LOIS Attorney Secures a DISALLOWANCE for a Construction Case Involving Three Claimants

Last month, attorney Meisha Powell shared a significant win for one of our clients where she was able to successfully argue for disallowance for an alleged construction accident. This month, Powell, successfully argued for disallowance for a construction claim that was fraught with fraud and misrepresentations by another claimant. Interestingly, there were two claimants that were also linked to this claim.

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LOIS Attorney Secures a Disallowance for a Construction Case

LOIS attorney Meisha Powell succeeds in persuading the workers’ compensation Law Judge that the Claimant formulated an accident on a large construction site, by casting doubt in the claimant’s version of the events. Immediately after the case was referred to attorney Powell, witnesses were contacted so that relevant information could be gathered regarding the claimant, and this alleged accident. Attorney Powell and her team was able to determine that the claimant did not suffer a work-related accident on the construction jobsite that was covered by the Carrier’s (OCIP) site specific policy.

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LOIS Prevails in Fraud Trial; Wins Permanent Penalty

Lois Law Firm secured a fraud penalty against a claimant, which resulted in the claimant being permanently barred from receiving any Workers’ Compensation benefits because of his failure to disclose work-activities and giving false testimony at prior hearings. LOIS attorney, Dan Gillis, was able to achieve this though effective cross-examination of the claimant and claimant’s witnesses along with a persuasive argument that the claimant failed to disclose his work-activities after the accident and outright denying any such work-activities at prior hearings and to the Carrier’s IME physicians.

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LOIS Succeeds in Arguing for Disallowance in Construction Case With a Third-Party Component

LOIS attorney, Meisha Powell successfully argued for disallowance of a claim involving two claimants who alleged injuries from a coordinated accident on a construction site. Attorney Powell was able to convince the Judge at the trial level that the claim should be disallowed because of the numerous inconsistencies of what was alleged to have happened. This accident involved two claimants who filed a workers’ compensation claim and a third-party general liability claim. Both claimants hired the same the law firm to represent them in both lawsuits. Under oath, the first claimant testified to being on a ladder, while his coworker stood on a bucket, both falling to the ground, while attempting to install sheetrock on a ceiling of a building covered by the Carrier’s wrap up policy. According to claimant number one, the sheetrock fell on their heads and knocked them both to the ground and he sustained multiple injuries. The second claimant was called as a witness to testify as to this alleged accident, but his version of events was vastly different. During cross-examination, Meisha Powell was able to elicit testimony that resulted in the disallowance of the first claimant’s workers’ compensation claim. She was able to use the claimant’s testimony against his witnesses’ version of events, to call into question the credibility of both individuals.

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LOIS Attorney Prevails on a Nuanced Coverage Issue Involving a PEO

Lois Law Firm successfully challenged and won on a coverage argument that seldomly comes before the Board. Attorney, Meisha Powell was able to bring attention to the file very early on in the case, that there was a possible coverage issue, involving a “leased employee” who was injured on a site covered by our client’s wrap-up (OCIP) policy. The claimant in this case suffered injury to the back, leg, and ankle when he slipped and fell at the jobsite. Prompted by the claimant’s own prehearing conference statement, which listed a PEO company as an “interested party” to this litigation, attorney Powell asked that the Carrier for the PEO be placed on notice. She argued that the claimant may be a leased employee and based on our knowledge of a previous case we were successful in defending against coverage, we requested development on the record on this coverage issue. The Carrier for the PEO was placed on notice, and at a subsequent hearing vehemently denied coverage for the claim, arguing that the wrap up policy must cover the claim! At that hearing, the Law Judge directed all policies to be submitted to the file, a memo of law from both parties on the issue of coverage, and case law supporting said argument(s).

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NY WCL Section 21-a: A Powerful Tool For Employers in the Construction Industry

There was a time when employers who were unsure whether a claim is compensable would not want to pay any benefits to the claimant for fear that it would be considered an acceptance of the claim, or constitute an “advance payment of compensation.” Oftentimes, they would ultimately be stuck with the claim because they had insufficient information to properly deny it and prevail at trial. However, the 1996 workers’ compensation reform legislation implemented a change to assist employers with this problem: New York Workers’ Compensation Law (NY WCL) § 21-a. This statute has addressed and resolved this concern for many employers, especially those in the construction industry.

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Collateral Estoppel in Construction Claims

Using Findings in the Workers’ Compensation Claim to Create Jeopardy in the Civil Claim.

In New York, a construction site injury generally leads to two claims being filed: a workers’ compensation claim, and a general liability (civil) lawsuit pursuant to New York’s Labor Laws. The workers’ compensation claim moves at a much faster pace than the civil lawsuit, with compensability potentially being determined in as little as sixty days.

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