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No Way 25-A

 Court Reverses Order Transferring Liability to Special Fund :



A New York appellate court overturned an administrative determination that an employer's liability for benefits to an injured worker ought to shift to the Special Fund for Reopened Cases, finding that this decision was not supported by sufficient evidence.


Case: Matter of Capodagli v. West Seneca Central School District, No. 516177, 09/19/2013, published.


Facts: Kristine Capodagli suffered an injury in the course of her employment with the West Seneca Central School District in October 2003. She received an award of workers' compensation benefits and continued to receive regular medical treatment for her injuries after she returned to work in November 2004.


Her employer sought to shift liability to the Special Fund for Reopened Cases pursuant to Workers' Compensation Law Section 25-1, which allows for a transfer of liability when an application to reopen a closed case is made more than seven years from the date of injury and more than three years after the last payment of compensation.


Procedural History: A workers' compensation law judge determined that liability shifted to the Special Fund as of October 2010, and the Workers' Compensation Board affirmed this decision.


Analysis: The Appellate Division's 3rd Department explained that if a claimant has received an advance payment of benefits in the form of full wages for the performance of light- or limited-duty work during the seven-year period after her injury, then liability cannot shift to the Special Fund.


Since the record indicated that Capodagli has been back to work since November 2004, but did not contain any evidence about whether she was performing light or limited duties and, if so, whether she received full wages, the court said the decision to shift liability was not supported by substantial evidence and the matter had to be remitted for further development of the record.


Disposition: Reversed.


To read the decision, click here.



Source: WorkCompCentral

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