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Claims

Basic Considerations in New Jersey Reopener Claims

By on February 2, 2017 in Claims with 3 Comments

Most aspects of the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act are considered favorably by employers since the law gives employers the right to control medical care and allows termination of temporary disability benefits and medical benefits at maximal medical improvement. One aspect, however, of New Jersey law invariably frustrates employers:  reopener claim petitions. These kinds of […]

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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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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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Court Finds That Severe Neck Pathology Was Not Due To Occupational Activities But Rather To The Natural Aging Process

By on June 28, 2016 in Claims, Uncategorized with 0 Comments

Lois Scafuri filed three workers’ compensation claims alleging occupational exposures as a sales assistant caused her severe neck pathology.  She worked at the Short Hills Mall for two employers: Sisley Cosmetics and Neiman Marcus Group.  She later worked for Bloomingdale’s/Macy’s in the same capacity.  All three employers denied her claims asserting that her neck pathology […]

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Court Rejects Respiratory Reopener Claim of Detective Investigator Who Alleged Her COPD Condition Worsened Due to Work Exposures

By on October 29, 2015 in Claims with 1 Comment

One of the hallmarks of the New Jersey workers’ compensation system is that awards of partial permanent disability can be reopened for more medical, temporary or permanent disability benefits.  In this case, Rebecca Weston, a detective investigator for the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, received an award of 55% of partial total, 31% of which was […]

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Strategies in Winning Occupational Disease Claims

By on October 15, 2015 in Claims with 0 Comments

In part one we examined the law surrounding New Jersey occupational disease claims and trends in our state (see last week’s blog).  In this segment, we will explore strategies and tactics employers can take to win occupational disease claims. Winning workers’ compensation claims depends more than any other factor on obtaining past medical history.  Experience […]

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Defending Occupational Disease Claims in New Jersey

By on October 8, 2015 in Claims with 1 Comment

This is a two part analysis of the defense of occupational disease claims in New Jersey workers’ compensation.  The first segment will focus on the proofs in occupational disease cases and why this practitioner believes that these kinds of claims will be filed increasingly in coming years.  The second segment will focus on how employers […]

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Pulmonary Award Is Reversed for Failure of Judge to Explain Why She Credited the Testimony of Petitioner’s Expert Over Respondent’s Expert

By on April 18, 2014 in Claims with 1 Comment
Pulmonary Award Is Reversed for Failure of Judge to Explain Why She Credited the Testimony of Petitioner’s Expert Over Respondent’s Expert

Frank Ascione worked for U.S. Airways at Newark Liberty International Airport as a fleet service agent since 1981.  He handled baggage and drove equipment to push back planes.  He would work in the “bag room,” transporting baggage to and from the plane.  He assisted in de-icing of planes about 20 times in his career and […]

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Appellate Division Reverses Award to Petitioner in Occupational Pulmonary Case

By on December 13, 2013 in Claims with 0 Comments

Anthony DiFabrizio worked for US Airways since 1985 at both Newark Airport and LaGuardia Airport.  At Newark Airport he loaded and unloaded baggage from planes, trucks and conveyor belts, as well as driving equipment to push back planes from ramp areas.  At LaGuardia he worked from 1995 to 2008 doing similar work. He also worked […]

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Appellate Division Affirms Decision of Judge of Compensation on Making an Adverse Inference From Failure of Petitioner to Produce Treating Cardiologist in Case

By on September 6, 2013 in Claims with 0 Comments

Of what significance is it when a claimant who has been treating with a cardiologist for decades files a pulmonary claim but never produces the cardiologist to testify? That was the key issue in Donato v. Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority, A-5984-11T4 (App. Div. August 21, 2013). John Donato worked for the JCMUA from 1961 […]

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Court Rejects Occupational Stress Claim

By on June 27, 2012 in Claims with 1 Comment

Employee could not prove objectively verified stressful conditions  New Jersey has a sensible occupational stress standard, namely that the person claiming work stress as a cause for psychiatric illness must prove objectively that the work conditions were stressful.  Since all employees experience some degree of stress, this standard is not very easily met. In Knight […]

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Court Affirms Award For Stroke Related To Unusually Stressful Work Conditions

By on January 12, 2012 in Claims with 2 Comments

Euliet Smith worked for Home Instead Senior Care as a caregiver for an elderly woman.  Smith said she cooked, cleaned, bathed and dressed the woman and was on duty 24 hours per day, seven days a week with every other weekend off.  She said it was the most stressful job she ever had. Petitioner also […]

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Pulmonary/Respiratory – Laffey v. City of Jersey City

By on July 7, 2008 in Claims with 0 Comments

In one of the most important decisions since the 1979 amendments, the Appellate Division reversed in Laffey v. City of Jersey City, 289 N.J. Super. 292 (App. Div.), certif. denied, 146 N.J. 500 (1996) an award of 35% permanent partial disability for a Jersey City police officer who testified that his breathing was worsened by constant exposure to dusts, fumes, […]

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Occupational Stress – Stroka v. United Airlines

By on July 7, 2008 in Claims with 0 Comments

When an employee’s worrying is not based on events which actually took place involving the employee but only on what might have happened to the employee, that kind of worrying has been found not compensable. An example is the case of Stroka v. United Airlines, 364 N.J. Super. 333 (App. Div. 2003), certif. denied, 179 […]

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Occupational Stress – Goyden v. State Judiciary

By on July 7, 2008 in Claims with 0 Comments

The most important occupational stress psychiatric opinion is Goyden v. State Judiciary, 256 N.J. Super. 438 (App. Div. 1991), aff’d, 128 N.J. 54 (1992). Goyden was the first significant post-1980 case construing Section 31. It involved a claim by the supervisor of records in the office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court, who was adjudged […]

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