A Capehart Scatchard Blog

John H. Geaney

John H. Geaney

John H. Geaney, an executive committee member and shareholder with Capehart Scatchard, 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.

Understanding the Mutual Benefit Doctrine in Workers’ Comp

By on January 24, 2017 in Compensability with 0 Comments

Sometimes activities that would otherwise be non-compensable are covered under the Mutual Benefit Doctrine.  That doctrine covers certain activities when there is “a clear and substantial benefit” to the employer by reason of the permitted activity.  Daus v. Marble, 270 N.J. Super. 241 (App. Div. 1994).  An example might be an injury to an employee when […]

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Employee Can Proceed on ADA Claim That He Was Discriminated Against on Account of Severe Obesity

By on January 13, 2017 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments

Mark Richardson worked for the Chicago Transit Authority as a Bus Operator from 1999 to 2012.  He took an extended medical leave from work and attempted to return to his job in September 2010.  The Authority sent plaintiff for a fitness exam, and the doctor cleared Richardson to return to work. He was next required […]

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Court Upholds City’s Termination of Worker with Lupus Based on Doctor’s Note Prohibiting Outdoor Work

By on January 6, 2017 in Court Rulings, Uncategorized with 0 Comments

Jimmy Mathis worked as a laborer for the City of Red Bank in Tennessee. Eventually he rose to the position of Assistant to the Director of Public Works. Initially he would inspect for building code violations, handle animal control problems, oversee street projects and handle citizen requests. A written job description described his duties, which […]

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New Jersey Judge of Compensation Orders Employer To Pay Costs Of Medical Marijuana Program And Costs Of Filling Prescriptions

By on December 29, 2016 in Compensability with 2 Comments

On December 15, 2016, a decision following trial in New Jersey was handed down on the question of whether medical marijuana can be ordered under workers’ compensation.  Petitioner Andrew Watson worked for 84 Lumber and was injured on November 6, 2008.  He received an award of one third of partial total in 2012 apportioned 50% […]

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Misconceptions About IMEs In New Jersey Workers’ Comp

By on December 21, 2016 in Compensability with 0 Comments

There are a number of misconceptions about the rules on independent medical examinations.  Several provisions in the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act are helpful in clarifying these misconceptions: Misconception One: An employer must set up an IME in the county where the employee resides.  Section 19 states that an IME may be arranged at any […]

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Employer Defeats ADA Law Suit For Alleged Improper Requirement of Fitness Examination

By on December 15, 2016 in ADA with 0 Comments

Fitness for duty examinations must meet a standard of being job related and consistent with business necessity.  If the employer does not have enough to meet this standard, the employer may be sued for discrimination under the ADA for improperly requiring a fitness examination.  The employer in Painter v. Illinois Department of Transportation, 2016 U.S. […]

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Court Validates Firing of City Worker While on Alternative Duty for Work-Related Injury

By on December 7, 2016 in ADA with 0 Comments

Derrick Dillard injured his back and shoulder in a work-related car accident in March 2011.  He was unable to perform his previous duties as a Street and Drainage Maintenance Senior for the City of Austin, Texas.  He took FMLA leave and then placed in the City Return to Work Program, which was designed to help […]

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Hospital Defeats Occupational Claim By Filing Motion To Dismiss After Petitioner’s Case

By on December 2, 2016 in Claims, Compensability with 0 Comments

Diana Vernacchia worked as a housekeeper for Warren Hospital performing vacuuming and cleaning duties in the radiology department and hallways, dusting and cleaning the x-ray machines and diagnostic devices, and lifting and discarding biohazardous waste and linen bags weighing an average of 50 pounds each.  She filed an occupational disease claim alleging that she developed […]

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Supervisor’s Testimony Rebuts Written Job Description on 35 Pound Lifting Requirement Being Essential Job Function

By on November 23, 2016 in ADA with 0 Comments

Kenneth Camp worked for 38 years for Bi-Lo, LLC., a grocery store in Tennessee, as a stock clerk.  He worked with two others stocking the grocery with product each night.  In March 2012 the Store Director, Mr. Gilreath, arrived at the store and noted that the three stock-shift clerks had not finished shelving all the […]

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Employer Loses Intoxication Defense Where Blood Alcohol Level of Claimant Was .173 Percent

By on November 14, 2016 in Compensability with 0 Comments

One of the most anachronistic aspects of New Jersey workers’ compensation law is that employers pay workers’ compensation benefits even when intoxication is a substantial cause of injury.  In Diaz v. National Retail Transportation, Inc., A-3927-14T2 (App. Div. November 9, 2016), Antonio Diaz was injured moving a heavy lift which fell over on him.  He […]

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CMS May Soon Adopt New And More Strict Guidelines On Approving Zero Allocation Medicare Set Asides

By on October 31, 2016 in Medicare with 0 Comments

A number of prominent Medicare experts disseminated Legal Alerts last week to the effect that changes may be occurring with respect to the requirements for CMS to approve zero allocations.  These changes would spell bad news in New Jersey for employers who want to settle disputed cases on a Section 20 basis.  According to Martin […]

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Director Wojtenko Issues Memo to All Attorneys on Strict Compliance with the Rules on Motions for Medical and Temporary Disability Benefits

By on October 27, 2016 in Policy with 0 Comments

The Honorable Russell Wojtenko, Jr., Director and Chief Judge, issued a Memo effective October 21, 2016 to all workers’ compensation attorneys advising that the administrative rules on motions for medical and temporary disability benefits will be strictly enforced.  What this means to employers, carriers, third party administrators and practitioners is that motions for medical and […]

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Partial Responsibility for Parking Lot by Employer Results in Compensable Claim

By on October 26, 2016 in Compensability with 0 Comments

In Giordano v. High Point Insurance Company, No. A-4971-14T3 (App. Div. October 11, 2016), Michelle Giordano, an employee of High Point Insurance Company, was injured in a parking lot adjacent to a multi-tenant office building.  After parking in the lot, she fell on twigs and debris, injuring her right shoulder.  Her employer denied the claim based […]

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Lyme Disease Qualifies As A Disability Under The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination

By on October 19, 2016 in ADA with 0 Comments

In Cook v. Gregory Press, Inc., 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1885 (App. Div. August 11, 2016), the Appellate Division reversed a trial court’s dismissal of a plaintiff’s disability discrimination case involving an employee eventually diagnosed with Lyme disease.  The case involved Matthew Cook, who worked as a printing machine operator since 2002.  In 2011, […]

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The Evolution of the Reconstructed Wage Rule in New Jersey

By on October 12, 2016 in Awards with 0 Comments

What is a reconstructed work week and wage and why does it matter?  Originally, this referred to a principle by which certain injured employees can seek recalculation of their work week, thereby increasing their wage and permanency rate at the time of settlement.  For example, an employee works 20 hours per week earning $20 per […]

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