New Jersey Work Injury Lawyer

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Marlton, NJ 08053

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Archive for August 2012

New Jersey Workers’ Compensation law applies mutual benefit exception

An appeal was taken by an employer of a final decision of the NJ workers’ Compensation court, awarding petitioner disability benefits. The NJ Workers’ Compensation judge ruled that Walsh had severely injured himself on a Sunday morning while he was acting in the scope of his employment on the company’s premises. Where Walsh and his employer mutually benefited from the unpaid weekend hours that Walsh devoted at his workplace, the appellate panel found the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation judge had ample grounds to conclude that Walsh’s injuries had arisen out of his employment and were thus compensable.

This is another exception in New Jersey Workers’ Compensation to the general rule of arising out and in the scope of employment, or the bar on compensation for going and coming from work. Where there is benefit to the employer, or any mutual benefit, the employee can be covered under NJ Workers’ Compensation.

Please visit the website of NJ work injury lawyer John F. Renner for more information on NJ workers comp

By John F. Renner

New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Court finds that slip and fall in parking lot of employer was not work related

Petitioner slipped and fell on ice in the parking lot of Metlife, injuring herself. The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Court dismissed her claims holding that she failed to prove the underlying accident was work related. At the time of the accident the petitioner had been employed by respondent Adecco employment, a temporary placement agency, which assigned her to work at Metlife. The New Jersey Appellate division upheld the dismissal by the NJ Comp Court.

In order to show that a slip and fall in the parking lot of your employer was work related under New Jersey Workers’ compensation, you need to show that the work injury arose out of or in the course of employment with the company. Therefore, the petitioner might need to show that she was walking to her car due to instruction from her employer to retrieve an item from the car or travel somewhere to receive something involving her work. In NJ Comp, the employee might also demonstrate that the work injury should be compensable by showing that the employer had control over the area in which they were injured or instructed employee’s to park there. In this case, the court held that the injury was not work related and the petitioner therefore failed to show any of these exceptions to the general rule that travel to and from work or an injury in the parking lot is not compensable.  Contact John F. Renner, Esquire for more information regarding the workers’ compensation process in the State of New Jersey.


By John F. Renner

New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Holds Aggravation of COPD Caused By Co-Worker Spraying Perfume Compensable

A 64 year old woman who was employed part-time as a licensed practical nurse at a nursing home in Cumberland County, New Jersey began experiencing breathing difficulties after a co-worker twice sprayed perfume in her general vicinity. The woman, who was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in 1989, went to a New Jersey hospital the next morning where she was diagnosed with acute pulmonary disease exacerbated by exposure to odors at work. Since the time of exposure she has been oxygen dependent and unable to return to work. The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Court held that the exposure to perfume that resulted in the work injury occurred in the course of her employment. However, he dismissed her New Jersey Workers Compensation petition because he found that the employer’s premises or no condition of her employment played a role in the accidents. Instead, he held that the reaction to perfume was a result of the woman’s personal proclivity and therefore any aggravation did not arise out of her employment.
The New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, held that the aggravation of the COPD was a result of the co-worker spraying the perfume into the air at the workplace and, as a result, arose out of the workers employment and is compensable. The Appellate Division also held that her COPD was not a personal proclivity disqualifying her from coverage when it was not the sole cause of her work injury. To find the causal connection between the work injury and the employment in N.J. Comp, one must establish that the work was at least a contributing cause of the injury and the risk of occurrence was reasonably incident to employment. New Jersey Workers’ compensation has a “but for” test, which basically states one must determine that it was more probable than not that the injury would have occurred during employment rather than elsewhere.
The Appellate Panel in this case held the analysis under this test required consideration of the nature of the risk that caused the work injury. The risks associated with employment and neutral risks with uncontrollable circumstances not originating in the employment environment are compensable. Those risks that are specific to the employee, where the employment connection with the injury is minimal and where it is the employee’s personal proclivities that give rise to the harm, are not compensable in New Jersey. The New Jersey Appeals Court aldo rejected that New Jersey Workers’ Compensation judge’s conclusion that the injury was a result of a personal proclivity as she would not have been exposed to the perfume if it were not for her work and the employer placed the co-employee in a position to do harm, even if not forseen. Therefore, the work injury arose out of her employment and is compensable under New Jersey Workers’ Compensation.     For more information on the New Jersey Workers Compensation process in the State of New Jersey, please visit the website of NJ Work Injury Lawyer John F. Renner.


By John F. Renner