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Judge of Compensation not bound by opinions of any one or all medical experts.

October 1, 2018
Kordek v. Innovative Manufacturing, Docket No. A-0006-16T3, 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 665 (App. Div., decided Mar. 23, 2018)

After injuring his right shoulder and chest in a work-related accident, the petitioner filed a claim, but did not specifically allege injury to the cervical spine. The respondent denied the claim as to the nature and extent of the permanent disability of the right shoulder and chest and in its entirety with regard to the causally-related disability of the cervical spine.

The Judge of Compensation entered an order awarding the petitioner 37.5% of permanent partial disability for the right shoulder and 5% of permanent partial disability as to the chest. On the issue of the cervical spine, the judge found that the petitioner failed to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that his neck disability was causally related to his work-related injury. As such, the judge dismissed the petitioner’s allegations of causally-related permanent disability of the neck. The petitioner appealed the court’s dismissal, contending the ruling was not supported by substantial and credible evidence in the record.

In affirming the Judge of Compensation’s dismissal of the petitioner’s cervical allegations, the Appellate Division found that the judge had undertaken a comprehensive review of the evidence and that her decision was based on that evidence, which she found to be credible. As the Appellate Division concluded, a Judge of Compensation is not bound by the conclusional opinions of any one or more or all of the medical experts.

 

 

Case Law Alerts, 4th Quarter, October 2018

Case Law Alerts is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. Copyright © 2018 Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, all rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm.

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