A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Court Dismisses Intentional Harm Law Suit Against Employer

By on March 1, 2017 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments

Injured workers continue to attempt to sue their employers in civil court for bodily injury no matter how often our courts make clear that such suits are barred unless intentional harm can be proved. For every successful claimant who meets the intentional harm standard, there are thousands whose cases are dismissed on summary judgment.  Such […]

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Camden Police Department Did Not Violate FMLA By Visiting Officer While on FMLA Leave

By on February 21, 2017 in FMLA with 0 Comments

The Fraternal Order of Police and certain police officers challenged the City of Camden Police Department for allegedly retaliating against certain officers who complained about city policies.  One of the allegations involved the Family and Medical Leave Act.  The city initiated a policy called “directed patrols” in 2008.  That policy required officers to engage with […]

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Carrier Which Failed To Provide 10-Day Statutory Notice Letter Was Permitted To Bring Suit

By on February 13, 2017 in Subrogation with 0 Comments

New Jersey employers know that they have a right to subrogate against the party who caused injury to their employee to recover workers’ compensation benefits paid, but they must wait one year before taking any action.  After one year, if the injured worker has not pursued a third party action, the employer must make a […]

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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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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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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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Court Upholds City’s Termination of Worker with Lupus Based on Doctor’s Note Prohibiting Outdoor Work

By on January 6, 2017 in Court Rulings, Uncategorized with 0 Comments

Jimmy Mathis worked as a laborer for the City of Red Bank in Tennessee. Eventually he rose to the position of Assistant to the Director of Public Works. Initially he would inspect for building code violations, handle animal control problems, oversee street projects and handle citizen requests. A written job description described his duties, which […]

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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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Employer Defeats ADA Law Suit For Alleged Improper Requirement of Fitness Examination

By on December 15, 2016 in ADA with 0 Comments

Fitness for duty examinations must meet a standard of being job related and consistent with business necessity.  If the employer does not have enough to meet this standard, the employer may be sued for discrimination under the ADA for improperly requiring a fitness examination.  The employer in Painter v. Illinois Department of Transportation, 2016 U.S. […]

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Court Validates Firing of City Worker While on Alternative Duty for Work-Related Injury

By on December 7, 2016 in ADA with 0 Comments

Derrick Dillard injured his back and shoulder in a work-related car accident in March 2011.  He was unable to perform his previous duties as a Street and Drainage Maintenance Senior for the City of Austin, Texas.  He took FMLA leave and then placed in the City Return to Work Program, which was designed to help […]

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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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Supervisor’s Testimony Rebuts Written Job Description on 35 Pound Lifting Requirement Being Essential Job Function

By on November 23, 2016 in ADA with 0 Comments

Kenneth Camp worked for 38 years for Bi-Lo, LLC., a grocery store in Tennessee, as a stock clerk.  He worked with two others stocking the grocery with product each night.  In March 2012 the Store Director, Mr. Gilreath, arrived at the store and noted that the three stock-shift clerks had not finished shelving all the […]

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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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CMS May Soon Adopt New And More Strict Guidelines On Approving Zero Allocation Medicare Set Asides

By on October 31, 2016 in Medicare with 0 Comments

A number of prominent Medicare experts disseminated Legal Alerts last week to the effect that changes may be occurring with respect to the requirements for CMS to approve zero allocations.  These changes would spell bad news in New Jersey for employers who want to settle disputed cases on a Section 20 basis.  According to Martin […]

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