NY’s Appellate Court Again Rejects Workers Compensation Board's Decision

SUMMARY: NY’s Appellate Court again rejects Workers Compensation Board interpretation of WCL §25-a
transferring the case to the Special Fund for Reopening the Cases, as reported by Michael T. Berns, former Board Commissioner.

Online PR News – 29-December-2009 – – For the fourth time this year on just this one issue, Michael T. Berns, former Commissioner of the New York State Workers Compensation Board (NYS WCB), reports that the New York State Appellate Court, Third Judicial Department, rejected the NYS WCB’s interpretation of “true closing” pursuant to Workers Compensation Law §25-a.

The Court ruled that the Board incorrectly determined in the Matter of Daquino v East Meadow Union Free School District that the financial responsibility for this case should be transferred from the employer, East Meadow Union Free School District, to the Special Fund for Reopened Cases. Under Workers Compensation Law §25-a, the Special Fund for Reopened Cases becomes financially responsible for cases which have been closed for more than seven years.

For years, there has been an ongoing controversy over the conflicting and contradictory definitions of “closed” used by the NYS WCB which has the authority to define that term and ultimately determine in which cases the financial responsibility shifts from the workers compensation insurance carrier to the Special Fund. Although the Workers Compensation Board has had nearly a third of all of its decisions overturned in 2009 by the Appellate Court, it is this one issue in which the Court has determined that the Board has been regularly inconsistent.

Details on this case and the prior seven cases on this issue can be found at InsideWorkersCompNY.com