Failure to disclose accident results in loss of benefits

A New York appeals court on Thursday upheld the loss of compensation for an injured HVAC technician after failing to disclose a car accident as a result of his workplace accident.

The worker sustained an injury to his right hand while preparing the equipment for repair and his claim for compensation was established for hand injuries and a complex regional pain syndrome, as well as an exacerbation of the ‘anxiety and depression, according to documents in 2021 NY Slip Op 05374, filed with the New York Supreme Court, Appeals Division, Third Department in Albany.

Months after his injury, an independent medical examiner asked the man’s wife to complete an intake questionnaire regarding his injuries and medical history, which the man then signed.

In response to a question asking if the claimant “had any subsequent injuries or accidents” after the workplace incident, the claimant’s wife replied, “back pain”. The employer later learned that he was involved in a motor vehicle overturned accident a month after the incident at work and was hospitalized overnight.

The assessment of the emergency department admissions revealed that the Applicant had, among other injuries, a scrape on his right arm. Subsequently, the employer and his insurer alleged that the plaintiff had violated the law on industrial accidents “by, among other things, failing to disclose … that he was involved in a car accident,” the documents indicate.

The workers’ compensation law judge accepted and imposed continuous compensation reduction penalties of $ 400 per week for 26 weeks. On appeal, the Workers’ Compensation Board increased the mandatory five-year exclusion from compensation benefits, “finding the claimant’s conduct sufficiently flagrant” that it also permanently excluded him from income benefits. futures.

Stating, the appeals court wrote that it agreed with the board that “the plaintiff’s failure to disclose the motor vehicle accident … was so egregious as a permanent ban was justified ”.

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