Reading Room

New Workers’ Compensation for a New Economy

Workers' Compensation

Jon 5483

Over the course of the last few years, the United States economy has undergone a radical change that will require the New Jersey industry to reevaluate how it conducts business. New Jersey’s robust economy reflects a national trend towards full employment, but its workers’ compensation benefits have not kept pace with other states.

Social Remedial Legislation: Justices Struggle to Maintain Liberal Aspects of the Workers' Compensation Act

NJ Supreme Court Review 1999-2000

Jon 4892

The New Jersey Supreme Court, struggling to maintain the remedial social aspects of the Workers’ Compensation Act, adopted a liberal “quantification of disability” rule to determine the Statute of Limitations date to be utilized in occupational disease claims.

Sexual Harassment Claims Covered

Workers' Compensation

Jon 5150

The New Jersey Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, ruled that claims of workplace sexual harassment, when the harassment results in bodily injury, could not be excluded by insurance carriers under the employer's liability section of a workers' compensation policy. Lisa Schmidt filed a claim against her employer, Personalized Audio Visual, Inc., and against the president of the company.

The Use of Waddell Test

Workers' Compensation

Jon 23776

In reviewing numerous medical records, including orthopedic and physical therapy reports, it is common to find mention of "The Waddell Test" and extensive reporting of examination findings featuring the results of its component maneuvers. These comments will review the testing as it was originally described in its proper clinical application. Finally, some insights that can be used to cross-examine expert witnesses who feature the Waddell test in their testimony will be discussed.

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.

Order in the Comp Courts: Rulings this Year Mandated Specific Evidentiary and Jurisdictional Standards

NJ Supreme Court Review 1996-97

Jon 5411

This was the year that the Court mandated that workers’ compensation actions must comply with specific evidentiary and jurisdictional standards. In a series of cases, the New Jersey Supreme Court highlighted the necessity of strict adherence to the requirements of the Law for those practicing before the Division of Workers’ Compensation. 

Intoxicated Worker Awarded Workers' Compensation Benefits

Workers' Compensation

Jon 5787

An employee fell from a narrow, eighteen-foot-high scaffold in the course of assembling a sheet metal roof. Even though there was evidence admitted at the trial that he had consumed a gallon and a half of hard alcohol, drank two beers that day, and had a grossly elevated blood alcohol level of .29%, the accident was held compensable. 

The State of New Jersey recently adopted new Administrative Rules which appear to be the most sweeping reform of the NJ Workers' Compensation system in the last 17 tears. The rules address substantive and procedural aspects that may result in a detrimental effect upon the rights of many litigants. The Rules were adopted on March 3, 1997 with the support of business and the insurance company lobbying teams.

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.