A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Appellate Division Rejects Reopener of High Percentage Award

By on April 13, 2018 in Awards with 0 Comments

New Jersey employers like reopener claims about as much as homeowners like back-to-back blizzards.  The general view is that employers have virtually no defenses and have to pay more with each reopener. The truth is that employers can win reopener cases where the petitioner’s expert cannot really prove the petitioner’s condition has worsened since the […]

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Employer May Have Violated Both The ADA and FMLA Regarding Plaintiff’s Knee Injury Arising Out Of His Employment

By on April 6, 2018 in Policy with 0 Comments

Skilled practitioners know they must keep an eye on potential employment litigation stemming from workers’ compensation claims.  The case of Dallefeld v. The Clubs at River City, Inc., 2017 AD Cases 244151 (D. Illinois 2017) provides a good illustration. Jason Dallefeld was the Director of Membership Sales, providing tours, selling memberships, and making sure other […]

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The Anachronistic “Sole Cause” Defense of Intoxication and Unlawful Use of Controlled Dangerous Substances in New Jersey Workers’ Compensation

By on March 23, 2018 in Other with 0 Comments

At least once a week this practitioner gets a call from an employer or adjuster asking whether New Jersey has a defense to accidents where the employee is found to be heavily intoxicated or under the influence of illegal substances.   The response is always the same: yes, there is technically a defense, but unfortunately the […]

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When Should a Judge Reconstruct An Employee’s Wages for Permanency Purposes?

By on March 16, 2018 in Awards with 1 Comment

The concept of reconstructing wages for permanency awards pertains to part-time workers with serious injuries.  For example, consider an employee who works 20 hours per week earning $10 per hour.  The employee has a serious injury that prevents the employee from earning the same amount of money or prevents the employee from working full-time in […]

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Coverage During Drives to Job Sites Under New Jersey Law

By on March 9, 2018 in Claims with 0 Comments

We all know the rules for coverage in New Jersey under the “premises rule,” the rule that replaced the former going-and-coming rule.  N.J.S.A. 34:15-36 states that one is covered for workers’ compensation purposes when he or she arrives at a place of employment owned or controlled by the employer.  That is easy enough, but what […]

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The Importance of Subsequent Treatment Notes and Records in Workers’ Comp

By on March 2, 2018 in Workers' Comp with 0 Comments
The Importance of Subsequent Treatment Notes and Records in Workers’ Comp

I have written many times about the fact that success for employers in workers’ compensation most often comes down to past medical history and causation analysis.  This is particularly true in a state like New Jersey where there is virtually no formal discovery allowed.  Employers need to know in a back claim, for example, whether […]

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Federal Court Rejects Civil Law Suit By Injured Employee

By on February 15, 2018 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments

Brian Sims suffered a terrible injury working for Express Scripts, Inc. (hereinafter ESI) on August 24, 2015 when his hand was caught in an industrial machine, leading to the amputation of his left hand and wrist.  He brought a civil law suit against his employer alleging willful and intentional conduct.  Express Scripts moved to dismiss […]

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All Dependents Including Minors Are Bound by the Two-Year Statute in Workers’ Compensation

By on February 8, 2018 in Policy with 0 Comments

Scott Jeannette was an employee of General Mills Progresso. He went into cardiac arrest at work on June 7, 2011 and died nine days later from complications.   He left a wife, Nacole, and a four-year-old son, Chase. Nacole filed a dependency claim petition over six months past the two-year statutory filing deadline. General Mills Progresso […]

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An Adjuster’s View of Making Good Claim Notes in New Jersey Workers’ Compensation

By on February 1, 2018 in Claims with 0 Comments

By: Michael Weiner, Workers’ Compensation Claims Examiner Editor: John H. Geaney, Esq. As adjusters we are constantly being reminded to document our files: specifically, keep good log notes. We have all heard managers and supervisors repeat this mantra: “If it is not in the notes, it did not happen!” Good claim notes should “tell the […]

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Compulsion Versus Permission in Workers’ Compensation

By on January 26, 2018 in Compensability with 0 Comments
Compulsion Versus Permission in Workers’ Compensation

“If you require it, you buy it.”  So said the Honorable Ray A. Farrington, former Supervising Judge of Compensation in Hackensack in reference to situations where an employer required an employee to perform a task that would otherwise be clearly not work related.  The concept of compulsion is an important one to understand in the […]

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Appellate Division Rejects Reopener of Psychiatric Award 18 Years Post Injury

By on January 18, 2018 in Awards with 0 Comments
Appellate Division Rejects Reopener of Psychiatric Award 18 Years Post Injury

It is challenging for a petitioner to relate an increase in disability or need for treatment to a relatively modest award that has remained unchanged for over a decade.  That was the situation in Batts v. Flag House, A-5616-15T4 (App. Div. January 16, 2018).   The case involved an award of 50% disability of the right […]

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Federal Court Upholds Employer’s Six Month Leave Policy for Work-Related Injuries

By on January 12, 2018 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments
Federal Court Upholds Employer’s Six Month Leave Policy for Work-Related Injuries

The case of Billups v. Emerald Coast Utilities Authority, 33 AD Cases 1312 (11th Cir. October 26, 2017) presented a challenge by an injured employee to his company’s six month limitation of leave. Mr. Billups injured his shoulder on December 18, 2013 doing his work as a Utility Service Technician II. He felt a pop […]

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Pre-Settlement Companies Should Have No Place at the New Jersey Comp Table

By on January 4, 2018 in Policy with 1 Comment

In the past few years there has been a rise in the number of cases where injured workers have been loaned money in advance of their workers’ compensation settlements by private pre-settlement companies.  This practice is more common in other states like Pennsylvania, but it is now creeping into New Jersey.  Companies which make private […]

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Judge of Compensation Denied Hospital Due Process Rights in Ordering Temp Benefits Without Motion for Med and Temp Ever Being Filed

By on December 21, 2017 in Benefits with 0 Comments

Can a Judge of Compensation order a respondent to pay temporary disability benefits without a motion being filed in the first place?  The answer is no according to the decision in Munch v. Atlantic Health System, A-1265-16T1 (App. Div. December 21, 2017). Petitioner, Dana Munch, worked as a paramedic for Atlantic Health System (AHS) and […]

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Appellate Division Holds Statutory Volunteers Must Prove Actual Wage Loss In Order to Obtain Temporary Disability Benefits

By on December 13, 2017 in Benefits with 0 Comments

After decades of confusion over the issue of paying temporary disability benefits to volunteer firefighters who have no outside jobs, practitioners finally received an answer from the Appellate Division in Kocanowski v. Township of Bridgewater, A-3306-15T2, (App. Div. December 11, 2017). The case involved a volunteer firefighter with the Finderne Fire Engine Company in Bridgewater […]

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