What’s Hot in Workers’ Comp, Vol. 28, No. 6, June 2024

What’s Hot In Workers’ Comp - News and Results*


Lela Eke (Roseland, NJ) was a co-presenter at the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation May Day Seminar on May 1. She spoke in Hackensack Court about “The Intersection of Implicit Bias and Microaggressions in the Legal Workplace and Workers’ Compensation.”

Kiara Hartwell (Mount Laurel, NJ) was a panelist at the Bridgeton Workers’ Compensation Court’s “Workers’ Compensation May Day Seminar” on May 1. Kiara discussed the discovery rules, including conditions allowable for discovery and certification of pre-existing condition, and subpoenas.


Greg Bartley (Roseland, NJ) successfully defended a motion to implead a staffing company. The petitioner’s company, where he was injured, admitted the accident, paid for medical treatment and temporary disability benefits, and also moved the case to permanency with an agreed-to settlement. Approximately four and a half years into the case, the company filed a motion to implead the staffing company, alleging dual employment. Greg opposed the motion, arguing that there was no contractual agreement to implead and, also, on the fairness side—that waiting over four years to file such a motion was unduly prejudicial. The petitioner’s company provided an alleged contract to support the motion to implead, and Greg argued it was not a contract but, rather, a nebulous one-page letter that did not even mention either party. The judge agreed and indicated that there was every likelihood that the motion would be denied if litigated. As a result, within a week, the petitioner’s attorney advised that they were withdrawing the motion and moving ahead with the previously agreed upon settlement.

Tony Natale (King of Prussia, PA) successfully defended a Claim Petition for a Philadelphia-based vitamin/supplement producer, securing a complete defense verdict. The claimant alleged exposure to hazardous chemicals at the work place when a batch of a proprietary blend of chemicals splashed into her face, eyes, nose, and mouth during the course and scope of her employment. The claimant alleged inhalation and dermatologic injuries, causing total and full disability. The parties presented competing medical evidence on the nature of injury and the claimant’s disability status. The court found that the employer’s evidence, which included medical treatment records and expert opinions, supported no identifiable injury whatsoever by a preponderance of the evidence. This was highlighted in Tony’s cross-examination of the claimant’s medical expert. The court further found the claimant to be less than credible based on her inability to recall the facts pertaining to the injury on cross-examination and her failure to follow up with her treating physicians after the incident. 

Michele Punturi (Philadelphia, PA) successfully prosecuted a Termination Petition, a Petition to Review Compensation Benefits and defended a Petition to Review Compensation Benefits on behalf of a well-known local hospital. Michele’s evidence included a comprehensive physical examination by a Board Certified orthopedic surgeon and a records review of all MRIs pre- and post-injury. She also cross-examined the claimant, where she established that the claimant’s pre-existing condition, contrary to her testimony, was active up to seven days prior to the work injury and her complaints contradicted her medical providers, none of whom could support a mechanism of injury beyond sprain/strain, contusion of the lumbar and cervical spine. In addition, Michele presented surveillance capturing the claimant’s physical activity for a significant time period without any observable difficulty or use of any orthopedic devices. Michele established that the claimant’s medical evidence completely failed to support that her disability has or had any relationship to her work injury. 

Kelly Scifres (Jacksonville, FL) obtained a workers’ compensation defense verdict on behalf of an employer/carrier in a previously compensable claim by proving the claimant knowingly and intentionally made false, fraudulent, and misleading statements under oath during two depositions, and to two authorized treating providers, which were contradicted by surveillance and other evidence, ultimately barring the claimant from further benefits. The case involved multiple expert and fact witness testimony and presentation of multiple days of surveillance to the court. 

*Prior Results Do Not Guarantee a Similar Outcome 


What’s Hot in Workers’ Comp, Vol. 28, No. 6, June 2024, is prepared by Marshall Dennehey to provide information on recent legal 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. We would be pleased to provide such legal assistance as you require on these and other subjects when called upon. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING pursuant to New York RPC 7.1 Copyright © 2024 Marshall Dennehey, all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm. For reprints or inquiries, or if you wish to be removed from this mailing list, contact tamontemuro@mdwcg.com.