May 2020 New York Workers’ Compensation Law Reporter Highlights

Claimant’s false statements merit discretionary penalty under WCL § 114-a

Case name: Teabout v. Albany, County of/Sheriff’s Dept., 120 NYWCLR 54 (N.Y. App. Div., 2020)

Summary: The Appellate Division upheld the Board’s ruling that the claimant violated WCL Section 114-a  and therefore, disqualified from receiving future wage benefits. The claimant provided false statements regarding her running a personal business post-injury. In addition, the claimant did not disclose pre-existing conditions and proper family medial history to her treating doctor.

Claimant wins benefits for car accident after leaving hotel

Case name: Wright v. Nelson Tree Service, 120 NYWCLR 55 (N.Y. App. Div., 2020)

Summary: The Appellate Division affirmed the ruling that the Board had substantial evidence that supported the finding that the claimant’s injuries sustained while driving from a hotel to an assigned work area was compensable. When the claimant’s work area makes it impractical to commute from home the employer offers the option of staying at a hotel and paying per diem for meals and loving expenses. The claimant’s accident and injuries arise out of and in the course of their employment as a traveling employee.

Claimant’s doctors fail to establish recognizable link between work duties, injuries

Case name: 181 Ventures LLC, 120 NYWCLR 57 (N.Y. W.C.B., Panel 2020)

Summary: A Board Panel held that the claimant had failed to provide sufficient medical evidence to link the alleged repetitive stress back injury as a result of his employment as building superintendent and handyman. The claimant’s doctors did not have accurate knowledge of the claimant’s job tasks and day to day activities and therefore unable to link the injury to employment.

Surveillance video triggers claimant’s disqualification of future benefits

Case name: Delta Air Lines Inc., 120 NYWCLR 58 (N.Y. W.C.B., Panel 2020)

Summary: The Board Panel found that the claimant violated WCL Section 114-a and was disqualified from future benefits. The employer submitted surveillance video evidence showing the claimant able to move quickly and jump while playing basketball, contradicting claims that her ankle was unstable and therefore, surgery was not authorized.

New York Workers’ Compensation Law Reporter, May 14, 2020