A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Court Finds that Company Did Not Discriminate Against Injured Worker Returning from Comp Injury When It Fired Him for Lack of Available Work

By on December 23, 2015 in ADA with 0 Comments

Michael Sluga worked for Metamora Telephone Company as an Outside Plant Supervisor.  On July 27, 2011 he slipped on a trailer while at work and fell two feet to the ground, tearing his rotator cuff.  He tried to work with the injury but eventually in December he asked for a six month leave of absence […]

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Court Finds Assault by Coemployee at Work Not Compensable but Rooted in a Pyramid Investment Scheme Involving the Two Employees

By on December 16, 2015 in Compensability with 0 Comments

Most assaults by an employee on another employee on work premises are compensable for the victim of the assault, but the facts in Joseph v. Monmouth County, A-4144-13T3 (App. Div. December 14, 2015) were most unusual. Lesley Joseph was a nursing supervisor at a Monmouth County owned nursing home.  On June 9, 2011, Mr. Joseph […]

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Appellate Division Affirms Denial of Workers’ Comp Benefits to Owner of Business Based on His Misrepresentations Regarding Nature of His Company’s Business and Its Legal Status

By on December 9, 2015 in Compensability with 1 Comment

Samuel Roman formed Treeminator Tree Services, Inc. in 2007.  By 2012 he and his girlfriend, Sandra Flores, were both employees along with two others.  In 2009 Roman sought workers’ compensation coverage with NJM for Treeminator Tree Service, LLC, a company with no employees and engaged in landscaping work but not tree trimming.  He obtained the […]

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Employee Who Came to Work Solely to Pick up His Paycheck Was Not Covered for Comp When He Fell on Premises

By on November 30, 2015 in Compensability with 1 Comment

Robert Miller worked as customer service and bookkeeping associate at Saker Shoprite from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.  On January 29, 2010, Miller came to work to pick up his paycheck at 10:00 a.m.  The store allowed employees to do direct deposit or to pick up their paychecks in person.  While he went in to […]

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Appellate Division Allows Petitioner with Total Disability Award to Reopen a Prior Claim for Partial Total Disability

By on November 23, 2015 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

Employers often find New Jersey to be a very frustrating state for workers’ compensation because it is very difficult to close a file for good, unless the parties have grounds for a Section 20 disposition and the proposed Section 20 meets with the approval of the Judge of Compensation.  Now those employers will have added […]

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Barnabas Health System Wins Coveted “Teddy” Award at National Workers’ Compensation Convention in Las Vegas

By on November 16, 2015 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

The signature workers’ compensation event in the United States takes place each year at the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The highlight of the conference is the presentation of the “Teddy” award to a select few companies, chosen from hundreds of applicants, for outstanding achievement in workers’ compensation. […]

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Understanding Idiopathic Claims and How to Prove the Defense

By on November 10, 2015 in Key Defenses with 1 Comment

The term “idiopathic defense” is widely misunderstood.  Practitioners need to appreciate when the defense applies and who has the burden of proving an idiopathic defense.  In New Jersey, and in most states, the burden is on the employer to prove an idiopathic defense.  The word “idiopathic” comes from the Greek: “idios” meaning one’s own, and […]

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Employer Did Not Have a Job Related Reason to Compel Fitness for Duty Examination

By on November 5, 2015 in ADA with 0 Comments

One of the challenges for employers is determining when a fitness-for-duty examination can be required and when it cannot be.  This issue sometimes flows from a workers’ compensation case following a long period of absence but also emerges in other situations unrelated to workers’ compensation. In Margaret Wright v. Illinois Department of Children and Family […]

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Court Rejects Respiratory Reopener Claim of Detective Investigator Who Alleged Her COPD Condition Worsened Due to Work Exposures

By on October 29, 2015 in Claims with 1 Comment

One of the hallmarks of the New Jersey workers’ compensation system is that awards of partial permanent disability can be reopened for more medical, temporary or permanent disability benefits.  In this case, Rebecca Weston, a detective investigator for the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, received an award of 55% of partial total, 31% of which was […]

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Employee Defeats School Board’s Motion for Summary Judgment in Case Involving Possible Use of Air-Conditioned Bus

By on October 21, 2015 in ADA with 0 Comments

The Clayton County School District in Atlanta, Georgia employed Edith Hill as a bus driver.  During the school year 2009-2010 Hill was assigned a non-air-conditioned bus for special needs students.  The temperatures inside the bus rose above 100 degrees and Hill found she was experiencing serious difficulty in breathing.  She filed an “Employee Request for […]

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Strategies in Winning Occupational Disease Claims

By on October 15, 2015 in Claims with 0 Comments

In part one we examined the law surrounding New Jersey occupational disease claims and trends in our state (see last week’s blog).  In this segment, we will explore strategies and tactics employers can take to win occupational disease claims. Winning workers’ compensation claims depends more than any other factor on obtaining past medical history.  Experience […]

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Defending Occupational Disease Claims in New Jersey

By on October 8, 2015 in Claims with 1 Comment

This is a two part analysis of the defense of occupational disease claims in New Jersey workers’ compensation.  The first segment will focus on the proofs in occupational disease cases and why this practitioner believes that these kinds of claims will be filed increasingly in coming years.  The second segment will focus on how employers […]

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Employer Improperly Failed to Allow Employee to Cure Defect in FMLA Medical Certification before Terminating Employee for Excessive Absenteeism

By on October 2, 2015 in FMLA with 0 Comments

Cases in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals have great importance for New Jersey employers in connection with the FMLA.  The case of Hansler v. Lehigh Valley Hosp. Network, 790 F.3d 499 (2015 U. S. App. LEXIS 10444) (3d Cir. June 22, 2015) is worthy of study.  It involved a technical partner who was hired […]

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Appellate Court Refines Rules on Workers’ Compensation Lien Rights

By on September 23, 2015 in Key Defenses with 0 Comments

The case of Jose Moreira v. Carlos Peixoto, et. al., A-5741-12T1 (App. Div. September 10, 2015) presents a complex tale of insurance fraud that ends with an important clarification about the lien rights of an employer and the potential challenges to lien calculations by employees. Jose Moreira was injured working privately on a house owned […]

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Court Holds that Need for Knee Treatment Is Not Related to Prior Work-Related Meniscal Repair but to Preexisting Arthritis

By on September 18, 2015 in Key Defenses with 1 Comment

Employers always struggle with this dilemma:  if a claimant receives an award for knee surgery related to a repair of a torn meniscus, does that mean that future knee treatment for arthritis in the knee must be the responsibility of the employer? This issue arises often when the subject at issue is a possible total […]

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