NEW JERSEY SELF INSURERS’ ASSOCIATION
1 Joseph Drive, Lincroft, NJ 07738
Phone: 732-219-0319 . Fax: 732-219-9248 . E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
October 2009 NEWSLETTER
MARK YOUR CALENDAR • OCCUPATIONAL CLAIMS PANEL:
ANNUAL MEETING John H. Geaney, Esq., of Capehart & Scatchard,
Ralph Angelo and Ronald J. Mack, M.D., of
Date: Thursday, October 22, 2009 PSE&G will examine the legal, employer and
Place: CROWNE PLAZA medical perspectives of occupational claims in the
390 Forsgate Drive current economy, return to work and restrictions
Monroe Township, NJ under the workers’ compensation system.
Exit 8A off the N.J. Turnpike
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. • SAFETY TIPS AND TRICKS: Chris
Hansen of Walmart will present the nuts and bolts
of an effective Safety Program.
Managing Claims in Challenging
Times •MEDICARE SET ASIDE: Louis Porrazzo
Our Fall Meeting will return to the Crowne of Crowe Paradis will update attendees on
Plaza in Monroe Township, NJ. Regina MMSEA and SCHIP Compliance.
Lamptey, Chair of the Association’s
Program Committee and her Committee •APPELLATE AND SUPREME
members have planned yet another COURT DECISIONS: Presented by
outstanding program. Registration form is Matthew Gitterman, Esq.,
Biancamano & DeStefano
Among the topics to be presented •APPELLATE COURT PROCEDURES:
Presented by Richard Williams, Esq.
• OCCUPATIONAL INFECTIOUS McElroy ,Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter
DISEASES: In layman’s terms Dr. Caddell will
present a segment on:
•STATE OF THE STATE: Director and
Chief Judge Peter Calderone of the NJ Division of
a. Seasonal; b. Swine; c. Avian
Workers’ Compensation will update the audience
on pending legislation and current topics affecting
3) Vaccine Preventable Illnesses:
workers’ compensation in New Jersey.
c. Tetanus; d. Hepatitis A and B News from the NJ Division of Workers
4) Insect Infections Compensation-
a. Tick Disease (Lymes); b. Bed-Bugs
5) Non-respiratory contagious diseases In a September 10, 2009 Notice to Judges and
a. Scabies; b. Head Lice; Attorneys Director Calderone posts two articles by
c. Conjunctivitis; d. Diarrhea Robert Lewis, Esq., that addresses Medicare
Reporting Requirements. ....read full memo
UPDATE ON under N.J.S.A 34:15-31.
H. R. 635- National Commission on State Specifically, N.J.S.A 34:15-31 provides that a
"compensable occupational disease shall include
Workers’ Compensation Laws Act of 2009 all disease arising out of and in the course of
We reported in our last Bulletin that the
employment, which are due in a material degree to
Association strongly opposes H.R. 635, federal
causes and conditions which are or were
legislation introduced by Representative Joe Baca
characteristic of or peculiar to a particular trade,
of California that would establish a separate
occupation, process or place of employment."
federal commission to evaluate state workers'
Although employers prematurely leap with relief
comp laws to determine whether the regulations
and shout in defense, "WE ARE NOT LAST!"
provide an adequate, prompt and equitable system
(last employer or last carrier to provide insurance
of compensation and medical care for injury or
coverage), these two above-mentioned cases
death arising in the course of employment. An
illustrate the seminal case of Peterson v. Hermann
article in the October 2009 online issue of Risk
Forwarding, Co., 267 N.J. Super. 493 (App. Div.
and Insurance reports that a coalition of state
1993) and reiterate that just because you are the
legislators recently adopted a resolution that
last employer or carrier, it does not mean you are
opposes the creation of a federal commission to
automatically the responsible party and are
examine state workers' compensation laws. The
without a valid defense. Peterson clarified N.J.S.A
article may be accessed at
34:15-31, holding that in order to show a
worsening to a "material degree" and receive an
award for occupational disease, a petitioner must
We encourage you to write your Representative
show that the alleged occupational exposure
expressing opposition to the bill.
contributed to the resultant disability by an
appreciable degree or a degree substantially
Courtesy of Kristy N. Olivo, Esq.* greater than de minimis.
Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin. In Singletary, three years after an award for
permanent disability for a single traumatic injury
BE CAREFUL USING THE "WE ARE sustained while working at Wawa as insured by
NOT THE LAST EMPLOYER" DEFENSE an insurance carrier, the petitioner filed both a
reopener claim and an occupational exposure
Arguably, the most litigated issue in New Jersey claim. The petitioner was still employed by Wawa
workers' compensation court is whether additional during this alleged period of occupational
permanent disability is caused by a petitioner's exposure; however, Wawa had become self-
continued employment or by the natural insured. The petitioner testified she was
progression of an earlier work-related accident. performing the same job duties as she was prior to
The Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate the original work injury and that her pain had
Division circulated two decisions in April 2009, worsened since the original award. Her expert
including the published case of Geraldine testified that a subsequent MRI provided
Singletary v. Wawa, 406 N.J. Super. 558, and the objective medical evidence of worsening
unpublished case of Ivo Zrno v. Wegman's, pathology and that, although her prior condition
(Docket No. A-4025-07T1). Both cases were did not require surgery, the progression of the
similar in that they included prior accepted degenerative process now necessitated surgery.
traumatic claims followed by claims alleging He further testified that if the petitioner had
subsequent occupational exposure causing stopped working, or taken a sedentary job after
additional permanent disability. Since in neither the original accident, she probably would not
case the petitioners sustained subsequent traumatic have needed the surgery. The Judge found the
injuries, the court properly analyzed both matters
additional disability was related to the Zrno performed the same duties immediately
occupational claim rather then the original work following the original award of disability.
injury. However, unlike Singletary, who continued
The Appellate Division affirmed the Judge of performing the similar or the same job duties for
Workers' Compensation's (JWC) decision, over three years subsequent to the original order
holding that the petitioner's duties legally and for permanent disability, Zrno only continued
materially caused her latest disability, citing that working with Wegman's in a similar position for
her testimony revealed that she became unable to an additional 15 days after the permanent
perform some of the required job duties that she disability award. After he left Wegman's, he took
was performing even after the permanent a position with a different employer performing
disability award. The Appellate Division completely different job duties than those
distinguished this case from Peterson. In Peterson, performed at Wakefern and Wegman's. However,
the petitioner had a brief period of subsequent none of those employers were parties to this
employment. In Singletary, the Appellate litigation. The WCJ placed liability on Wegman's.
Division found it significant that the petitioner The Appellate Division found that the facts and
worked continuously for almost five years before legal analysis set forth in Peterson squarely
seeking more medical treatment. They also applied to this matter in that the record contained
pointed out that her expert testified that the insufficient medical evidence to support a
surgery would not have been required if she had material change in condition. Particularly, they
retired or taken a sedentary position after the pointed to the medical experts who consistently
original accident. Based on this testimony, the testified that the petitioner's continued discomfort
Appellate Division found that the Judge's findings was due to a progressive change from the original
were supported: that her subsequent/continued work injury, along with the post-operative build-
employment accelerated the degenerative process up of scar tissue. It was noted that the petitioner
rather than it being the natural progression of the himself testified that only his pain increased from
earlier injury. the prior award and that there was no change in
In Zrno v. Wegman's, rather than placing liability the MRI study. The Appellate Division also cited
on the last employer, as in Singletary, the that, although the petitioner's experts testified that
appellate court reversed the JWC's holding and his condition worsened while working at
ultimately placed liability on the original injury. Wegman's, they could not separate the degree or
The relevant facts of this case were somewhat specifically apportion liability. They also noted
different than in Singletary. Zrno sustained an that the petitioner's experts also did not take into
initial traumatic injury while working for consideration employment after Wegman's.
Wakefern Food Corporation and was awarded While it may be the tendency to assume that the
permanent disability at a later time. It is last employer will bear the responsibility, it is
noteworthy to mention that when the disability prudent that employers review the specific facts
award came down, the petitioner was under the and medical records surrounding a claim where
employment of Wegman's. However, Wegman's there is a prior work injury rather than just sighing
had no liability regarding that disability. The in relief that they are not the last alleged injury.
petitioner only continued to work for Wegman's Fortunately, Wegman's attorneys in the matter of
for an additional fifteen days after this award. A Zrno v. Wegman's (notably from Marshall,
year-and-a-half later, the petitioner filed a Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin) did not
reopener claim regarding the injury sustained automatically assume that, because their client
while working at Wakefern and also an was the last employer, they were more than likely
occupational exposure claim against Wegman's to be the liable party. They analyzed the facts of
alleging an aggravation. Just like in Singletary, the case and used and applied Peterson to support
their position that there was no material A1163 Provides family leave insurance.
worsening of the prior condition, and the A1172 Establishes a cause of action for
Appellate Division ultimately agreed. intentional failure of employer to
follow or correct known health or
This article is reprinted with the permission of safety violations or standards.
Kristy Olivo, Esquire (email@example.com) and
A1174 Provides benefits for family
the law firm of Marshall, Dennehey, Warner,
temporary disability leave.
Coleman & Goggin. This article is for educational
and informational purposes only. The material A1330 "Thomas P. Canzanella Twenty
contained herein is not to be construed as legal First Century First Responders
advice Protection Act"; concerns workers'
compensation for public safety
Legislation in New Jersey – A1484 Concerns certain workers'
The following is a list of pending Workers compensation supplemental
Compensation Bills. The Association’s Legislative benefits.
Committee proactively works with State legislators
A1581 Increases workers' compensation
and regulators to support sound workers’
for loss of hand or foot.
compensation policy, laws and regulations.
A1802 Concerns certain workers'
A192 Creates presumption regarding compensation survivor benefits
disability pension and workers and certain supplemental benefits.
compensation eligibility for public A2058 Provides surviving spouses of
employees and emergency certain fire and police personnel
personnel participating in World who die in line of duty with
Trade Center operations; requires workers' compensation for entire
Commissioner of Health and period of survivorship.
Senior Services to develop health A2080 Extends TDI to provide family
registry and screenings. leave benefits for workers caring
A290 Excludes certain illegal aliens from for sick family members, newborn
workers' compensation and and newly adopted children.
temporary disability benefits. A2251 Expands coverage under "New
A873 Extends TDI to provide family Jersey Horse Racing Injury
leave benefits for workers caring Compensation Board Act" to
for sick family members, newborn thoroughbred hot walkers, grooms,
and newly adopted children. and assistant trainers under certain
A911 Concerns workers' compensation circumstances.
for firefighters with cancer. A2482 Prevents intoxicated employees
A920 Changes calculation of average from receiving workers'
weekly wage for TDI benefits. compensation.
A948 Excludes gratuities from A2498 Increases workers' compensation
calculation of workers' benefits for dependents.
compensation and employers' A2499 Increases certain workers'
liability insurance premiums for compensation benefits.
limousine or livery services. A2501 Concerns jurisdiction over claims
for reimbursement of certain family leave for one year.
payments or services related to A3438 Creates Review Commission on
workers' compensation injuries and Workers' Compensation.
illnesses. A3466 Delays implementation of paid
A2503 Establishes Workers' family leave for two years.
Compensation Review A3569 Concerns stop-work orders and
Commission. certain violations of workers'
A2724 Provides jurisdiction to Division of compensation requirements.
Workers' Compensation to A3669 Concerns court actions against
adjudicate certain employment uninsured employers for non-
discrimination claims arising from payment of workers' compensation.
workplace injury or disease.
A3926 Concerns compensability of certain
A2787 Repeals law providing benefits for injuries or illnesses under workers'
family temporary disability leave. compensation.
A2846 Concerns certain workers' A4034 Concerns timeliness of certain
compensation supplemental workers' compensation claims filed
benefits. by surviving dependents of certain
A2966 Increases power of judges of law enforcement personnel.
compensation to enforce workers' A4168 Transfers management,
compensation law. administration and duties of "the
A2967 Strengthens enforcement against workers' compensation security
employers for failure to provide fund" to the New Jersey Property-
workers' compensation coverage. Liability Insurance Guaranty
A2968 Concerns emergent medical care Association.
under workers' compensation. S81 Excludes certain illegal aliens from
A2970 Requires Insurance Fraud workers' compensation and
Prosecutor to establish liaison with temporary disability benefits.
DOLWD and authorizes its S386 Provides for residency requirement
investigation of cases of failure to for administrative law and workers'
provide workers' compensation compensation judges.
coverage. S554 Concerns certain workers'
A3059 Requires proof of workers' compensation supplemental
compensation coverage with benefits.
certain legally required annual S560 Extends TDI to provide family
reports of employers.
leave benefits for workers caring
A3286 Grants workers' compensation for sick family members, newborn
coverage to volunteer firefighters and newly adopted children.
going to or returning from their S569 "Thomas P. Canzanella Twenty
stations when called to a fire. First Century First Responders
A3353 Authorizes establishment through Protection Act"; concerns workers'
collective bargaining of alternative compensation for public safety
workers' compensation programs workers.
and group self-insurance plans. S619 Creates presumption regarding
A3421 Delays implementation of paid
disability pension and workers from receiving workers'
compensation eligibility for public compensation.
employees and emergency S1892 Concerns repayment of workers'
personnel participating in World compensation by pension
Trade Center operations; requires recipients.
