Gross v. Borough of Neptune City
378 N.J. Super. 155 (App. Div. 2005)
Decided June 10, 2005
The Appellate Division affirmed the decision of the workers’ compensation judge and held that, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 12:235-3.9, surveillance videotapes of a petitioner will not be admissible as evidence unless the party offering such evidence has, prior to trial, given notice of its intent to present such evidence. Without such pre-trial disclosure, surveillance videotapes will be deemed inadmissible unless the employer can show it was unaware, and could not have been aware, of the facts warranting surveillance prior to trial.
Maria Prata v. Banner Pharmacaps, Inc.
355 N.J. Super. 155 (App. Div. 2002)
Decided November 19, 2002
The Appellate Division, in reversing the decision of the workers' compensation judge, reaffirmed the requirements of the Perez and Allen decisions that petitioner must establish his or her case with current objective medical evidence of permanent impairment.
Pauline Feltman v. Transistor Devices, Inc.
355 N.J. Super. 36 (App. Div. 2002)
Decided November 12, 2002
The Appellate Division affirmed the judge of compensation's decision that petitioner's dependency claim failed to establish that her husband's death from a heart attack met the requirements of NJSA 34:15-7.2. The court provides an extensive analysis of the statutory requirements and needed proofs a claimant must present in cardiovascular cases.
Division Reserved Decisions
Dubrel v. Maple Crest Auto Group
05-35155 decided January 21, 2011 by the Honorable J. Randall Corman, J.W.C.
Petitioner alleged a compensable injury to his spine from a slip and fall at work that resulted in serious permanent impairment. However, the Judge of Compensation found that the petitioner committed workers’ compensation fraud under N.J.S.A. 34:15-57(c)(1) most specifically because he falsely testified that he could no longer train or trailer horses after his accident, when in fact, he repeatedly was the driver/trainer of record for standard bred horses who ran in harness races at public racetracks. The petitioner’s claim for benefits was dismissed.
Moscoso v. Chief Fire Equipment & Service Co.
09-1472 decided October 28, 2011 by the Honorable Nilda C. Hernandez, J.W.C.
Petitioner filed a reopener and a motion for medical treatment in which he alleged worsening of radicular pain from a serious back injury. However, after reviewing the medical evidence and trial testimony, the judge concluded that the petitioner failed to prove any substantial worsening or need for medical treatment.
Melo v. Port Authority of NY & NJ
06-25707 decided May 19, 2010 by the Honorable J. Randall Corman, J.W.C.
Petitioner alleged pulmonary injury from occupational exposure to dust, dirt, fumes and other irritants. However, the Judge of Compensation found that the petitioner’s condition was not compensable because he admitted that his ability to work was not impaired by the exposure and it did not interfere with his ability to carry on any significant aspect of his personal life/functioning.
Ashworth v. Bally’s Casino
08-11077 decided April 7, 2010 by the Honorable Carmine J. Taglialatella, J.W.C.
Petitioner alleged that she suffered mental/physical injury as a result of stressful conditions at work. However, the Judge of Compensation found that the petitioner failed to meet her burden of proving that the stressors she faced on the job were “objectively verifiable” or “peculiar” to her work environment. The claim was dismissed.
Pisciotta v. Home Depot
07-24189; decided on October 22, 2009 by the Hon. Kenneth A. Kovalcik, J.W.C.
Petitioner alleged injuries that included a lumbar injury in a motion for medical treatment and temporary disability benefits. The judge of compensation, however, found the petitioner failed to meet his burden of proving that his lumbar problems were causally-related to the work accident alleged and accordingly denied the motion. The judge noted that the petitioner's testimony was not credible and his arguments asked the Court to believe that two doctors misdiagnosed his back problem and three doctors (as well as emergency room personnel) ignored his complaints about back pain.
Sowinski v. Bergen County Special Services
03-41089 decided January 16, 2009 by the Hon. Jill M. Fader, J.W.C.
Petitioner alleged that unauthorized treatments she received for years were causally-related to an admitted compensable accident and necessary to cure and relieve her symptoms. But after considering evidence drawn from numerous physicians, the Judge of Compensation concluded that her unauthorized medical treatments were neither "related" to the admitted compensable accident nor "necessary". As a result, the respondent was not held liable for the medical bills arising from the unauthorized treatments.
Ochoa v. Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission
04-21284; 06-22094; 06-8332 decided February 25, 2009 by the Hon. Jill M. Fader, J.W.C.
Petitioner alleged claims of a nature that were: (1) occupational pulmonary; (2) occupational orthopedic (to the kneews and right shoulder); and (3) traumatic injury (to the head, neck and back). After carefully reviewing all of the evidence, the Judge of Compensation concluded that only the traumatic injury claim could result in an award of temporary disability benefits based on the petitioner's unrefuted testimony. On all other claims, the petitioner failed to sustain his burden of proof so he could not be awarded compensation benefits for them.
Mucciolo v. Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino
01-20269 decided September 28, 2004 by the Hon. Cosmo A. Giovinazzi, III, J.W.C.
