A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Tag: Reopener

Stacking Injuries to Multiple Body Parts Resulting From The Same Accident and The Impact on Reopeners and New Accidents

By on July 11, 2019 in Awards with 0 Comments

In 1979, the New Jersey Legislature made sweeping changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act.  Among those was the creation of a sliding scale on the Schedule of Disabilities found in N.J.S.A. 34:15-12c.  The legislative intent was to award greater compensation to the more seriously injured worker.  To accomplish this intent, the pertinent language in Section […]

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Petitioner Failed To Show Her Worsened Disability On Reopener Related Back to Her 1999 Work-Related Motor Vehicle Accident with Sprint PCS

By on July 3, 2019 in Claims with 0 Comments

Reopener petitions abound in New Jersey, but seldom does an injured worker seek on reopener to move an award of 30% permanent partial disability to total and permanent disability benefits.  That was the issue in Camarena v. Sprint PCS, A-2205-17T2 (App. Div. June 24, 2019).  Ms. Camarena obtained an award of 30% permanent partial disability […]

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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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How Employers Can Win Trials On Reopeners

By on August 22, 2017 in Awards with 0 Comments
How Employers Can Win Trials On Reopeners

Last week I wrote about how employers should not handle reopener claims, namely trying them on reports without expert testimony.  The case of Kalucki v. United Parcel Service, A-3486-15T3 (App. Div. August 15, 2017) demonstrates the winning strategy for employers to adopt in reopener claims. The case involved an injury that took place many years […]

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Petitioner’s Expert’s Findings in Physical Exam Constituted Objective Evidence to Support Increase on Reopener from 35% to 45%

By on April 7, 2017 in Awards with 0 Comments

The New Jersey statute permits claimants who receive an order approving settlement to reopen claims for additional medical, temporary or permanent disability benefits.  In Holowchuk v. O’Sullivan Menu Publishing, A-5235-14T3 (App. Div. April 6, 2017), the petitioner, Robert Holowchuk, injured his low back lifting two, five gallon drums of chemicals in 2007.  He received an award […]

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Basic Considerations in New Jersey Reopener Claims

By on February 2, 2017 in Claims with 3 Comments

Most aspects of the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act are considered favorably by employers since the law gives employers the right to control medical care and allows termination of temporary disability benefits and medical benefits at maximal medical improvement. One aspect, however, of New Jersey law invariably frustrates employers:  reopener claim petitions. These kinds of […]

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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 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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