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Mary Grace Lawson v New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, DOCKET NO. A-4058-17T1

Client: New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority

Court:  Appellate Division

Trial Attorney:  Keith E. Nagy, Esq.

Brief Attorney:  Keith E. Nagy, Esq. and John H. Geaney, Esq.

Petitioner appealed the Workers Compensation Court’s finding that she was not entitled to wage reconstruction after a full trial on the issue. After trial, the lower court found that the petitioner did not sustain her burden of proof as she found the petitioner capable of a myriad of strenuous activities and found that the petitioner failed to prove that she lacked the potential for full time employment. Petitioner appealed arguing that she never returned to full-time employment and that she had a significant injury.

The Appellate Division affirmed the Workers’ Compensation Court’s finding that the petitioner did not sustain her burden of proof pursuant to Katsoris v. South Jersey Publishing Co., 131 N.J. 535 (1993). The Appellate Division noted that the applicable standard is that an enhanced award utilizing wage reconstruction is to compensate the injured employee “for his loss of earning capacity, i.e., diminution of future earning power.” Id. at 546 (quoting Torres v. Trenton Times Newspaper, 64 N.J. 458, 460-61 (1974)). That diminution includes the employee’s capacity to work full time either now or in the future. Id. at 548. The Appellate Division found that the record supported the Workers’ Compensation Judge’s findings that the petitioner’s accident did not diminish her capacity to perform full-time work.

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