201-880-7213

Jurisdiction of claims

On April 11, 2007 in Kibler v. Roxbury Bd. of Educ., the New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed the decision of a Superior Court trial judge, holding that a plaintiff injured at work as a result of an altercation between two students was barred from pursuing a civil action for damages against the students. The appellate court held that there was no “genuine issue of material fact” as to whether the teacher’s injuries came within the purview of conditions the New Jersey Legislature intended to exempt from the exclusive remedy provisions of Workers’ Compensation Act. The plaintiff’s exclusive remedy is with the Division of Workers’ Compensation for her work-related accident

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Personal errands and work

On March 14, 2007, the New Jersey Appellate Division decided Valcarel v. FSA Management, A-40001-05T2 (Mar. 14, 2007)(Not Approved for Publication). The issue at bar was whether or not the claimant was “acting within the scope of his employment” when the accident occurred. The Appellate Division agreed with the Judge of Compensation (Judge Joel Gottlieb, New Brunswick) that the petitioner was engaged “on personal business when he was involved in the accident in question” and that no compensation would be payable.

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Racketeers or Victims? The Melard cases

It is a familiar story in New Jersey: immediately after Melard Manufacturing Corporation closed its Passaic plant, laying off 111 workers, 84 of the former employees promptly filed workers’ compensation claims alleging a variety of “occupational” maladies. (Melard, which manufactured plastic bathroom parts and packaged other items, laid off the workers in 2002.)

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Intoxicated employees

Quest Diagnostics of Lyndhurst, NJ is the biggest U.S. provider of workplace drug tests. Quest said that in 2006 positive results for workplace drug tests were the lowest since the company began testing.

Quest said that 3.8% of the 9 million tests administered came back positive.

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Going-and-Coming Rule in NJ

The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act states that “employment starts when an employee arrives at the employer’s place of employment to report for work and [ends] when the employee leaves the employer’s place of employment.”

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Occupational disease death claims in NJ

A panel of Appellate Division judges overruled the Judge of Compensation in this occupational disease death case. The Workers’ Comp Judge found that the decedent, a heavy smoker, was exposed to asbestos when he worked for Mid-State Sprinkler. The Judge of Compensation decided that the asbestos exposure was what caused the cancer that the claimant died from. The Appellate Division disagreed, finding that the plaintiff’s proofs did not establish medical causation and there was no evidence brought out at trial that the decedent had symptoms of asbestosis.

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