In a controverted occupational disease claim where the claimant worked for three separate employers contemporaneously with the alleged disability, and depending on the setting of the date of disablement, either of the three employers could have been found to be the liable party. Adding more difficulty to the defense, our client was actually the last employer for whom the claimant worked. Generally, with occupational disease claims, the last employer is deemed liable, as the date of disablement can be set when the claimant stopped working. Moreover, the first medical reports were filed after the claimant began working for our insured. However, based on testimony taken from multiple employer witnesses as well as the claimant, we successfully argued that because of the claimant’s changed job duties when she began working for our insured (i.e. they were less strenuous), it should be a different employer that should be liable and the date of disablement should be set as the date prior to when the claimant began working for our insured. The Law Judge agreed, and set the date of disablement two days prior to when the claimant began working for our insured, placing liable on a different party. While the claim was established, our client was not deemed liable.
Case: TD v. FSH
Court: Brooklyn Workers’ Compensation Board
Trial Attorney: Noah Pollack, Esq.
Attorney Tashia Rasul, who heads the Construction Defense Practice Group at LOIS, presented a well-received panel discussion at the Claims Litigation Management annual conference in Orlando, Florida this March. The CLM Annual Conference is the premier annual event for professionals in the claims and litigation management industries. The Conference boast more than 2,000 attendees and the featured Premier Panels feature some of the top minds in the industry.
Partner Tashia Rasul exemplifies the client and industry focus that LOIS provides to clients. “We have several bright, young lawyers who have been making valuable contributions to the Firm and to our clients,” Rasul says. “Lois has been a construction industry leader because of our commitment to clients and our dedication to the law. There is a new generation of talent in our firm drawing lots of enthusiasm from our clients and securing a bright future for the firm.”
ln addition to her trial practice, Tashia provides onsite training to her clients on developments in the industry, always keeping them abreast of what to expect in the defense of their claims. In addition to contributing to the Firm as a partner and practice group leader, Tashia also heads the firm’s Diversity Committee, overseeing initiatives for a diverse and inclusive work environment.
Lois Law Firm releases the practical guide “Best Practices in Dual Jurisdiction Cases: New York General Liability and Workers’ Compensation” following Partner Tashia Rasul’s well-received panel discussion at the Claims Litigation Management Conference in Orlando Florida on March 14, 2019. The guide is a practical protocol for coordinating workers’ compensation and general liability defense counsel in catastrophic construction cases. The guide is available here: https://loisllc.com/downloads/download-best-practices-for-dual-jurisdiction-claims/
Tashia Rasul is a partner at LOIS where she defends employers in New York workers’ compensation matters and leads the Construction Defense Practice team. She frequently visits construction and other work sites to develop defense strategies. Tashia routinely handles complex cases involving occupational injuries, pulmonary diseases and catastrophic injuries.
In addition to her busy trial practice, Tashia leads the Firm’s Diversity Committee. Tashia is active in the National Alliance of Women in Workers’ Compensation, a think tank of engaged female thought leaders committed to discussing challenges and emerging trends in the Workers’ Compensation industry.
Before joining Lois LLC, Tashia was an in-house counsel for a national insurance company, where she handled personal injury protection (PIP) and “No-fault” cases. Tashia has also represented school boards, police departments and municipalities in cases involving claims against Public entities under New Jersey’s Title 59.
In this complex occupational disease claim arising from the claimant’s work in construction, we were successful in defending the claim against our client (who held a wrap-up policy) before the New York Workers’ Compensation Board and arguing for liability to be imposed on a different employer/carrier. The claimant had worked for several different employers in the period leading up to his work stoppage and three different carriers, including our client, we placed on notice regarding potential liability. We took extensive testimony of the claimant and subpoenaed copious medical records before the Law Judge found our client was not liable on the claim. Our argument was two-pronged: 1) that our client was not the employer during the last injurious exposure; 2) that as the holder of a wrap-up policy, our client should not be found liable on an occupational disease claim, which should impose liability on the holder of the operational policy.
Case: AB v. OCIP Client;
Lois Attorney: Noah Pollack, Esq.
In this claim which arose out of a construction injury, the claimant asserted he was entitled to lost time awards following his accident, and produced medical evidence assessing an ongoing total disability. Notwithstanding the claimant’s allegations and supporting medical evidence, we investigated the claim and secured witness testimony from his supervising foreman. This testimony, combined with our cross-examination of the claimant, persuaded the Law Judge at the New York Workers’ Compensation Board to find the claimant was terminated from his job for reasons unrelated to his work-related injuries and was therefore not entitled to any indemnity awards. The claimant appealed the decision, but the Board Panel affirmed. When awards are in play, it is important to explore all defenses and utilize any opening in defending the claim.
Case: RL v. YCC
Trial Attorney: Noah Pollack, Esq.