A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Awards

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 […]

Continue Reading »

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 […]

Continue Reading »

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 […]

Continue Reading »

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 […]

Continue Reading »

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 […]

Continue Reading »

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 […]

Continue Reading »

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 […]

Continue Reading »

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 […]

Continue Reading »

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 […]

Continue Reading »

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 […]

Continue Reading »

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 […]

Continue Reading »

How Employers Can Win Trials On Reopeners

By on August 22, 2017 in Awards with 0 Comments
How Employers Can Win Trials On Reopeners

Last week I wrote about how employers should not handle reopener claims, namely trying them on reports without expert testimony.  The case of Kalucki v. United Parcel Service, A-3486-15T3 (App. Div. August 15, 2017) demonstrates the winning strategy for employers to adopt in reopener claims. The case involved an injury that took place many years […]

Continue Reading »

Respondent’s Decision Not To Produce Live Testimony Costs Dearly On Reopener Award

By on August 15, 2017 in Awards with 0 Comments

There is a cardinal rule in workers’ compensation trials that employers and defense counsel must follow: never try a case on reports unless the exposure is minimal.  To put it another way, where the exposure is significant, the employer must bring in a medical witness for testimony and cross examine the petitioner’s expert.  The employer […]

Continue Reading »

How Employers Can Reduce Permanency Awards In New Jersey At No Cost

By on August 3, 2017 in Awards with 1 Comment
How Employers Can Reduce Permanency Awards In New Jersey At No Cost

Permanency awards in the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation can amount to very significant dollars.  An award of 40% partial permanent disability at 2017 rates amounts to $114,720 – tax free.  Furthermore, the case can be reopened within two years from the last date of payment for further permanency benefits.  If the employee reopens […]

Continue Reading »

Appellate Division Affirms Award of UPS Driver’s Motion for Med and Temp

By on July 13, 2017 in Awards with 0 Comments
Appellate Division Affirms Award of UPS Driver’s Motion for Med and Temp

Roy Hendrickson worked for thirty years at UPS.  His first 19 years were as a package car driver making over 100 stops per day to deliver or pick up packages.  He injured his back in 1992 but did not file a workers’ compensation claim.   In 2002 he injured his back lifting a heavy package, losing […]

Continue Reading »

Top