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New York: Employee’s Preexisting Asthma Insufficient to Support Employer’s Request for Relief from Special Disability Fund

July 14, 2017 (1 min read)

A New York employer was not entitled to receive reimbursement from the Special Disability Fund pursuant to N.Y. Work. Comp. Law § 15(8)(d) unless it could establish three things: (1) that the injured worker had a preexisting permanent impairment that hindered job potential; (2) that the worker sustained a subsequent work-related injury, and (3) that the permanent disability caused by both conditions was materially and substantially greater than would have resulted from the work-related injury alone. The court agreed that the employer had failed to demonstrate that claimant’s preexisting asthma condition hindered, or was likely to hinder, her employability. The court acknowledged that the worker used an inhaler, but also observed that the worker was not under any work restrictions related to the condition. Her condition had not apparently affected her work. The court also observed that in earlier decisions, New York courts had held that preexisting conditions that are controlled by medication generally do not constitute a hindrance to employability.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Matter of Murphy v. Newburgh Enlarged City Sch. Dist., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 5332 (July 6, 2017)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 91.02.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law