Reading Room

NJ Supreme Court Upholds The Rights of Firefighters Who Suffer Lung Disease

Workers' Compensation

Jon 5108

A unanimous New Jersey Supreme Court decided that firefighters, whether paid or volunteer, may receive Workers’ Compensation benefits for developing respiratory illness and lung disease as a result of exposure to asbestos, fumes and other toxic substances encountered on the job. Decided February 11, 2002, the case of Culbert vs. City of Jersey City and its companion Lindquist vs. City of Jersey City, reversed the Judgment of the Appellate Division, which threw out the firefighter’s claims.

Court Orders Compensation for Worker Rendered Sterile

NJ Supreme Court Awards Compensation for Reproduction Disorder

Jon 6034

In a decision that focuses attention on the risk of harm to reproductive systems caused by exposure to toxins in the workplace, a state appeals court has ordered a judge to award compensation to an industrial employee for sterility, even though the condition did not affect his ability to work. Workers’ Compensation Judge Melvin Shteir had ruled that Ahmed Akef, a chemical worker at a BASF Corp. plant in Middlesex County, suffered no loss "in the workers’ compensation.

Parameters Defined for Benefits in Occupational Disease Claims: Weighing Standards and Remedial Intent

NJ Supreme Court Review 1995-1996

Jon 5883

The 1996 court term set forth standards for occupational disease claims, defined defenses available, provided interpretation regarding third-party liens, further defined standards to be utilized in the presentation of evidence, and set forth parameters concerning the nature and extent of disability under the Workers' Compensation Act. 

The Exclusive Remedy of Workers' Compensation

NJ Supreme Court Review 1994-1995

Jon 7663

In several landmark cases the New Jersey Supreme Court redefined the parameters of the Workers' Compensation Act as it applies to occupational illness, scientific evidence, the standard of proof to determine permanency, apportionment of responsibility, exclusivity of remedy and off-premises liability. These areas of the law are also the focus of various New Jersey Appellate Division case decisions as well as several federal court rulings. Some of the decisions rendered by the Supreme Court were the most significant rulings in the history of workers' compensation case law. 

Court Chips Away at Workers' Comp Exclusivity

Workers' Compensation

Jon 11175

The New Jersey Supreme Court, in a landmark decision that was a year in the making, has taken a big step toward dismantling the exclusivity doctrine of the Workers’ Compensation Act, which immunizes employers from tort liability. The 3-2 decision last Wednesday came in the case of a laborer for a nonunion shop who died when he was run over by a dump truck driven by a worker from a union shop owned by the same principals. The justices said the laborer’s widow can sue the shop that loaned the truck driver even though he is immunized from suit. 

An Occupational Heart Condition is Compensble in Workers' Compensation

NJ Supreme Court Review 1993-1994

Jon 4758

During the 1993-1994 court term, the attention of the New Jersey Supreme Court was on evidential issues, while the Appellate Division addressed an entire spectrum of issues arising before the Division of Workers' Compensation. Those issues included conflict of law questions, further definition of the coming and going rule, and apportionment of traumatic and occupational disease claims [as well as issues of credibility. The court also addressed such perennially important issues as dependency benefits, the "fellow servant" rule, casual employment, and psychiatric illness]. The court term marked further reiteration by the reviewing tribunals that permanent disability can be recognized at minimal levels and that a cause of action exists for an occupationally-induced cardiovascular condition.

Psychological Disability Claims

NJ Supreme Court Review 1992-1993

Jon 5224

The 1992-93 court term produced a group of decisions that focused on novel issues now being presented before the Division of Workers' Compensation. Judicial forums had an opportunity to review many aspects of the law, including employment status, psychiatric disability, apportionment of disability in traumatic disease claims among multiple respondents, [the "safety net," the "coming and going rule," liens, the scope of spousal dependency, evidential concerns,] and the scope of the availability of a pension offset for employees of interstate agencies.