A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Compensability

Two Competing Maxims In Workers’ Compensation

By on October 26, 2018 in Compensability with 0 Comments

There are two maxims in workers’ compensation that appear on their face to be contradictory.  The first is that the employer takes employees as the employer finds them.  The second is that employers are not responsible for idiopathic or purely personal conditions.  Both maxims generally pertain to workers who have preexisting conditions, and both maxims […]

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Appellate Division Rules Accident in Access Driveway of Employer after Lunch Was Compensable

By on August 2, 2018 in Compensability with 0 Comments

George Washington, an employee of Runnells Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare, left work on March 5, 2015 and drove his car to pick up lunch at a nearby restaurant.  Returning from lunch, his car struck a guardrail on a snow-covered access driveway owned by Runnells.  He completed an accident report at the scene, exited his […]

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Accident Walking To Car Found Compensable In Application for Accidental Disability Pension

By on June 18, 2018 in Compensability with 1 Comment

New Jersey public employees who are unable to work due to work accidents may apply for generous accidental disability pensions, providing approximately two thirds to 70% of pay with no federal taxes owed.  The standards for an accidental disability pension are rather similar to those in a workers’ compensation case, as is shown by the […]

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Appellate Division Holds Employee Who Was Required To Report To Work During Snow Storm Was Covered During Commute Even Though He Was Reporting To Normal Work Site

By on May 16, 2018 in Compensability with 0 Comments

In a rather unique unreported case, the Appellate Division recently held that a drive to the normal work site can be considered compensable on the facts in Minter v. Mattson, A-1916-15T4 (App. Div. May 10, 2018).  The case involved a kitchen worker, Antoine Minter, who called out of work due to a heavy snow storm […]

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Compulsion Versus Permission in Workers’ Compensation

By on January 26, 2018 in Compensability with 0 Comments
Compulsion Versus Permission in Workers’ Compensation

“If you require it, you buy it.”  So said the Honorable Ray A. Farrington, former Supervising Judge of Compensation in Hackensack in reference to situations where an employer required an employee to perform a task that would otherwise be clearly not work related.  The concept of compulsion is an important one to understand in the […]

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Injury To Officer On Unscheduled Day Is Found Compensable Because Officer Was Not Just Picking Up Paycheck But Checking Scheduled Court Dates

By on July 6, 2017 in Compensability with 0 Comments

In a surprising but unreported decision, the Appellate Division affirmed an award to a police officer who fell in the municipal parking lot on December 9, 2011 on a day when he was not supposed to be at work.  The officer said he came to work to collect his paycheck and also to check his […]

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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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