A NJ Appellate Court barred a subrogation claim made by an employer against a 3rd party for failure to give timely notice to the injured worker. The notice provisions of the NJ statute were strictly enforced.
An employer may bring a lawsuit, in the name of the injured worker or dependents, against a wrongful third-party to recover workers’ compensation benefits paid, if the employee fails to bring an action within one year of the date of the accident.
The employer/insurer must give the employee or dependents 10-day written notice of the intended lawsuit. The employee or dependents may prospectively, knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily, waive their notice of the right to institute such an action themselves.
The court further held that an equitable remedy is not available as the requirements of the statutory provision NJSA 34:15-40 are mandatory and “equity follows the law.”
Morris County Municipal Joint Insurance Fund v. Watersedge Design Group, LLC, Docket No. A-5559-15T4, 2018 WL 394890, Decided January 12, 2018. Only the Westlaw citation is currently available. UNPUBLISHED OPINION. CHECK COURT RULES BEFORE CITING.
*This opinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court." Although it is posted on the Internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R.1:36-3.
1:36-3. Unpublished Opinions No unpublished opinion shall constitute precedent or be binding upon any court. Except for appellate opinions not approved for publication that have been reported in an authorized administrative law reporter, and except to the extent required by res judicata, collateral estoppel, the single controversy doctrine or any other similar principle of law, no unpublished opinion shall be cited by any court. No unpublished opinion shall be cited to any court by counsel unless the court and all other parties are served with a copy of the opinion and of all contrary unpublished opinions known to counsel.
Note: Adopted July 16, 1981, to be effective September 14, 1981; caption and rule amended July 13, 1994, to be effective September 1, 1994; amended July 12, 2002, to be effective September 3, 2002; amended July 23, 2010, to be effective September 1, 2010.
Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters).