A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Awards

Appellate Court Affirms Judge of Compensation in Ruling That Continued Opioid Use Would Neither Reduce Pain Nor Improve The Injured Worker’s Function

By on October 7, 2019 in Awards with 0 Comments

There are surprisingly few appellate division cases focusing on the employer’s obligation to provide continuing opioid treatment.  Martin v. Newark Public Schools, A-0338-18T4 (App. Div. October 4, 2019) is therefore one case practitioners should study closely.  The case involved a reopener of an award for Samuel Martin of 15% permanent partial disability for aggravation of […]

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Stacking Injuries to Multiple Body Parts Resulting From The Same Accident and The Impact on Reopeners and New Accidents

In 1979, the New Jersey Legislature made sweeping changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act.  Among those was the creation of a sliding scale on the Schedule of Disabilities found in N.J.S.A. 34:15-12c.  The legislative intent was to award greater compensation to the more seriously injured worker.  To accomplish this intent, the pertinent language in Section […]

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Appellate Division Affirms Decision of Judge of Compensation Finding That The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority Did Not Need To Reconstruct Petitioner’s Wage in Award of One Third of Permanent Partial Disability

By on June 27, 2019 in Awards with 0 Comments

Reconstruction of Wages is an issue in many New Jersey workers’ compensation matters.  In a case handled by Capehart Scatchard and successfully argued by Keith Nagy, Esq., the Appellate Division stressed that petitioner has to prove permanent impairment of full-time working capacity arising from a work injury before wages must be reconstructed. The case is […]

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When May An Employer Or Carrier Accelerate Future Permanency Award Payments In A Lump Sum?

By on June 7, 2019 in Awards with 0 Comments

Most workers’ compensation awards in New Jersey are settled with a percentage of disability paid over time in weekly installments.  These are called Orders Approving Settlements under N.J.S.A. 34:15-22.  A smaller portion of settlements are paid in one lump sum under N.J.S.A. 34:15-20.  This second category only applies when there is an issue of jurisdiction, […]

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Appellate Division Voids Penalty Assessed Against Borough for Late Payment of Award

By on May 16, 2019 in Awards with 0 Comments

There are few cases in the Division involving assessments of penalties against an employer for late payment of a settlement.  Ramella v. Borough of Seaside Heights, A-3310-17T3 (App. Div. April 8, 2019) is therefore of interest to practitioners. The petitioner, Shirley Ramella, brought a dependency claim against the Borough and its various workers’ compensation carriers […]

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Triennial Recalculation Issue Decided in Favor of Respondents and 2nd Injury Fund

By on December 26, 2018 in Awards with 0 Comments

The Honorable Joshua Friedman decided an issue this month that has been pending for several years regarding calculation of the Social Security Disability offsets in workers’ compensation cases for petitioners under the age of 62.  A petitioner’s attorney had brought motions in five cases including one handled by our office, asserting that the SSD offset […]

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Do Voluntary Offers Still Make Sense in New Jersey Comp?

By on November 16, 2018 in Awards with 0 Comments

By now all workers’ compensation practitioners know of the law change in 2018 with respect to voluntary offers or bona fide offers of permanency.  The new law amended the 1927 law that allowed employers to make voluntary offers within certain time limits free from counsel fee.  The law passed in 2018 provides that if there […]

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Understanding Causation and Liability in Relation to Section 20 Settlements

By on October 5, 2018 in Awards with 0 Comments

New Jersey workers’ compensation has two kinds of settlements: those under Section 20, a full and final settlement, and those under Section 22, an accepted percentage of disability settlement with reopener rights retained by the petitioner.  Section 20 settlements are popular with employers and carriers because they do not involve an admission of liability, and […]

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Appellate Division Reverses Substantial Award to Custodian Who Contended Five Years of Custodial Work Caused a Need for Bilateral Knee Replacements

By on July 2, 2018 in Awards with 1 Comment

Patrick Malone began working for the Pennsauken Board of Education in 2007 as a custodian.  He said he would sweep floors, take out the trash, clean the blackboards and desktops, remove gum and shoe marks from floors, sometimes climb ladders, and clean toilets, floors and walls.  He also said in the summer he would remove […]

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The Most Common Mistake In Permanency Assessments: Evaluating Medical Records, Not Individuals

By on June 1, 2018 in Awards with 2 Comments

Assessing permanent disability is such a vital aspect of every formal workers’ compensation claim petition.  New Jersey is a loss of function state unlike the more common wage loss states.  An employee can return to his or her job following treatment or surgery, perform the very same work tasks, and still remain eligible for a […]

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Rules Regarding Future Payments Under Permanency Awards and Commutations

By on April 27, 2018 in Awards with 0 Comments
Rules Regarding Future Payments Under Permanency Awards and Commutations

New Jersey adjusters sometimes ask why future benefits under an order approving settlement with a percentage of disability cannot be paid in a lump sum to the injured worker.  In other words, why is there a requirement that future payments be paid out over a period of many weeks or even many years? This question […]

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Appellate Division Rejects Reopener of High Percentage Award

By on April 13, 2018 in Awards with 0 Comments

New Jersey employers like reopener claims about as much as homeowners like back-to-back blizzards.  The general view is that employers have virtually no defenses and have to pay more with each reopener. The truth is that employers can win reopener cases where the petitioner’s expert cannot really prove the petitioner’s condition has worsened since the […]

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When Should a Judge Reconstruct An Employee’s Wages for Permanency Purposes?

By on March 16, 2018 in Awards with 1 Comment

The concept of reconstructing wages for permanency awards pertains to part-time workers with serious injuries.  For example, consider an employee who works 20 hours per week earning $10 per hour.  The employee has a serious injury that prevents the employee from earning the same amount of money or prevents the employee from working full-time in […]

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Appellate Division Rejects Reopener of Psychiatric Award 18 Years Post Injury

By on January 18, 2018 in Awards with 0 Comments
Appellate Division Rejects Reopener of Psychiatric Award 18 Years Post Injury

It is challenging for a petitioner to relate an increase in disability or need for treatment to a relatively modest award that has remained unchanged for over a decade.  That was the situation in Batts v. Flag House, A-5616-15T4 (App. Div. January 16, 2018).   The case involved an award of 50% disability of the right […]

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Appellate Division Reverses Award of 47.5% for Unoperated Low Back Condition

By on October 6, 2017 in Awards with 0 Comments
Appellate Division Reverses Award of 47.5% for Unoperated Low Back Condition

Rarely does the Appellate Division reverse a Judge of Compensation when the only issue is the extent of permanent partial disability.   The case of Van Artsdalen v. Fred M. Schiavone Construction, No. A-3392-15T1, 2017 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2516 (Oct. 5, 2017) is that rare example. The petitioner, Mr. Van Artsdalen, was injured on January […]

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