Tlumac v. High Bridge Stone
187 N.J. 567 (2006)
Decided July 19, 2006
The New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Appellate Division and the workers’ compensation judge and held that an employer can establish the statutory defense of intoxication under N.J.S.A. 34:15-7 only if it can prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the employee’s work-related injuries were caused solely by his or her intoxication.
Lozano v. Frank DeLuca Construction
178 N.J. 513 (2004)
Decided March 10, 2004
The New Jersey Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Appellate Division and the workers’ compensation judge and held that, when an employer compels an employee to participate in an activity that ordinarily would be considered recreational or social in nature, the employer renders that activity a work-related task as a matter of law. Such compulsion also makes inapplicable the two-prong test (set forth in N.J.S.A. 34:15-7) for determining whether injuries from a recreational or social activity are compensable. The Supreme Court remanded the case to the Division of Workers’ Compensation for further determinations on whether the employee had an objectively reasonable basis in fact for believing that his employer ordered or compelled him to drive a go-cart that crashed, resulting in petitioner’s severe injuries.
Division Reserved Decisions
Royal v. Jersey Shore Professional Baseball
03-20328 decided January 26, 2007 by the Honorable Cosmo A. Giovinazzi, III, J.W.C.
Petitioner filed a claim for dependency benefits on behalf of her two grandchildren, whose father died as a result of a fall from a step ladder he was using on the respondent’s premises. Respondent argued that intoxication was the sole cause of the petitioner’s accident and death. After carefully reviewing the testimony of the witnesses, the judge concluded that the respondent failed to meet its burden of proving that the petitioner was intoxicated and that the alleged intoxication was the sole cause of his accident and death.