A Capehart Scatchard Blog

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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Rotator Cuff Tear May Be A Covered Disability Under ADA

By on June 21, 2016 in ADA with 1 Comment

Michael Cannon applied for a job with Jacobs Field Services (hereinafter JFS) as a field engineer for a Colorado mining site. The company made him a job offer conditioned on his passing a post-offer medical examination.  During the post-offer exam, Cannon revealed to the doctor that he had an inoperable rotator cuff tear and had […]

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Judge of Compensation Rejects Medical Reimbursement Claim and Adopts Paid Fees as Being Most Reliable Measure of Reasonable and Necessary Care

By on June 13, 2016 in Controlling Costs with 0 Comments

The New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation has thousands of medical reimbursement claims in various stages of negotiation and litigation.  Few cases actually get tried because most medical providers do not want to come to court to defend their charges. The vast majority of cases get settled through negotiations.  One recent case, however, involved testimony […]

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Obesity Is Not An Impairment Unless It Results From An Underlying Physiological Disorder

By on June 6, 2016 in ADA with 0 Comments

An important ADA decision has come from the Court of Appeals in the Eighth Circuit in Morriss v. BNSF Railway Company, 817 F.3d 1104 (8th Cir. 2016).  The case stems from a post-offer medical examination.  Melvin Morriss applied for a machinist position and received a conditional offer of employment.  He was required to undergo a […]

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Appellate Court Upholds Termination of Employee Who Exceeded Light Duty Limit

By on May 30, 2016 in ADA with 1 Comment

Most employers put limits on light duty and do not allow permanent light duty.  That was the case of the employer in the matter of Frazier-White v. David Gee, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 6318 (11th. Cir. 2016).  Plaintiff Frazier-White worked as a community service officer for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO).  She was responsible […]

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Key Appellate Case Explains Confidentiality Rules in New Jersey Workers’ Comp

By on May 21, 2016 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

The most expansive discussion of confidentiality in workers’ compensation comes ironically from a civil law suit in the matter of Seymoure v. A.O. Smith Water Products Company, et. al., A-3967-14T3 (App. Div. May 11, 2016).  The case arose from an asbestos law suit filed by Gwendolyn Seymoure, who sued several defendants, including Union Carbide Corporation […]

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When Should an Employer Order a Fitness-For-Duty or Functional Capacity Exam?

By on May 15, 2016 in Controlling Costs with 0 Comments

This is the second article devoted to fitness-for-duty examinations and Functional Capacity Exams (FCE) in workers’ compensation. The first segment focused on how such examinations can lead to significant cost savings for employers and common mistakes that are made by employers.  This segment will focus on when to order a fitness exam or FCE and […]

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Fitness-For-Duty and Functional Capacity Exams: Important Tools in Reducing Workers’ Compensation Costs

By on May 12, 2016 in Controlling Costs with 0 Comments

We have all seen this situation: an employee with a physical job has major surgery and is given restrictions by the treating doctor, who issues an MMI note (maximum medical improvement).  When temporary disability benefits are stopped, the employee immediately calls to see about returning to work.  The employer indicates that it cannot take the […]

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Appellate Division Sides With Petitioner in Dispute Over Compensability on Motion Trial

By on May 6, 2016 in Compensability with 0 Comments

It can be difficult to predict the outcome of appeals where the issue before the Judge of Compensation is credibility of witnesses as opposed to pure legal issues.  In Frank Hodson v. C. Abbonizio Contractors, Inc., A-2083-14T3 (App. Div. May 2, 2016), Mr. Hodson said that while working as a laborer on May 9 and […]

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Past Medical History Remains the Key to Controlling Costs in Workers’ Compensation

By on April 27, 2016 in Controlling Costs with 0 Comments

Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it, wrote George Santayana.  In workers’ compensation, those who do not know the past are doomed to pay for it.  Winning in workers’ compensation in almost every state comes down to developing past information about injuries, car accidents, chiropractic care, sports activities, second jobs, […]

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CDC Releases Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

By on April 22, 2016 in Controlling Costs with 0 Comments

Pain management has become a major health issue and cost driver in most state workers’ compensation programs with the proliferation of prescription opiates and consequential addictions arising from workers’ compensation injuries.  One of the central problems that practitioners face in file handling and in court is the absence of any clear standards to decide whether […]

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Are You Covered for Comp When You Tear Your Knee Playing for the Company Softball Team or Dancing at the Holiday Party?

By on April 12, 2016 in Compensability with 0 Comments

Most employers have some recreational or social activities throughout the year, and unfortunately, injuries tend to occur at these events.  There used to be so many of these kinds of claims that the New Jersey Legislature enacted new legislation in 1980 under N.J.S.A. 34:15-7, which provides that recreational and social activities do not arise from […]

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Ohio State University Medical Center Did Not Violate the ADA in Requiring a Psychiatric Fitness Examination

By on April 8, 2016 in ADA with 0 Comments

Sometimes alarming statements made at work justify a fitness examination.  In the case of Barnum v. The Ohio State University Medical Center, 2016 App. LEXIS 2957 (6th Cir. 2016), the plaintiff worked as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.  In 2011, she was having issues at home due to a divorce and other family matters.  A […]

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Answers to Common Questions Regarding Partial Permanent Disability Awards in New Jersey

By on March 28, 2016 in Uncategorized with 1 Comment

Permanent partial disability awards are often mysterious, partly because New Jersey compensation is so different from our neighboring states.  For those who are used to the laws in Pennsylvania and New York, permanency awards in New Jersey can make no sense.  Here is a sample of common questions about our system in New Jersey: Question: […]

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School Board Properly Terminated Teacher Who Failed Two Fitness Exams and Who Requested Hiring Part-Time Aide

By on March 18, 2016 in ADA with 0 Comments

Reasonable accommodation has its limits as is noted in the case of Belasco v. Warrensville Heights City School District, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 21493 (6th Cir. 2015).  Norma Belasco, a long-time teacher, began to have serious health issues in 2007, starting with renal failure with an eventual kidney transplant in 2013.  She also had heart […]

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