Parkhurst v. United Rentals Aerial Equipment, Inc., et al., 110 NYWCLR 128 (N.Y. App. Div. 2010).
Ruling: The New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division affirmed the Workers' Compensation Board's ruling that the employers' workers' compensation carriers must make a deposit into the aggregate trust fund pursuant to Workers' Compensation Law Section 27(2).
What it means: The language of Section 27(2) as amended evinces a clear intent to require payment into the aggregate trust fund of all Section 15(3)(w) awards made after July 1, 2007, regardless of the date of injury.
Summary: In 2007, Section 15(3)(w) was amended to cap the number of weeks a claimant could receive permanent partial disability benefits. This new cap on benefits only applied to accidents occurring after March 31, 2007, the effective date of the amendment. In the three cases here, the claimant's injuries were classified as a permanent partial disability and benefits were awarded under Section 15(3)(w), without the cap, as the injuries all preceded the effective date of the amendment. Section 27(2) was also amended in 2007 to require that any PPD award made on or after July 1, 2007, must be paid into the aggregate trust fund. The board found the language of the amended law evinced a clear intent to require payment into the ATF of all Section 15(3)(w) awards made after July 1, 2007, regardless of the date of injury. Thus, the board ordered the employers' private insurance carriers to make lump-sum payments of the present value of the awards into the ATF. The Appellate Division affirmed, explaining that nothing in the legislative history supported the carriers' claim that the legislature intended to limit its new payment mandate to capped PPD awards.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
September 27, 2010
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