A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Director Wojtenko Issues Memo to All Attorneys on Strict Compliance with the Rules on Motions for Medical and Temporary Disability Benefits

By on October 27, 2016 in Policy with 0 Comments

The Honorable Russell Wojtenko, Jr., Director and Chief Judge, issued a Memo effective October 21, 2016 to all workers’ compensation attorneys advising that the administrative rules on motions for medical and temporary disability benefits will be strictly enforced.  What this means to employers, carriers, third party administrators and practitioners is that motions for medical and […]

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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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Lyme Disease Qualifies As A Disability Under The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination

By on October 19, 2016 in ADA with 0 Comments

In Cook v. Gregory Press, Inc., 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1885 (App. Div. August 11, 2016), the Appellate Division reversed a trial court’s dismissal of a plaintiff’s disability discrimination case involving an employee eventually diagnosed with Lyme disease.  The case involved Matthew Cook, who worked as a printing machine operator since 2002.  In 2011, […]

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The Evolution of the Reconstructed Wage Rule in New Jersey

By on October 12, 2016 in Awards with 0 Comments

What is a reconstructed work week and wage and why does it matter?  Originally, this referred to a principle by which certain injured employees can seek recalculation of their work week, thereby increasing their wage and permanency rate at the time of settlement.  For example, an employee works 20 hours per week earning $20 per […]

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OSHA Attacks Employer Post-Accident Drug Testing Policies

By on October 5, 2016 in Policy, Uncategorized with 0 Comments

Many employers have a policy of mandatory post-injury drug testing.  Those policies must now be reconsidered and largely jettisoned. The underpinning of the new OSHA policy on drug testing is the belief that blanket post-injury drug testing policies deter proper reporting of injuries.  On May 12, 2016 OSHA published new final rules against discrimination and […]

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Managed Healthcare Services Company Prevails In Nurse’s ADA Claim

By on September 27, 2016 in ADA with 1 Comment

Katherina Swank worked for CareSource Management Group (hereinafter CareSource) as a Registered Nurse (RN).  CareSource provides managed healthcare services to Medicaid recipients.  Her work involved case manager duties by telephone until CareSource initiated a new approach in 2011 to delivering managed care services to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, which mandated that […]

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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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Appellate Court Rules Employer Has Subrogation Rights in Three Key Cases

By on September 7, 2016 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments

Three cases were heard together in the New Jersey Appellate Division regarding the right of employers to obtain reimbursement under N.J.S.A. 34:15-40 in situations involving car accidents where medical treatment was potentially recoverable under PIP.  The cases are Lambert v. Travelers Indemnity Company of America, Reed v. Qual-Lynx and Township of Marlboro, and Agar v. […]

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EEOC Guidelines on Unpaid Leave Complicate Matters for Employers

By on August 30, 2016 in EEOC with 0 Comments

The new EEOC Guidance issued on May 9, 2016 upsets many of the assumptions employers routinely make in regard to leaves of absence.  The EEOC states, “An employer must consider providing unpaid leave to an employee with a disability as a reasonable accommodation if the employee requires it, and so long as it does not […]

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Pro or Con: Reducing Pay While Employee Is On Light Duty?

By on August 23, 2016 in Controlling Costs with 0 Comments

I received an excellent question today from a reader of this blog.  The question was this:  “I’m looking for some information on whether it is acceptable to bring an employee back for light duty at a wage that is lower than their pre-accident wage provided that they are paid at least at the temporary total […]

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Workers’ Comp Lien Applies Even if PIP Benefits Are Not Recoverable Against Tortfeasor

By on August 16, 2016 in Controlling Costs with 0 Comments

On January 13, 2011, Paulette Dorflaufer was hit by a car while working as a part-time crossing guard for Livingston Township.  She filed a workers’ compensation claim and filed a negligence law suit against the tortfeasor.  She settled that case for $95,000 for pain and suffering.  PMA Management Corporation put plaintiff on notice of its […]

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Court Rejects Petitioner’s Request For Shoulder Surgery on Second Reopener

By on August 9, 2016 in Awards, Compensability with 0 Comments

Just because an employer accepts an injury to a body member as part of an award does not mean that all future treatment to that body member will be found work related.  That is the rule in Daniel v. United Airlines, No. A-1252-14, 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1816 (App. Div. August 2, 2016). Petitioner, […]

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Appellate Division Reverses Comp Award For Underpaying Claimant Due To An Incorrect Social Security Offset Calculation

By on August 1, 2016 in Awards with 0 Comments

Josephine Lucciola appealed from an order denying her request to vacate a February 23, 2012 order establishing her social security offset.  She contended that the order contained the wrong offset calculation and that she was being shorted tens of thousands of dollars by her employer, Home Depot.  There was no dispute that Lucciola had been […]

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Appellate Division Allows Comp Retaliation Case To Proceed To Jury

By on July 25, 2016 in Compensability with 0 Comments

Workers’ compensation retaliation claims are rare birds in New Jersey, and the case of Robinson v. Armadillo Automation, Inc. explains the standard for proving such cases.  Spencer Robinson worked as a valve technician from May 2005 until August 2011.  He alleged that when he was hired, he disclosed a prior low back condition, and he […]

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