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Hunter Sacco v. Nordstrom

Client: Nordstrom

Court: Workers’ Compensation 

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

Trial Attorney: Keith E. Nagy, Esq.

**Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances**

The petitioner filed a Claim Petition alleging that he punched a wall and injured his hand after being yelled at by his manager. The matter was denied from the outset as the injury was not compensable given that the injury did not arise out of and in the course of employment and the petitioner’s injury was intentionally self-inflicted.

The parties proceeded to a bifurcated trial on the issue of compensability with the respondent relying on the binding precedent of Klein v. New York Times Co., 317 N.J. Super. 41 (App. Div. 1998).

During trial, the petitioner testified that he did not intentionally punch the wall but that he was “gesticulating” after he had a verbal altercation with his manager when his hand accidentally hit the wall. The respondent presented the witness of the manager who testified that the petitioner stated that he punched the wall. The respondent also presented the witness of a co-worker who testified that they often joked about the petitioner being a “boxer” and never denied punching the wall.

Following post-trial briefs, the Court found that the petitioner was not credible and that his story lacked logic. The Court further noted that the petitioner’s Claim Petition was a judicial admission binding the petitioner to the description that he punched the wall. The Court also found that the respondent’s witnesses were credible and logical. The matter was dismissed with prejudice.

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