Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July from The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C.

Contact Neil O'Toole and John Sbarbaro
Phone: 303-595-4777
Located in the Denver Metro area.
226 West 12th Avenue Denver, Colorado 80204

Disclaimer 

Any content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only.It is not intended to solicit business, provide legal advice from The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C. and does not serve as a medium for an attorney-client relationship. Therefore, The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C. is not responsible for the information on this blog which may not apply to every reader. Always seek professional counsel if you have any legal matters. Contents within the blog of The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C., logos and other related media are protected by the copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions.


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Monday, May 29, 2017

Happy Memorial Day from The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C.



Contact Neil O'Toole and John Sbarbaro
Phone: 303-595-4777
Located in the Denver Metro area.
226 West 12th Avenue Denver, Colorado 80204

Disclaimer 

Any content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only.It is not intended to solicit business, provide legal advice from The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C. and does not serve as a medium for an attorney-client relationship. Therefore, The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C. is not responsible for the information on this blog which may not apply to every reader. Always seek professional counsel if you have any legal matters. Contents within the blog of The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C., logos and other related media are protected by the copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions.


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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Medical Marijuana and Workers' Compensation

N.J. man's medical marijuana should be paid by workers' comp, judge says

TRENTON -- A south Jersey man injured on the job at a lumber company will have his medical marijuana tab paid by his employer's workers compensation insurance, according to a state administrative law judge ruling in what appears to be the first decision of its kind in the state.

Andrew Watson of Egg Harbor Township qualified for the state's medicinal marijuana program in 2014 because of a hand injury he suffered while working for 84 Lumber in Pleasantville, according to the administrative law judge's ruling.

Watson bought 2-1/4 ounces of state-sanctioned marijuana in the spring of 2014 but when his employer refused to pay, he stopped using it, according to the ruling.

The price of one ounce of cannabis ranges from $425 to $520 for an average of $489 in the Garden State, not counting the 7 percent state sales tax, according to a state Health Department analysis. At those prices, New Jersey's medical pot is the most expensive in the nation. The law does not require insurance to cover the expense.

Administrative Law Judge Ingrid L. French said based on Watson's testimony, "the effects of the marijuana, in many ways, is not as debilitating as the effects of the Percocet. The pharmacy records show that, ultimately (Watson) was able to reduce his use of oral narcotic medication."

"As a result of his improved pain management, he has achieved a greater level of functionality," according to the judge, calling "his approach to his pain management needs (is) cautious, mature and overall he is exceptionally conscientious in managing his pain."

"The evidence presented in these proceedings show that the petitioner's 'trial' use of medicinal marijuana has been successful," French wrote. "While the court is sensitive to the controversy surrounding the medicinal use of marijuana, whether or not it should be prescribed for a patient in a state where it is legal to prescribe it is a medical decision that is within the boundaries of the laws in the state."

Attorney John Carvelli of Mount Laurel who represents 84 Lumber's insurance carrier, Gallagher Bassett Services, said his client "respects the court decision." He declined to comment further.

The Dec. 15 decision was first reported by philly.com on Friday.

Watson's lawyer, Philip Faccenda of Cherry Hill, said he was "very pleased" with the ruling. He said he didn't know if Watson had resumed participating in the medicinal marijuana program. Watson could not be reached for comment.

Faccenda said was aware of only one other case in New Mexico in which a medical marijuana patient had prevailed in workers compensation dispute.

He stressed the ruling "has not broadened" New Jersey's medical marijuana law, which benefits patients with "a very limited number of conditions and injuries."

The original state law enacted in 2010 recognizes six diseases that qualify patients for medical marijuana upon their doctors' recommendation: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease; multiple sclerosis; terminal cancer; muscular dystrophy; inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn's disease; and any terminal illness with a prognosis less than a year.

People with seizure disorders, including epilepsy, intractable skeletal muscular spasticity, glaucoma and post traumatic stress disorder also qualify if conventional medical treatments have failed. People with HIV and AIDS and cancer qualify, too, if they suffer from severe and chronic pain, vomiting and nausea and wasting syndrome.

John Sarno, who as president and general counsel for the Employers Association of New Jersey often holds seminars on marijuana and the workplace, called the ruling "a straight-forward reading of the law."

Sarno predicted the ruling would have "minimal impact" on employers, given how few employees would be debilitated enough to qualify for both workers' compensation and the state's restrictive medical marijuana program.