Commissioner of Health and S1913 Increases power of judges of
Senior Services to develop health compensation to enforce workers'
registry and screenings. compensation law.
S639 Increases workers' compensation S1914 Strengthens enforcement against
for loss of hand or foot. employers for failure to provide
S649 Exempts direct sellers from workers' compensation coverage.
workers' compensation law. S1915 Requires proof of workers'
S668 Provides surviving spouses of compensation coverage with
certain fire and police personnel certain legally required annual
who die in line of duty with reports of employers.
workers' compensation for entire S1916 Concerns emergent medical care
period of survivorship. under workers' compensation.
S785 Concerns certain workers' S1918 Requires Insurance Fraud
compensation supplemental Prosecutor to establish liaison with
benefits. DOLWD and authorizes its
S786 Extends TDI to provide family investigation of cases of failure to
leave benefits for workers caring provide workers' compensation
for sick family members, newborn coverage.
and newly adopted children.
S1982 Establishes an Ombudsman for
S1163 Expands coverage under "New Injured Workers in, but not of,
Jersey Horse Racing Injury DOLWD.
Compensation Board Act" to S2189 Authorizes establishment through
thoroughbred hot walkers, grooms, collective bargaining of alternative
and assistant trainers under certain workers' compensation programs
circumstances. and group self-insurance plans.
S1407 Provides jurisdiction to Division of S2420 Permits workers' compensation
Workers' Compensation to judges to close workers'
adjudicate certain employment compensation courts in times of
discrimination claims arising from severe weather.
workplace injury or disease.
S2495 Concerns court actions against
S1443 Requires completion of workers uninsured employers for non-
compensation cases 120 days from payment of workers' compensation.
end of hearing in certain cases.
S2498 Concerns stop-work orders and
S1576 Assures workers' compensation certain violations of workers'
benefits to police, fire and compensation requirements.
emergency personnel rendering aid
under certain emergency S2558 Concerns timeliness of certain
circumstances. workers' compensation claims filed
by surviving dependents of certain
S1674 Prevents intoxicated employees law enforcement personnel.
S2686 Delays implementation of paid NOTE: Board of Manager Opportunities.
family leave for two years.
S2865 Transfers management, Any representative of a self insured member
administration and duties of "the company interested in serving on the Board of
workers' compensation security Managers should contact Jim Knicos for more
fund" to the New Jersey Property- information at 609-587-4304. Please also note
Liability Insurance Guaranty that your company does not have to be a self-
Association. insured employer to be a member of the
Association. As a matter of fact, that’s the
case for many of our member companies who
fund their workers compensation obligations
using various insurance mechanisms. What
our member companies do have in common is
the desire to keep their workers’ compensation
programs on the cutting edge and to keep
abreast of various legislative changes and court
decisions that can impact their programs – and
their bottom lines.
BOARD OF MANAGERS -
President: Vice President:
CHRIS HANSEN, ARM JAMES T. STRAHAN
Walmart Stores, Inc. GERRESHEIMER GLASS, INC.
TEL: 479-586-8133 TEL: 856-794-7127
FAX FAX: 856-507-5993
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com
Treasurer: Executive Secretary:
DONNA M. WROBEL, ARM JAMES C. KNICOS
ARCHDIOCESE OF NEWARK TEL: 609-587-4304
TEL: 973-497-4044 FAX: 609-915-3246
FAX: 973-497-4031 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
A. WAYNE KLOKIS REGINA K. LAMPTEY
JOHNSON & JOHNSON Email: email@example.com
FAX: 732-524-2196 BARBARA MARSHALL
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org FIRST ENERGY
THAD FRANKLIN FAX: 330-384-5265
OWENS-ILLINOIS, INC. Email: email@example.com
FAX: 419-247-5364 DENNIS McGINN
Email: Thad.Franklin@o-i.com HILTON
JUNE MILLS FAX: 212-261-5836
MERCK & CO., INC. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
FAX: 215-993-6028 RALPH ANGELO
Email: email@example.com PSEG
TRUDY MANDIA FAX:
ATLANTICARE Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email: Gertrude.Mandia@atlanticare.org DANA VERONICA
WEGMAN’S FOOD MARKETS, INC.
WINSOM FUNG FAX:
PORT AUTHORITY NY/NJ Email:email@example.com