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New York: WCLJ’s Factual Finding is Binding in Subsequent Third-Party Tort Action

October 03, 2021 (1 min read)

A decision by a New York trial court granting defendants’ motion for summary judgment in a tort action filed against them was affirmed by a state appellate court where the essential issues related to potential liability had already been determined in a prior workers’ compensation proceeding. Noting that collateral estopped—sometimes known as “issue preclusion”—did not apply if the issue at stake in the second action was different from that determined in the first, the court distinguished what had happened in the plaintiff’s earlier workers’ compensation case. There, it had been determined that the incident that allegedly caused the plaintiff injury had not occurred. Plaintiff contended he sustained injuries when a hoist elevator malfunctioned. The workers’ compensation judge, weighing the evidence, found that there had been no such malfunction. That determination was binding.

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

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Lennon v. 56th & Park (NY) Owner, LLC, 2021 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 5109 (2d Dept. Sept. 15, 2021)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 127.07.

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

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see

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