Our Annual Meeting – by qkz10053


									                   NEW JERSEY SELF INSURERS’ ASSOCIATION
                                          1 Joseph Drive, Lincroft, NJ 07738
            Phone: 732-219-0319       .   Fax: 732-219-9248 .        E-mail: info@njselfinsurers.com

                                  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
  1) Influenza:
                                                           Chief Judge Peter Calderone of the NJ Division of
      a. Seasonal; b. Swine; c. Avian
                                                           Workers’ Compensation will update the audience
       2) Tuberculosis
                                                           on pending legislation and current topics affecting
       3) Vaccine Preventable Illnesses:
                                                           workers’ compensation in New Jersey.
       a. Measles/Mumps/Rubella;
       b. Chickenpox/Shingles
       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 (knolivo@mdwcg.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.
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: cchansen@optonline.net            Email: jstrahan@gerresheimer.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:kappa59@aol.com
Email: wrobeldo@rcan.org
                                         Program Chair:
A. WAYNE KLOKIS                          REGINA K. LAMPTEY
JOHNSON & JOHNSON                        Email: rlamptey@msn.com
TEL: 732-524-3222
FAX: 732-524-2196                        BARBARA MARSHALL
Email: wklokis@corus.jnj.com             FIRST ENERGY
                                         TEL: 330-384-5270
THAD FRANKLIN                            FAX: 330-384-5265
OWENS-ILLINOIS, INC.                     Email: marshallb@firstenergycorp.com
TEL: 419-247-2064
FAX: 419-247-5364                        DENNIS McGINN
Email: Thad.Franklin@o-i.com             HILTON
                                         TEL: 212-261-5833
JUNE MILLS                               FAX: 212-261-5836
MERCK & CO., INC.                        Email: dennis_mcginn@hilton.com
TEL: 215-652-1420
FAX: 215-993-6028                        RALPH ANGELO
Email: june_mills@merck.com              PSEG
TRUDY MANDIA                             FAX:
ATLANTICARE                              Email: ralph.angelo@pseg.com
TEL: 609-407-2381
FAX: 609-
Email: Gertrude.Mandia@atlanticare.org   DANA VERONICA
                                         WEGMAN’S FOOD MARKETS, INC.
                                         TEL: 856-488-2742
WINSOM FUNG                              FAX:
PORT AUTHORITY NY/NJ                     Email:dana.veronica@wegmans.com
TEL: 212-435-5849
FAX: 212-435-5861

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