New Jersey Work Injury Lawyer

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525 Route 73 North
Suite 104
Marlton, NJ 08053

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111 White Horse Pike
Haddon Hts., NJ 08035

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Archive for September 2012

N.J. Workers’ Compensation law decides whether actions by employer constituted intentional wrong so as to bypass exclusive remedy provision of Workers’ Compensation Act

Plaintiff was injured while clearing leaves from the discharge chute on a riding lawnmower he was operating in the course of his employment for defendant. He appealed the dismissal of his suit based on theories of negligence and strict liability. The panel concluded that the motion judge correctly determine that the defendant was entitled to summary judgment dismissing the complaint. They reasoned that since there is nothing in the record to suggest that defendant’s disabling of the seat interlocking mechanism evidenced a deliberate intention to injure plaintiff or a virtual certainty that such injury would occur, the intentional wrong exception to the exclusive remedy provided by the Workers’ Compensation Act is not triggered. Please contact NJ Work Injury Lawyer, John F. Renner, to learn more about the workers compensation system in New Jersey.

Legal Quote of the Week:
Justice travels with a leaden heel, but strikes with an iron hand.
Jeremiah S. Black, American Jurist- 1876

New Jersey Workers’ Compensation law determines whether willful violation under OSHA is sufficient to vault workers’ compensation bar

The Plaintiff, Kenneth Van Dunk, a laborer employed by James Construction Co. was injured in a trench collapse while in the course of his employment at a construction site. The site had been subjected to heavy rainfall and on the day he was injured crews were attempting to relocate a pump in a retention basin. The worksite superintendent ordered the Plaintiff into the trench, even though he initial refused to allow him to go into the trench in an attempt to cover it. The trench collapsed within five minutes and James Construction did not use a protective trench box, nor did it attempt to slope the trench’s walls beforehand.

The Occupation Safety and Health Administration charged the construction company with a willful violation of its workplace safety regulations. Van Dunk then sued James Construction and the Reckson Associates Realty Corp., the development company. The Superior Court, Appellate Divison, held that the issue of whether the company committed an intentional wrong by ordering Van Dunk into the trench without first taking protective measures should be decided by a jury, therefore the Superior Court’s dismissal of the suit was overturned. James Construction appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court.

The New Jersey Supreme Court held that the employer did not commit an intentional wrong causing the employee’s injuries. The court held that the fact that employer had been issued a federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) “willful violation” citation as a result of incident in which employee was injured by collapse of trench at construction worksite was not dispositive of the issue of whether employer committed an intentional wrong, such as would allow employee to overcome Workers’ Compensation Act’s bar on common-law action against employer for injury; although employer had been found to have willfully violated OSHA regulation governing protection of employees in excavations, violation was one factor in determining whether employer had committed intentional wrong. Mere knowledge that a workplace is dangerous does not equate to an intentional wrong.

New Jersey work injury law is complex.   Visit the website of John F. Renner, Esquire, for more information on NJ Workers Compensation law.

By John F. Renner

N.J. Workers’ Compensation determines whether an eye injury caused by squirting brake fluid is compensable

Plaintiff was injured while employed at Amalfe Brothers Tire Service from brake fluid squirting in his eye, which resulted in loss of vision. The employer appealed a finding by the trial court that this was a compensable injury. The appellate court affirmed, deferring to the compensation judge’s expertise and his factual and credibility findings. The court held that the judge’s determination that petitioner suffered a compensable injury was supported by substantial credible evidence in the record, and affirmed the award.  If you need further assistance with New Jersey Workers Compensation, please contact NJ Attorney John F. Renner.

Legal Quote of the Week:

Just as you listen to the poor man, listen to the rich man, for it is written, “Ye shall not favor persons in judgment.”

Rabbi Nathan

Midrash, Aboth de Rabbi Nathan 

By John F. Renner