Reading Room

The Exclusive Remedy of Workers' Compensation

NJ Supreme Court Review 1994-1995

Jon 7280

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 10631

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 4335

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 4814

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. 

The Coming and Going Rule

NJ Supreme Court Review 1991-1992

Jon 35

The fundamental aspects of the Workers' Compensation Act. Issues concerning the coming and going rule, mental stress, legal malpractice, judicial salaries, the exclusivity bar of the Workers' Compensation Act, medical expenses, liens, cancellation of insurance, overpayments, job security,] and the admissibility of expert testimony became the focus of judicial decisions.

Families of Asbestos Workers Vulnerable

Asbestos Litigation

Jon 6716

Studies linking asbestos to disease began in the early 1900's. Direct exposure to asbestos has been implicated in various diseases, principally mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, and lung scarring. The risks in all four diseases are closely influenced by dose and duration of asbestos exposure, and they involve long and variable latent periods after initial exposure (20-40 years). Studies linking asbestos to disease began in the early 1900s. Direct asbestos exposure has been implicated in various diseases, principally mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, and lung scarring.

Temporary Benefits While on "Light Duty"

NJ Supreme Court Review 1989-1990

Jon 9555

The court sought to focus on major issues confronting workers' compensation law, including the concepts of "light duty," the existence of the "coming and going rule," concerns over what risks are incidental to employment, the problem of the employee who is perceived to be working for multiple employers simultaneously, and other major issues such as [the "Fireman's Rule," the Falcon Doctrine, the Second Injury Fund, pension offsets, third party matters, medical treatment, and] what remedies are available to the employer where benefits appear to have been overpaid.