A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Key Defenses

The Going-And-Coming Rule And Multiple Employer Work Sites

By on March 23, 2017 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments

An employee works regularly in Cherry Hill, N.J. but three or four times a year is required to work at the company’s north Jersey location in Parsippany.   On the way to the Parsippany office, the employee is in a car accident and suffers serious injuries.  The employer gets the claim and confers with the carrier […]

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Job Description Of Sales Person Did Not State Driving Was An Essential Function So Jury Must Decide Whether Company Should Accommodate Request for Driver

By on March 17, 2017 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments

Employers must carefully view job descriptions because ADA law suits often turn on the wording of those job descriptions.  In Stephenson v. Pfizer, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3863 (4th Cir. 2016), a long-time sales person for Pfizer developed vision problems which disqualified her from driving.  Stephenson had been an extremely successful sales representative who had […]

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Employee Can Proceed on ADA Claim That He Was Discriminated Against on Account of Severe Obesity

By on January 13, 2017 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments

Mark Richardson worked for the Chicago Transit Authority as a Bus Operator from 1999 to 2012.  He took an extended medical leave from work and attempted to return to his job in September 2010.  The Authority sent plaintiff for a fitness exam, and the doctor cleared Richardson to return to work. He was next required […]

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Understanding Idiopathic Claims and How to Prove the Defense

By on November 10, 2015 in Key Defenses with 1 Comment

The term “idiopathic defense” is widely misunderstood.  Practitioners need to appreciate when the defense applies and who has the burden of proving an idiopathic defense.  In New Jersey, and in most states, the burden is on the employer to prove an idiopathic defense.  The word “idiopathic” comes from the Greek: “idios” meaning one’s own, and […]

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Appellate Court Refines Rules on Workers’ Compensation Lien Rights

By on September 23, 2015 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments

The case of Jose Moreira v. Carlos Peixoto, et. al., A-5741-12T1 (App. Div. September 10, 2015) presents a complex tale of insurance fraud that ends with an important clarification about the lien rights of an employer and the potential challenges to lien calculations by employees. Jose Moreira was injured working privately on a house owned […]

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Court Holds that Need for Knee Treatment Is Not Related to Prior Work-Related Meniscal Repair but to Preexisting Arthritis

By on September 18, 2015 in Key Defenses with 1 Comment

Employers always struggle with this dilemma:  if a claimant receives an award for knee surgery related to a repair of a torn meniscus, does that mean that future knee treatment for arthritis in the knee must be the responsibility of the employer? This issue arises often when the subject at issue is a possible total […]

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Employer Waived Its Objection to Policy Cancellation by Waiting Seven Years before Raising Issue of Proper Cancellation

By on May 8, 2015 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments

Janice Davis was injured on April 23, 2007 in a work-related accident.  She filed a claim petition promptly against Yassien Mobility Assistance & Ambulance, Inc., her employer.  On October 1, 2007, Yassien filed an answer stating that it had no insurance for workers’ compensation.  The Uninsured Employers’ Fund (UEF) was joined in the matter as […]

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Misuse Of The Term “Aggravation” Causes Huge Overpayments In Workers’ Compensation

By on April 9, 2015 in Key Defenses with 2 Comments

SCENARIO ONE: An employee has a preexisting arthritic knee condition that his personal physician says will require imminent knee replacement. Three months later this employee steps off a truck at work and feels pain in the knee.  He reports the incident to his employer, who sends him for treatment.  The doctor orders an MRI, stating […]

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Appellate Division Finds That Horse Trainer Was An Independent Contractor, Not Employee Of The Horse Owner

By on December 18, 2014 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments
Appellate Division Finds That Horse Trainer Was An Independent Contractor, Not Employee Of The Horse Owner

Under the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act, the independent contractor defense is seldom successful, but one area where the defense is still viable is in the horse racing industry as seen in the recent decision of Perry v. Robert Horowitz Stable, A-3845-12T2 (App. Div. December 9, 2014). Randolph Perry was a licensed horse owner and […]

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Appellate Division Rejects Strict Application of One-Year Rule on Dismissals For Lack of Prosecution

By on December 1, 2014 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments

Workers’ compensation practitioners are very familiar with N.J.S.A. 34:15-54, which is the provision that allows a case to be dismissed for lack of prosecution, allowing the claimant one year to reinstate the case for good cause shown.  But the one-year period in the statute may not be as rigid as practitioners thought in light of […]

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Petitioner Failed To Prove Her Husband’s Death From Multiple Myeloma Was Related To Possible Benzene Exposure During A Five Year Period

By on October 13, 2014 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments

Decedent, Gerald Hallquist, worked as a laboratory technician for E.I. Dupont de Nemours (hereinafter Dupont) from 1968 until his retirement in 1998.  Between 1977 and 1982, he worked in the quality control lab with liquid chemicals, including benzene.  He wore safety gloves and a uniform supplied by Dupont.  When working with certain chemicals, the decedent […]

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Claimant with Parkinson’s Disease Failed to Prove Work Accident Aggravated His Condition and Failed to Prove Entitlement to Second Injury Fund Benefits

By on August 25, 2014 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments

Kevin Durnien worked as a tractor-trailer driver for United Parcel Service (UPS) from 1996 to 2008.  He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2003 but continued to drive for UPS for several years. On October 25, 2007, Durnien was injured when he fell on his elbow while making a warehouse pickup.  He injured his rotator […]

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Partner in Limited Liability Corporation Was Not Covered in Fall from Ladder

By on June 16, 2014 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments

Rodney Farnath fell off a ladder at work and filed a motion for medical and temporary disability benefits against 34th Street Markets, LLC.  Farnath was a limited partner in the LLC.  Farm Family Casualty Insurance Company, the workers’ compensation carrier for the employer, declined coverage on the grounds that the policy issued to the LLC […]

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NJ Business Owner Sentenced to Jail for Workers’ Comp Insurance Fraud

By on June 9, 2014 in Key Defenses with 2 Comments

New Jersey has a strong fraud statute, and it applies both to employees and employers.  Most of the cases that have been highlighted in this blog have concerned employees.  However, in a recent development, a Spring Lake, New Jersey man, was sentenced to 180 days in jail, 150 days of community service, and three years […]

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Court in New Mexico Orders Employer to Reimburse Injured Worker for Costs of Medical Marijuana

By on May 27, 2014 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments
Court in New Mexico Orders Employer to Reimburse Injured Worker for Costs of Medical Marijuana

The State of New Mexico has a Compassionate Care Act, which provides for medical marijuana when a patient is certified for the program by his or her health care provider.  In the case of Vialpando v. Ben’s Auto. Servs., 2014 N.M. App. LEXIS 50 (N.M. Ct. App. May 19, 2014), the New Mexico Court of […]

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