Your Injury Happened Where? New Jersey Appellate Division Rejects Two Attempts to Avoid the Going and Coming Rule

Two recent decisions by the New Jersey Appellate Division upheld the strength of the “going and coming” rule to bar workers’ compensation claims that did not occur at work. In New Jersey, injuries that occur during routine travel to and from work are not compensable. This comes from principle found in N.J.S.A. 34:15-36 (defining “employment”) that generally, employment starts when the employee arrives at his place of employment, and terminates upon leaving the place of employment. Section 36 was amended
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Post-Accident Drug Testing: Part 1 — New Jersey

For New Jersey, a post-accident drug test can be helpful. In an unreported decision, the Appellate Division found that an injured employee terminated after he was placed on light duty, due to a failed drug test, is not automatically entitled to temporary disability benefits. Gioia v. Herr Foods, Inc., No. A-0667-10T4 (App. Div. Oct. 11, 2011). The employer provided testimony that it would have offered the injured employee light duty if not for the failed drug test. Since the lost
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Is That Offer Bona Fide?

Did you know that a voluntary offer to settle a workers’ compensation claim in New Jersey must meet three specific criteria to comply with state law? The offer must meet the 26-week rule — this means the offer must be made within 26 weeks of the last active treatment or return to work, whichever is later. The letter to the petitioner must explain the weekly payments are meant to be a bona fide offer of permanent disability. The start and
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Lessons from Daniel

On August 2, 2016, the Appellate Division upheld a Judge of Compensation’s denial of a petitioner’s motion for medical treatment and temporary disability benefits. In upholding the Division’s decision, the Appellate Division agreed that the petitioner had not met his burden of proof that the need for surgery arose from and was causally connected with the same trauma complained of in the original claim petition. Daniel v. United Arlines, No. A-1252-14T3 (App. Div. August 2016). The petitioner in Daniel sustained
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Appellate Division Provides Clarity: Medical Expenses are Recoverable by Workers’ Compensation Carriers under Section 40

The Appellate Division issued a published decision on August 24, 2016 confirming the right of workers’ compensation insurers to recover medical expenses from the proceeds of any recovery the worker obtains from a third-party tortfeasor under Section 40 of the Workers’ Compensation Act, N.J.S.A. 34:15-40. The decision, Lambert v. Travelers Indemnity Co. of America, No. A-1073-14T3, __ N.J. Super. __, __ (App. Div. 2016), offers welcome clarity concerning reimbursement of medical payments under Section 40. Following the unpublished 2013 decision
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