Petitioner filed an application for medical and temporary disability benefits to seek reinstatement of psychiatric treatment provided by the respondent. He alleged that he was suffering from severe memory loss, lack of concentration, and other psychiatric problems that resulted from a mild concussion (suffered when hit on the head by the door of a slot machine he was working on). After considering evidence drawn from three physicians, as well as from an audiotape of unrelated court hearings in which the petitioner represented himself lucidly and intelligently, the Judge of Compensation concluded that the petitioner was exaggerating his complaints and disabilities and found that he was most probably suffering from psychiatric problems unrelated to this work accident. Motion denied.
Anglin v. Rutgers University
94-48656 decided September 26, 2003 by the Honorable Peter J. Calderone, J.W.C.
Respondent filed a motion for a finding that the petitioner was unjustly enriched from benefits the respondent mistakenly overpaid in a large initial lump-sum payment it made to the petitioner. The judge of compensation denied this motion for restitution because the respondent failed to meet its burden of showing how the petitioner was “unjustly” enriched and how it would be equitable, in light of the specific facts in this case, for the court to order the petitioner to repay sums overpaid him without his awareness and through no fault of his own.
DiFalco v. Summit Bank
98-28565, 98-2864, decided August 6, 2002 by the Honorable Elaine Goldsmith, J.W.C.
In finding the petitioner to be totally disabled, the workers' compensation judge determined that the petitioner met her burden of proof to show that her orthopedic and psychiatric disabilities, and that her fibromyalgia syndrome with myofascial pain was causally related to the injuries she sustained as a result of two work-related accidents.
Baez v. South Jersey Health System
01-27910, decided April 12, 2002 by the Honorable Robert F. Butler, J.W.C.
The petitioner’s motion for medical and temporary benefits was returned, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 12:235-5.2(b)2, because it did not contain a medical report stating the specific type of treatment being sought as required by the cited rule.
Rodriquez v. Solomon Management Company
96-6391, decided March 20, 2002 by the Honorable Neale F. Hooley, J.W.C.
The petitioner’s motion for medical and temporary benefits was granted where the workers’ compensation judge found that the petitioner met his burden of proof of a causal relationship between his internal right knee derangement and work-related duties of installing a water heater.
Pierre-Louis v. R & I Sheet Metal Company
95-15720, 97-3490, decided May 25, 2001 by the Honorable Salvatore A. Ingraffia, J.W.C.
The petitioner’s motion to exclude respondent’s expert from testifying pursuant to N.J.S.A. 34:15-64 was denied. The workers’ compensation judge held that Section 64 only applied as a limitation to the allowances that could be awarded to petitioner’s experts and it did not prevent a respondent from paying a higher amount for respondent’s expert.
Miller v. Fabco, Inc.
98-40488, decided April 24, 2001 by the Honorable Neale F. Hooley, J.W.C.
The petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration was granted where the workers’ compensation judge fount that petitioner’s counsel was unfamiliar with workers’ compensation procedures and that petitioner should be allowed to present additional evidence.
Capano v. Bound Brook Relief Fire Company #4
95-35613, decided February 20, 2001 by the Honorable Joan L. Mott, J.W.C.
Petitioner, a 93 year-old man, suffered a work-related accident. The workers’ compensation judge granted petitioner workers’ compensation benefits and found that respondent had failed to show that petitioner’s loss of function was the result of his advanced age.
Romanovsky v. River Edge Transportation Company
96-18031, decided August 17, 2000 by the Honorable Philip Bolstein, J.W.C.
Petitioner suffered a compensable injury to his leg. Thereafter he fell and injured his wrist at home, while still receiving treatment for his leg injury. The workers’ compensation judge held that petitioner’s wrist injury was also compensable as causally related to the work disability. The judge also found respondent unreasonably delayed in paying temporary benefits and penalized respondent pursuant to N.J.S.A. 34:15-28.1.
Maher v. Johnson & Johnson
88-258897, decided July 28, 2000 by the Honorable Joan Mott, J.W.C.
Seven years after petitioner was found permanently and totally disabled, respondent moved to vacate the judgment and to prosecute petitioner for fraud based on surveillance tapes. The workers’ compensation judge dismissed respondent’s motion finding that respondent’s witness and the tapes did not show that petitioner was not totally disabled.
Gorrell v. Huls America Inc. & Tot Spot @ RWJ Hospital
92-34929, 98-2052, decided November 19, 1999 by the Honorable Phillip Bolstein, J.W.C.
In a claim against multiple employers, the judge of compensation found total disability as against an earlier employer and dismissed claims against a subsequent employer and the Second Injury Fund. The judge found no evidence of a new occupational trauma involving the subsequent employer.
Carter v. Heinz Bakery
95-44118, decided July 29, 1999 by the Honorable Shelley B. Lashman, J.W.C.
Where petitioner died before his testimony could be taken, the court held decedent’s statements were admissible as an exception to the hearsay rule.