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Compensability

Petitioner Had No Duty To Intervene In Altercation, Traumatic Brain Injury Following Wrestling Incident Not Compensable

By on April 17, 2017 in Compensability with 0 Comments
Petitioner Had No Duty To Intervene In Altercation, Traumatic Brain Injury Following Wrestling Incident Not Compensable

The recent case of Benimadho v. Somerville Borough Fire Department, A-2351-15T3 (App. Div. April 10, 2017) is fascinating because it draws a line between horseplay, which is ordinarily compensable, and conduct that goes beyond what the employer approves when an employee is away from the normal place of employment. The case involved a serious brain […]

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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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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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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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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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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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Understanding George v. Great Eastern Food Products

By on September 20, 2016 in Compensability with 0 Comments

The case that generates more questions than any other in this practitioner’s experience is George v. Great Eastern Food Products, Inc., 44 N.J. 44 (1965) regarding idiopathic claims.  This case comes into play any time that an employee falls for reasons unknown and suffers an injury caused by the fall itself.  Countless employers have had […]

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Convent Found To Be Employer of Cook and Required To Reimburse Diocese for Medical and Temporary Disability Payments Voluntarily Paid by Diocese

By on September 15, 2016 in Compensability, Counsel Fees with 0 Comments

Consider this situation:  Company A voluntarily pays approximately $172,000 in medical and temporary disability benefits to Worker.  Company A demands reimbursement from Company B believing that Company B is the true employer.  Worker never files a claim petition against Company A or B.  Can Company A file a claim petition in the name of Worker […]

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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 Allows Comp Retaliation Case To Proceed To Jury

By on July 25, 2016 in Compensability with 0 Comments

Workers’ compensation retaliation claims are rare birds in New Jersey, and the case of Robinson v. Armadillo Automation, Inc. explains the standard for proving such cases.  Spencer Robinson worked as a valve technician from May 2005 until August 2011.  He alleged that when he was hired, he disclosed a prior low back condition, and he […]

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Second Hand Smoke Cancer Claim Is Barred For Late Filing

In Pulejo v. Middlesex County Consumer Affairs, A-3133-14T4 (App. Div. July 14, 2016), the petitioner, an investigator for the County, alleged that he worked along side a chain smoker four to five hours per day, five days per week, from 1976 to 1997. Mr. Pulejo was diagnosed in 2000 with lung cancer and underwent a bilobectomy.  Mr. […]

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Appellate Division Sides With Petitioner in Dispute Over Compensability on Motion Trial

By on May 6, 2016 in Compensability with 0 Comments

It can be difficult to predict the outcome of appeals where the issue before the Judge of Compensation is credibility of witnesses as opposed to pure legal issues.  In Frank Hodson v. C. Abbonizio Contractors, Inc., A-2083-14T3 (App. Div. May 2, 2016), Mr. Hodson said that while working as a laborer on May 9 and […]

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Are You Covered for Comp When You Tear Your Knee Playing for the Company Softball Team or Dancing at the Holiday Party?

By on April 12, 2016 in Compensability with 0 Comments

Most employers have some recreational or social activities throughout the year, and unfortunately, injuries tend to occur at these events.  There used to be so many of these kinds of claims that the New Jersey Legislature enacted new legislation in 1980 under N.J.S.A. 34:15-7, which provides that recreational and social activities do not arise from […]

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Assault Committed by Ex-Husband in Employer Owned Parking Lot Found Not Compensable

By on February 4, 2016 in Compensability with 2 Comments

Jennie Rosario worked for the State of New Jersey as a caseworker for the Division of Youth and Family Services.  She left the Division’s Maplewood office intending to get into a State-owned vehicle on May 23, 2006 to perform her duties as a field case-worker.  As she was leaving the office, her ex-husband assaulted her […]

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