A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Superior Court Decision Refused to Follow Unreported Decision in Dever V. New Jersey Manufacturers

By on January 20, 2015 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

There has been a great deal of controversy about respondent’s lien rights in motor vehicle accident cases since the unreported ruling in Dever v. New Jersey Mfrs. Ins. Co., No. A-3102-11T2 (App. Div. October 23, 2013).  In one decision from last summer, an Atlantic City Superior Court Judge rejected the application of the Dever rule […]

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Appellate Division Affirms Large Award to Airline Employee

By on January 12, 2015 in Uncategorized with 1 Comment
Appellate Division Affirms Large Award to Airline Employee

It is very difficult to appeal a Judge of Compensation on the level of permanency awarded following trial.  That lesson can be seen in Huesser v. United Airlines, A-5959-12T3, (App. Div. July 14, 2014). Elaine Huesser worked as a flight attendant for United Airlines since 1998.  She suffered her first injury on September 28, 2005 […]

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Comp Insurers Remain Concerned over the Expiration of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA)

By on January 7, 2015 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

We live in a world where terrorism unfortunately poses genuine insurance risks. The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) was passed by President George W. Bush on November 26, 2002 to establish a backstop for insurance claims arising from acts of terrorism.  This coverage includes workers’ compensation claims.  Before September 11, 2001, insurance companies generally did not […]

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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 Court Orders Home Modifications to Be Paid by Comp Carrier but Reverses Court Order on Home Elevator

By on December 9, 2014 in Uncategorized with 2 Comments

There are few Appellate Division cases dealing with the requirements on an employer/carrier with respect to home modifications when an employee has suffered catastrophic injuries. For this reason, the decision in Loeber v. Fair Lawn Board of Education, A-1990-13T1 (App. Div. December 5, 2014) is important for practitioners in New Jersey. Mr. Loeber was injured […]

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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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Geaney’s 2015 Workers’ Comp Manual Highlights

By on November 21, 2014 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

The 2015 Manual is a compilation of prior editions with particular emphasis on cases decided in 2013-2014 as well as the addition of important chapters for practitioners of workers’ compensation. Several Supreme Court decisions and numerous appellate division decisions are analyzed in this edition. Some of the 2015 Edition highlights are as follows: New chapter […]

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Third Circuit Court Holds Employer May Have Violated Law against Discrimination in Firing Long-Time Employee

By on November 14, 2014 in ADA with 0 Comments

Segundo Rojas worked 28 years for Acuity Brands Lighting, Inc.  In June 2011, Rojas was approved to leave work for a vacation to Ecuador set to last from June 27 to July 12, 2011.  However, he became ill in Ecuador from diverticulitis and did not return until September 12, 2011. Rojas claimed that he was […]

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Third Circuit Finds Employer May Have Interfered with FMLA Rights by Not Allowing Employee with Doctor’s Clearance to Return to Work

By on November 6, 2014 in FMLA with 1 Comment
Third Circuit Finds Employer May Have Interfered with FMLA Rights by Not Allowing Employee with Doctor’s Clearance to Return to Work

The case of Budhun v. Reading Hospital and Medical Center, 765 F.3d 245 (3d Cir. 2014) shows how complex return-to-work issues can be under FMLA.  The plaintiff in that case, Vanessa Budhun, worked as a credential assistant for Reading Hospital.  About sixty five percent of her job required typing.  Budhun took about four weeks of […]

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Court Deems Nanny “Special Employee” And Therefore Barred From Suing Homeowners for Negligence

By on October 30, 2014 in Uncategorized with 1 Comment

Nilda Zulueta owned Artime, Inc, doing business as Cardel Jewelers, in New York City.  She employed plaintiff Mirtala Pineda to clean the jewelry store and Zulueta’s home in North Bergen, New Jersey, after Pineda had immigrated to the United States from El Salvador in 1990. In 2004, Zulueta directed Pineda to work full-time at the […]

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EEOC Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination Act and Access to Light Duty

By on October 23, 2014 in FMLA with 1 Comment

On July 14, 2014, the EEOC issued Enforcement Guidance on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA).  That law was passed in 1978 to make clear that discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The basic premise 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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Court of Appeals Explains When Employer Can Require Fitness for Duty Exam in Case Involving University of Maryland Professor

By on October 3, 2014 in ADA with 1 Comment
Court of Appeals Explains When Employer Can Require Fitness for Duty Exam in Case Involving University of Maryland Professor

When can an employer require a physical or mental fitness-for-duty examination? That was the issue in Coursey v. University of Maryland Eastern Shore, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12407 (4th Cir. 2014). Over a period of years, beginning in 2004, students and faculty members lodged complaints about the conduct of Professor Leon Coursey.  The allegations concerned […]

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Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Finds Leave in Excess of Six Months Is not a Reasonable Accommodation

By on September 23, 2014 in ADA with 0 Comments
Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Finds Leave in Excess of Six Months Is not a Reasonable Accommodation

Grace Hwang worked as an assistant Professor at Kansas State University.  Before the fall term began, she found out she had cancer and needed treatment.  She requested a six month leave of absence, which Kansas State granted.  As the spring term approached, Hwang’s doctor indicated that she would need additional leave time.  She requested another […]

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Court Finds Joint Employment for Golf Course Superintendent and Applies “Bunkhouse Rule” in Holding Injury at Residence to Be Compensable

By on September 15, 2014 in Compensability with 0 Comments
Court Finds Joint Employment for Golf Course Superintendent and Applies “Bunkhouse Rule” in Holding Injury at Residence to Be Compensable

Eric Hanisko worked as a superintendent of a 120-acre golf course in West Windsor, N.J.  He accepted a written offer of employment in February 2008 on behalf of BCGM, a corporation specializing in golf course management, and CGC, the owner of the golf club.  His employment package included housing at the club. On April 11, […]

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