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New Jersey Supreme Court Affirms New Jersey Workers' Compensation Act Threshold in Case Represented by George Kenny

08.02.2012
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ROSELAND, NJ (July 18, 2012) - New Jersey state's highest court has affirmed the New Jersey's Workers' Compensation Act threshold in a case litigated by Partner George J. Kenny, in which Kenny's client was defending against actions from an employee who was injured on a construction job. At issue was whether a worker could overcome the limits imposed through New Jersey Workers' Compensation Act and pursue civil action against the employer.

Kenny successfully argued before the state's highest court that, in the case of Kenneth Van Dunk, Sr., et al. v. Reckson Associates Realty Corporation, et al. (A-69-10) (066949), even with knowledge of risk, there was no intent by the employer to risk the well-being of his employee. In a unanimous decision rendered by the Court, judges ruled that the actions of the employer were not those which allowed the employee to “avoid the exclusive remedy provided by New Jersey’s Workers’ Compensation Act” (N.J.S.A. 34:15-1 to -128.5).

According to Kenny, “What was seen in this specific case is that even though there is a chance someone can get hurt as a result of non-compliance with OSHA regulations covering workplace safety, the finding of non-compliance does not provide sufficient grounds to sue an employer. In this instance, the Act's statutory bar provides a measure of assurance against unintended exposure to risk.”

Kenny represents clients in a broad range of civil litigation including tort liability, insurance coverage, product liability, medical and professional malpractice, governmental liability, construction defect, and employment law in both state and federal courts. He has tried more than 400 cases to conclusion and briefed or argued almost 100 reported Appellate Division and Supreme Court cases; he is recognized as one of the premier litigation specialists in New Jersey. Kenny has held certification as a civil trial attorney since the initial certification procedure was instituted in the early 1980s.

For more information, contact George Kenny at 973-535-0500 or gkenny@connellfoley.com.

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