"An appeal would raise complex, conflict of law issues between state and federal government, which would be extraordinarily expensive to litigate," he said.

Original Source

Contact Neil O'Toole and John Sbarbaro
Phone: 303-595-4777
Located in the Denver Metro area.
226 West 12th Avenue Denver, Colorado 80204

Disclaimer 

Any content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only.It is not intended to solicit business, provide legal advice from The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C. and does not serve as a medium for an attorney-client relationship. Therefore, The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C. is not responsible for the information on this blog which may not apply to every reader. Always seek professional counsel if you have any legal matters. Contents within the blog of The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C., logos and other related media are protected by the copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions.


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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year from the Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C.



Happy New Year from the Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C.
2017 shall be a new beginning for us all!

Contact Neil O'Toole and John Sbarbaro
Phone: 303-595-4777
Located in the Denver Metro area.
226 West 12th Avenue Denver, Colorado 80204

Disclaimer 

Any content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only.It is not intended to solicit business, provide legal advice from The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C. and does not serve as a medium for an attorney-client relationship. Therefore, The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C. is not responsible for the information on this blog which may not apply to every reader. Always seek professional counsel if you have any legal matters. Contents within the blog of The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C., logos and other related media are protected by the copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions.


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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C.



Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C.


Contact 
Neil O'Toole and John Sbarbaro
Phone: 303-595-4777
Located in the Denver Metro area.
226 West 12th Avenue Denver, Colorado 80204

Disclaimer 

Any content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only.It is not intended to solicit business, provide legal advice from The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C. and does not serve as a medium for an attorney-client relationship. Therefore, The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C. is not responsible for the information on this blog which may not apply to every reader. Always seek professional counsel if you have any legal matters. Contents within the blog of The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C., logos and other related media are protected by the copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions.


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Monday, December 19, 2016

Employer resists providing benefits

Bockus v. First Student Services, et al., No. S-15784, 7137 (Alaska 12/02/16)

Ruling: The Alaska Supreme Court held that a driver was entitled to attorney’s fees because the employer resisted furnishing medical care by unreasonably delaying his third surgery.

What it means: In Alaska, an employer’s acquiescence to a claim before a hearing does not prevent a finding that the employer resisted providing the benefit.

Summary: A school bus driver injured his back while pulling open a chain-link gate. He felt a pop in his back and severe pain radiating into his legs. He had two spinal surgeries, and his surgeon recommended a third. At about the same time, the employer scheduled an independent medical examination. This delayed the surgery because the surgeon would not schedule the surgery while the IME was pending.

The driver filed a workers’ compensation claim for the third surgery, and the employer’s doctor ultimately agreed that a third surgery was appropriate. The Alaska Supreme Court held that the driver was entitled to attorney’s fees because the employer resisted furnishing medical care by unreasonably delaying the third surgery.

The driver asserted that the employer delayed his surgery because it “had ample information” about the compensability of the surgery before the IME. The employer argued that it was merely exercising a statutory right to an IME and it rescheduled the IME at the driver’s request.

The court pointed out that the employer authorized the third surgery when it was required to answer the driver’s claim. The court pointed out that an employer’s acquiescence to a claim before a hearing does not prevent a finding that the employer resisted providing the benefit.

The court explained that the IME was not directed at an opinion about the surgery itself. Instead, the adjustor listed nine treatment options and asked for an opinion about the reasonable necessity of all treatments.

The court found that this broad request was not reasonable because the driver and his surgeon, after trying conservative care, had decided that surgical treatment was the best option for addressing his condition.

The court pointed out that the employer had adequate information about the reasonable necessity of the surgery well before the surgery was authorized. The information the employer sought from the IME was not reasonably related to the narrow question of the compensability of and the need for the requested surgery.

Original Source

Contact Neil O'Toole and John Sbarbaro
Phone: 303-595-4777
Located in the Denver Metro area.
226 West 12th Avenue Denver, Colorado 80204

Disclaimer 

Any content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only.It is not intended to solicit business, provide legal advice from The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C. and does not serve as a medium for an attorney-client relationship. Therefore, The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C. is not responsible for the information on this blog which may not apply to every reader. Always seek professional counsel if you have any legal matters. Contents within the blog of The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C., logos and other related media are protected by the copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions.


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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Crossfit Related Workers' Comp

Maley v. Borough of Penbrook, 31 PAWCLR 191 (Pa. W.C.A.B. 2016)

Ruling: The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board reversed the workers’ compensation judge’s finding that a police officer was in the course and scope of his employment when he was injured while performing box jumps at a CrossFit gym.

