WORKERS’ COMPENSATION REPORTS
CEO OF A HOBBY: CLAIMANT’S CASE REFERRED TO FRAUD PREVENTION BUREAU AS SHE WAS ACCEPTING TOTAL DISABILITY BENEFITS WHILE EARNING INCOME
The IAB granted the Employer’s motion for referral to the Fraud Prevention Bureau and for immediate termination of Claimant’s total disability payments. Claimant had been on total disability benefits and signed an Agreement that required her to inform the Employer if she returned to work. The Claimant started two at-home businesses that functioned as a bakery and an adult novelty toy shop. Despite earning income, the Claimant did not report earning income and also denied being employed to Employer’s attorney.
The IAB determined that there was reason to believe that fraud had been committed. The Claimant’s defense that the two businesses were mere hobbies was rejected. Additionally, the termination of Claimant’s total disability benefits was granted without a full merits hearing, which is rare. The IAB accepted Employer’s position that there was an “implied agreement” to terminate total disability based on actual return to work.
John Ellis, Attorney for Employer.
Nicole Beatson v. Dominos Pizza, IAB Hearing No. 1398518 (July 29, 2015)
LITIGATION CASE LAW UPDATE
COURT GRANTS MOTION TO DISMISS IN MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE SUIT NOT SUPPORTED BY REQUIRED AFFIDAVIT OF MERIT
The Superior Court dismissed Plaintiff’s medical negligence claim for failure to submit the required affidavit of merit. Pursuant to Title 18 Del. C. § 6853(a)(1), the affidavit must be “signed by an expert witness […] and accompanied by a current curriculum vitae of the witness, stating that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been health-care medical negligence committed by each defendant.”
Plaintiff failed to submit any affidavit of merit even after the Court granted Plaintiff a 60-day extension, which led to the dismissal of Plaintiff’s case due to non-compliance to Delaware statute.
For additional discussion of this case, please contact one of our Liability Department Attorneys.
Taylor v. Christiana Care Hospital, et al, C.A.No.: N15C-03-131 ALR; (August 17, 2015)
EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE
SUPERIOR COURT AFFIRMS UIAB DECISION BARRING CLAIMANT FROM RECEIVING BENEFITS AS HIS ABSENTEEISM WAS AGAINST EMPLOYER’S CLEARLY-STATED POLICY
Claimant was employed as an operator for Delstar Technologies, Inc. from July 3, 2013 to October 20, 2014. Within that period, Claimant had received two written warnings arising out of “his repeated lateness and absenteeism.” Each warning included language from the company’s policy on absences. Upon the second warning, Claimant was suspended for a two-day period.
Claimant continued to violate company policy on at least four occasions after the suspension period, leading the employer to terminate his employment. After the Department of Labor disqualified Claimant from receiving benefits, he appealed to the UIAB, which determined that Claimant’s “insubordination rose to the level justifying termination.”
The Superior Court found that the UIAB’s decision to disqualify Claimant from receiving unemployment insurance benefits was lawful and free of error, due to Claimant’s termination for just cause.
Please contact one of our Employment Law attorneys for information concerning “just cause” termination.
Bratcher v. Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, C.A. No.: K15A-03-001 RBY (August 14, 2015)
NEW WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ATTORNEY
Heckler & Frabizzio welcomes Katherine (Katie) Moughan as an associate attorney in the Workers’ Compensation Department. Prior to joining the firm, Katie was an Investment Accounting Analyst at DuPont Capital Management.
Katie earned her B.S. in Finance from Rowan University in 2005, graduating cum laude. After working for several years in the finance industry, Katie earned her J.D. from Widener University School of Law in 2014, graduating cum laude. She is admitted to the practice of law in Delaware and New Jersey.
Katie resides in Woolwich, New Jersey with her husband, Michael, and their two children, Emma and Michael. With two toddlers, spare time is hard to come by, but Katie enjoys spending time with friends and family, weekends down the Jersey shore, and cheering on the Phillies.
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ATTORNEY ELLIS WINS 2015 COMBINED CAMPAIGN CUP TENNIS TOURNAMENT
Workers’ Compensation attorney John Ellis was part of the winning doubles tennis team in the Combined Campaign Cup Tennis Tournament held on July 27, 2015 at the DuPont Country Club.
The tennis tournament was part of the 3rd Annual Combined Campaign Cup, an annual fundraising event for the Combined Campaign for Justice, an organization that works to provide legal aid to low-income Delawareans.
CONFERENCE OPPORTUNITY REMINDER
Workers’ Compensation Department attorney John W. Morgan will be presenting at the National Business Institute Continuing Legal Education seminar “Handling the Workers’ Compensation Case from Start to Finish.”
This program will be offered on Wednesday, December 9, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel Wilmington Downtown located at 700 King Street, Wilmington, DE 19801.
For more information and to register, please visit the seminar’s registration page via NBI’s website.