalized for necrotizing fasciitis, which is a life-threatening condition.  He later suffered a stroke during the same year. Turner also […]

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Appellate Court Finds Petitioner to be a Casual Employee

By on June 1, 2012 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments

The casual employee defense remains viable in New Jersey.  It is a difficult defense to make in certain lines of employment such as trucking, real estate agents, newspaper delivery persons and cab drivers, but it remains viable in situations involving home remodeling and home additions. A good illustration is the recent case of Cruz v. […]

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Must an Employer Reassign an Employee with a Disability to a Vacant Position Even if More Qualified Candidates Exist?

By on May 21, 2012 in ADA with 0 Comments

The question is an important one and comes down to this: is the reassignment process competitive? Courts are split on the issue with the most recent decision coming in EEOC v. United Airlines, Inc., 673 F.3d 543, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 4713 (7th Cir. 2012).  The case involved United Airlines’ company policy, which does not automatically […]

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Township is not Responsible for Surgery Sought by Police Officer Where Work Accident was not Proven to be the Cause for Low Back Surgery

By on May 14, 2012 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

Hugh McNeil was a long-time police officer for the Township of South Brunswick.  On April 3, 2010, McNeil responded to an emergency call.  He was wearing his bulletproof vest and gun belt and said that he hurriedly exited his vehicle, feeling pain in his back.  He said he might have hit the steering wheel but […]

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Dyslexia and Learning Disability Do Not Provide Exemption From Two-Year Statute of Limitations

By on May 7, 2012 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments

The statute of limitations is jurisdictional and nothing, other than perhaps insanity, relieves a claimant from the rule All states have statutes of limitations for filing compensation claims.  But are these statutes flexible under certain circumstance? The answer in New Jersey is emphatically no. In Zito v. AIC, A-1070-10T2 (App. Div. September 26, 2011), petitioner began […]

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Federal Court Holds That Carpal Tunnel Syndrome May Constitute A Disability Under The ADA

By on April 26, 2012 in ADA with 0 Comments

More and more ADA cases stem from garden variety workers’ compensation claims, and disability discrimination claims now make up one quarter of all EEOC charges. The case of Gibbs v. ADS Alliance Data Systems, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist LEXIS 82540 (D. Kansas) drives home the point that many claimants with work-related injuries will now find […]

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Appellate Division Allows Accidental Disability Pension For Work Injury To Custodian

By on April 19, 2012 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

The court makes clear that an unexpected event is covered even if the employee could foresee the harm Accidental disability pensions in the public sector remain controversial because employees receive two thirds or more of their pay for life with no federal tax obligation and no state tax obligation until age 65.  The receipt of […]

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Employee With Work Injury Who Was Fired For Excessive Absenteeism Was Not Prejudiced By Employer’s Failure To Designate Absence Under FMLA

By on April 13, 2012 in FMLA with 0 Comments

The court reviewed the amended FMLA regulations dealing with prejudice for failing to designate FMLA time promptly. Deborah Myers worked as a dialysis nurse at Kettering Medical Center in Ohio (KMC).  She was injured during the course of her employment on August 15, 2009.  She received temporary total disability benefits under Ohio’s workers’ compensation system.  […]

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Failure To Advise Employee Of FMLA Calculation Method Dooms Employer In Law Suit

By on April 5, 2012 in FMLA with 0 Comments

Carl Thom worked for American Standard as a molder for a period of 36 years.  He had a non-work-related shoulder injury which required surgery, and he sought FMLA leave from April 27, 2005 to June 27, 2005.  The company granted the FMLA leave request in writing.  As it turned out, plaintiff’s recovery period was accelerated […]

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Court Rejects Intentional Harm Claim For Worker Injured Using Table Saw

By on March 27, 2012 in Compensability with 0 Comments

The work conditions complained of were a fact of life of industrial employment and therefore not actionable          Plaintiffs’ counsel continue to try overcome the exclusive remedy provision of the Workers’ Compensation Act, largely unsuccessfully.  The case of  Menkevich v. Delta Tools, A-1950-10T2, shows just how hard it is to prove an intentional harm case […]

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Circuit Court Holds That The FMLA Protects A Pre-Eligibility Leave Request For Post-Eligibility Maternity Leave

By on March 18, 2012 in FMLA with 0 Comments

Employers need to consider the risks of terminating an employee who has asked for FMLA and would soon become eligible Kathryn Pereda brought a suit for interference with her FMLA rights against her employer, Brookdale Senior Living Communities, Inc. in Florida.  The problem from a legal point of view with her law suit is that […]

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Joint Employment Situations In Workers’ Compensation Are Not Limited To Two Employers

By on March 12, 2012 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

New Jersey court held that the decedent worked for four companies and therefore his representative could not sue any of those four companies civilly Amado Guillermo Orbe sustained fatal injuries using a manlift to remove overhead piping on October 11, 2007.  He performed various job duties for a number of companies.  His estate sued Safer […]

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Goodyear Properly Fired Employee For Misrepresenting Facts On Job Application And Medical Questionnaire

By on March 8, 2012 in ADA with 0 Comments

In Williams v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, a Kansas federal court dealt with the ability of an employer to terminate an applicant for misrepresenting facts in the job application process. Williams filled out a job application and listed three jobs in response to the question “Account for all your time – regardless of how spent.” Williams […]

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