What it means: In Pennsylvania, where a police officer is not required by either the employer or the SWAT team to join a CrossFit gym or perform box jumps as a part of any physical fitness test, his injuries sustained while performing this activity do not fall within the course of his employment.

Summary: The board reversed the WCJ’s finding that a police officer was in the course and scope of his employment when he was injured while performing box jumps at a CrossFit gym.

The employer had a wellness and fitness policy, which recommended that the officers stay physically fit so they can perform their duties in a safe and healthy manner. Because the employer did not have a workout room, the officer joined a CrossFit gym.

He also was a SWAT team member for the county. His participation in the SWAT team was not required by the employer. In denying benefits, the board noted that the officer’s participation in the employer’s physical fitness program was completely voluntary.

The employer did not mandate that the officer undergo any physical fitness tests, and choosing not to participate in the testing would not result in disciplinary action.

Also, although the officer’s involvement with the SWAT team required him to undergo periodic fitness testing, his participation in that program was not a mandatory part of his employment.

In addition, the officer was not required by either the employer or the SWAT team to join a CrossFit gym or perform box jumps as a part of any physical fitness test.

Original Source

Contact Neil O'Toole and John Sbarbaro
Phone: 303-595-4777
Located in the Denver Metro area.
226 West 12th Avenue Denver, Colorado 80204

Disclaimer 

Any content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only.It is not intended to solicit business, provide legal advice from The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C. and does not serve as a medium for an attorney-client relationship. Therefore, The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C. is not responsible for the information on this blog which may not apply to every reader. Always seek professional counsel if you have any legal matters. Contents within the blog of The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C., logos and other related media are protected by the copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions.


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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving from the Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C.



Contact Neil O'Toole and John Sbarbaro
Phone: 303-595-4777
Located in the Denver Metro area.
226 West 12th Avenue Denver, Colorado 80204

Disclaimer 


Any content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only.It is not intended to solicit business, provide legal advice from The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C. and does not serve as a medium for an attorney-client relationship. Therefore, The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C. is not responsible for the information on this blog which may not apply to every reader. Always seek professional counsel if you have any legal matters. Contents within the blog of The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C., logos and other related media are protected by the copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions.


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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Falt tire workers' comp

Diaz v. National Retail Transportation, Inc., No. A-3927-14T2 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 11/09/16, unpublished)

Ruling: In an unpublished decision, the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division held that a mechanic was entitled to benefits for his injury.

What it means: In New Jersey, when a worker’s intoxication is the “natural or proximate cause” of an injury, benefits will not be provided. Courts have interpreted the intoxication defense to mean that the worker’s intoxication must be the sole cause of the accident.

Summary: A mechanic for National Retail Transportation was injured when he attempted to move a heavy metal lift that fell over on him. He said that the lift fell when it tilted to one side. The mechanic said that after the lift fell on him, he noticed that one of the tires on the lift was flat.

National conceded that a tire was deflated. The mechanic filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. National denied benefits and asserted the intoxication defense, arguing that the mechanic’s intoxication was the proximate cause of the accident.

The mechanic admitted that before going to work, he drank at least two eight-ounce glasses consisting of half whiskey and half ice water. National’s toxicologist opined that, based on the blood sample drawn from the mechanic after the accident, that he was intoxicated and impaired at the time of the accident.

The New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division held that the mechanic was entitled to benefits.

The court concluded that substantial credible evidence established that the flat tire may have caused the lift to fall, and therefore, intoxication was not established to be the sole cause of the accident.

The court found there was sufficient evidence that the flat tire may have also contributed to the accident. Without testimony eliminating the flat tire as a cause of the accident, the court found that National did not carry its burden to prove that the mechanic’s intoxication was the sole cause of the accident.

Original Source

Contact Neil O'Toole and John Sbarbaro
Phone: 303-595-4777
Located in the Denver Metro area.
226 West 12th Avenue Denver, Colorado 80204

Disclaimer 

Any content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only.It is not intended to solicit business, provide legal advice from The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C. and does not serve as a medium for an attorney-client relationship. Therefore, The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C. is not responsible for the information on this blog which may not apply to every reader. Always seek professional counsel if you have any legal matters. Contents within the blog of The Law Office of O'Toole & Sbarbaro, P.C., logos and other related media are protected by the copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions.


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