A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Awards

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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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Answers to Often Bewildering Questions about New Jersey Comp Settlements

By on June 12, 2017 in Awards with 0 Comments
Answers to Often Bewildering Questions about New Jersey Comp Settlements

Clients often ask questions about the permanency phase of the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation system.  Frankly our system with respect to awards of permanent partial disability is so vastly different than those of neighboring states that it is no wonder there is confusion.  Here are some of the questions this practitioner regularly receives. Question (1): […]

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Petitioner’s Expert’s Findings in Physical Exam Constituted Objective Evidence to Support Increase on Reopener from 35% to 45%

By on April 7, 2017 in Awards with 0 Comments

The New Jersey statute permits claimants who receive an order approving settlement to reopen claims for additional medical, temporary or permanent disability benefits.  In Holowchuk v. O’Sullivan Menu Publishing, A-5235-14T3 (App. Div. April 6, 2017), the petitioner, Robert Holowchuk, injured his low back lifting two, five gallon drums of chemicals in 2007.  He received an award […]

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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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Court Rejects Petitioner’s Request For Shoulder Surgery on Second Reopener

By on August 9, 2016 in Awards, Compensability with 0 Comments

Just because an employer accepts an injury to a body member as part of an award does not mean that all future treatment to that body member will be found work related.  That is the rule in Daniel v. United Airlines, No. A-1252-14, 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1816 (App. Div. August 2, 2016). Petitioner, […]

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Appellate Division Reverses Comp Award For Underpaying Claimant Due To An Incorrect Social Security Offset Calculation

By on August 1, 2016 in Awards with 0 Comments

Josephine Lucciola appealed from an order denying her request to vacate a February 23, 2012 order establishing her social security offset.  She contended that the order contained the wrong offset calculation and that she was being shorted tens of thousands of dollars by her employer, Home Depot.  There was no dispute that Lucciola had been […]

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