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Court Rulings

Appellate Division Reverses Judge of Compensation’s Decision That Employment Separation Agreement Constituted a Payment for a Disputed Workers’ Compensation Claim

By on July 15, 2022 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments

The case of Donald Servais v. Ocean Wholesale Nursery, LLC., A-2988-20, (App. Div. July 14, 2022) presents an unusual legal issue in workers’ compensation.  The case involved a dispute about an employment separation agreement and whether that agreement could have been construed to constitute a payment of workers’ compensation benefits, thereby tolling the statute of […]

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Appellate Division Endorses a Penalty Assessed by the Judge of Compensation for Late Payment of a Permanency Order but Not for Respondent’s Delays Prior to Date of Settlement

By on June 6, 2022 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments

There are few cases in the Division that discuss penalties for late payments of permanency awards, so the recently published Appellate Division decision in Ripp v. County of Hudson, No. A-2972-20 (App. Div. June 3, 2022) should be studied by workers’ compensation practitioners. The Ripp case was not about delayed temporary disability benefits, which are […]

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FCE Supported County’s Decision To Terminate Employee Following Workers’ Comp Injury

By on March 10, 2022 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments

Functional capacity examinations (FCEs) can be very useful in determining the ability of a worker to perform essential job functions by removing the guesswork and instead providing accurate data on an employee’s physical abilities. In The Matter of Thalia Tretsis Middlesex County, Sheriff’s Office, No. A-3682-19 (App. Div. February 15, 2022) provides some important guidance […]

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Superior Court Could Not Compel A Plaintiff Who Filed In Civil Court To Also File A Claim Petition In The Division of Workers’ Compensation

By on February 24, 2022 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments

The case of Brian Smith v. Township of South Hackensack, No. A-3258-20 (App. Div. February 18, 2022), addressed an unusual procedural question seldom, if ever, seen before.  The Appellate Division decision provides hardly any factual background at all other than this brief summary:  “Plaintiff, a volunteer firefighter, was struck by a South Hackensack fire truck […]

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New Jersey Supreme Court Finds Parking Lot Accident Compensable

By on January 19, 2022 in Compensability, Court Rulings with 1 Comment

On January 18, 2022, the New Jersey Supreme Court concluded round three of Diane Lapsley v. Township of Sparta, a case that dates back to February 3, 2014.  On that date Mrs. Lapsley, a librarian for the Township, left work early when the Township closed the library due to a snowfall.  Her husband picked her […]

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This Month’s Two Key Developments On Jurisdiction Of Medical Claim Petitions And Orders To Compel Reimbursement Of Costs Of Medical Marijuana

By on April 16, 2021 in Court Rulings with 1 Comment

We are two weeks into April, and already the New Jersey Supreme Court has considered two extremely significant issues for workers’ compensation practitioners, employers and carriers.  The first decision was announced on April 1, 2021 when the Supreme Court decided not to take certification in the matter of Anesthesia Assocs. of Morristown, PA v. Weinstein […]

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New Jersey Supreme Court Rules That Employee Volunteer at Family Fun Day Event Was Performing Work Duties And Was Not Engaged In A Social Or Recreational Activity

By on February 16, 2021 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments

In 1979 the New Jersey legislature adopted a change to N.J.S.A. 34:15-7 to add that recreational and social activities are not compensable unless the injured worker could prove that the activity promoted a benefit to the employer beyond improvement of health and morale.  Prior Supreme Court cases have already made clear that if an employer […]

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Appellate Division Rules Against Medical Providers In Jurisdictional Dispute Where Almost All Contacts Were In Pennsylvania And New York

By on October 7, 2020 in Court Rulings with 1 Comment

An important decision came down today on an issue that concerns practitioners, employers, carriers and third party administrators.  The decision is the first appellate level opinion on a long-running dispute over jurisdiction in certain MCP cases filed by medical providers in New Jersey. The decision is likely to affect hundreds of pending cases with similar […]

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Divided Supreme Court Upholds Right of Employer to Pursue Subrogation For Payment Of Workers’ Compensation Benefits Even Where Employee Cannot Sue Due to The Limitation-On-Lawsuit Option

By on July 23, 2020 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments

One of the most significant cases for employers in many years is N.J. Transit Corp. v. Sanchez, 2020 LEXIS 520 (N.J. May 12, 2020).  This decision is really a game changer for employers, carriers and third party administrators.  The conventional wisdom has always been that if an injured worker cannot sue for personal injuries in […]

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Policy Holder Made Material Misrepresentations To Its Workers’ Compensation Carrier Warranting Finding Of Fraud Under N.J.S.A. 34:15-47.4

By on April 13, 2020 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments

N.J.S.A. 34:15-79(a) is the source of considerable litigation in workers’ compensation.  It provides that “Any contractor placing work with a subcontractor shall, in the event of the subcontractor’s failing to carry workers’ compensation insurance as required by this article, become liable for any compensation which may be due an employee or the dependents of a […]

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Medical Providers Win in Supreme Court on Statute of Limitations Issue

By on February 5, 2020 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments

In New Jersey a medical provider dispute arising from a work injury can only be filed in the Division of Workers’ Compensation ever since the 2012 Amendments.  But the 2012 Amendments to the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act failed to answer one fundamental question:  how long does the provider have to bring a claim in […]

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New Jersey Supreme Court Rules That Volunteer Firefighter Is Entitled To Maximum Temp Benefits Even Without Proof Of Employment Or Lost Wages

By on February 22, 2019 in Court Rulings with 1 Comment

Jennifer Kocanowski, a member of the Finderne Fire Department in the Township of Bridgewater, was injured in March 2015 while carrying equipment in response to a multi-alarm fire.  She fractured her fibula, tore ligaments in her ankle, and injured her back. Prior to the injury, Kocanowski had not worked for over a year.  She had […]

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Appellate Division Approves Suit By Comp Carrier Against Third Party Tortfeasor Even Where Injured Worker Had A Verbal Threshold Policy

By on December 5, 2018 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments

One of the most significant cases to be decided by the Appellate Division with respect to subrogation rights was issued on December 4, 2018 in New Jersey Transit Corporation v. Sanchez, A-0761-17T3 (App. Div. December 4, 2018).  The case will have an impact on how employers deal with a very common scenario in New Jersey. […]

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Workers’ Compensation Injury Leads to Indefinite Suspension On Account Of Refusal Of Injured Worker To Submit to Medical Marijuana Drug Testing

By on September 19, 2018 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments

Daniel Cotto worked as a forklift operator at Ardagh Glass in Bridgeton, N.J.  On November 1, 2016, Cotto hit his head on the roof of a forklift at work.  He was advised to see Premier Orthopedics in Vineland, N.J. for a medical examination, and a Premier Orthopedics doctor placed Cotto on light duty work with […]

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The End of Voluntary Offers in New Jersey?

By on June 22, 2018 in Court Rulings with 1 Comment

On June 21, 2018 the New Jersey Assembly passed Senate 2145, which is a bill long lobbied for by counsel for injured workers.  The measure passed by a 2-1 margin and now goes to the Governor for signature, the Senate already having passed the bill.  The legislation makes a significant change in removing the incentive […]

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