A recent decision serves as a reminder that when cases are bifurcated for trial, the ruling may only be limited to the issue before the Court. In Moran v. Cosmetic Essence, the Judge of Compensation issued a ruling on temporary disability following a bifurcated trial regarding the compensability of an alleged work-related injury. On March 14, 2018, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey remanded the matter finding that the workers’ compensation judge should not have ruled to award temporary disability benefits following a bifurcated trial on compensability.
The facts in Moran.
The petitioner, Nestor Moran, filed a Claim Petition alleging that he was injured on January 28, 2016 while lifting a heavy box. Respondent filed an Answer denying compensability and alleging that no accident occurred while working. Petitioner then filed a Motion for Temporary and Medical Benefits. However, due to the fact that the Respondent denied a work-related accident occurred, it was agreed that they would bifurcate the trial limited to whether a work-related injury occurred and if such an injury did not occur, whether the petitioner committed fraud by pursuing the matter. Continue reading Practical Advice for Bifurcated Trials in New Jersey