December 31, 2015

COMMENTARY: A few thoughts as the year ends and some suggesions for next year.

DECISIONS: There are no decisions from the Third Department this week but seven new cases have been added to the Third Department's January hearing calendar.



Contact The Insider at:    TheInsider@InsideWorkersCompNY.com                                                                         212-734-9450



Sean Nicolette & Robert Golan

January 12, 2012: Congratulations are in order to Sean Nicolette and Robert Golan who exemplify the high quality of legal representation in the workers compensation community in the State of New York.

While there are just over 10,000 administrative law judge decisions appealed every year in which workers compensation attorneys argue the merits of their respective sides for resolution by a panel of three commissioners, it is at the Appellate Court and Court of Appeals that major issues are argued and cases decided.


As the “Winningest” Attorney of the Year, Sean Nicolette of counsel to Walsh & Hacker (Albany) represented employers and carriers in prevailing arguments in four cases during the calendar year 2011, with three affirmances and one reversal.

Nicolette successfully defended Board’s decisions:

  • In Longo v Graphic Packaging, that, because the claim was for an occupational disease, the carrier at time of disablement was liable.
  • In O’Neil v City of Albany Police Dept., that claimant’s injury did not arise out of and in the course of her employment.
  • In Falkouski v City of Rensselaer, that the decedent, who died while performing the duties of a firefighter, was an employee and not a volunteer, thus not subject to death benefits pursuant to the provisions of the Volunteer Firefighters’ Benefit Law.

And he convinced the Court to reverse the Board in Lewis v Stewarts Marketing, by successfully arguing that the Board made a reversible error when it denied the carrier the right to cross examine witnesses.


As the “FIERCEST” Attorney of the Year, Robert Golan, a partner in Golan & Masiakos (Mineola), successfully convinced the Appellate Court to reverse two Board decision, winning his cases on behalf of injured workers:

  • In Funke v Eastern Suffolk Boces, that the carrier had no direct and positive proof that something other than the disability was the sole cause of claimant’s reduced earning capacity after retirement, thus finding no voluntary withdrawal fro the labor market.
  • In Nickel v Pilgrim Psychiatric, that the Board, by not holding a hearing before approving the claimant’s §32 agreement, may have resulted in the claimant not understanding the terms of the agreement.

An Honorable Mention is earned by George P. Ferro of counsel to Law Firm of Alex C. Dell (Albany) winning on behalf of injured workers with two affirmances (Smith v Albany County Sheriff’s Dept and Garti v The Salvation Army) and one rescission (DeFayette v Verizon).

And, just as I did last year, I again this year give an Honorable Mention to Jill B. Singer of Special Funds, not because she prevailed in 13 cases but because she prevailed over the Board with three reversals and two rescissions on issues pertaining to §25 and §15(8), virtually identical to her record from last year.

This does not in any way take away from the excellent work done by the other attorneys who also presented prevailing arguments in a wide range of cases, representing claimants, carriers, employers, and various state agencies, including winning an unprecedented number of reversals (22) and rescissions (11) of Board decisions.

And a note of recognition to all those who helped the attorneys on both sides prepare the arguments for presentation before the Justices at the Appellate Court and the Court of Appeals. As all of our prior winners have said, they did not do all the work on their own - they could not have done it without their staff.

Sean Nicolette and Robert Golan will be sent, in recognition of their meritorious service, Award Certificates, and a $10 gift certificate to Starbucks.

The letters following the attorneys’ names indicate Private practice, AG (Attorney General), SIF (State Insurance Fund) and SF (Special Funds). The letters in the third column are Affirm, Reverses, Send back (Rescind), and Deny.

Aujla, Avninder (P)
Barr, Beverly (P)
Bocek, Timothy (P)
Burke III, George (P)
Buttridge, Joseph (P)
Caligiuri, Joseph (P)
Carlton, Jason (P)
Carole Ramsey, Leith (P)
Carolton, Jason (P)
Centone, Anthony (P)
Chase, Glenn (P)
Clennan, John (P)
Cordon, John (P)
Curvin, Carrie (P)
Daly, Michael (P)
DeCurtis, Peter (P)
Delorbe, Jacqueline (P)
Druker, Elina (NYC)
Du, Mark (P)
Duffy, Susan (P)
Dunne, John (P)
Ferro, George (P)
Fischer, Carol (AG)
Flynn, Charlotte (SIF)
Forman, Glenn (SIF)
Golan, Robert (P)
Goldsmith, David (P)
Gorman, Kenneth (P)
Groenwegen, Paul (AG)
Heitger, Renee (P)
Hvozda, John (P)
Johnson, Jill (P)
Kaufmann, Thomas (P)
Kraushar, Estelle (AG)
Kuhn, Daniel (P)
Leonardo, Matthew (P)
Magnetti , Ralph (P)
Marris, Susan (SIF)
Maye, Bobby (PS)
McDonald, Kevin (P)
McKinley, Sean (P)
Meranda, Jacob (P)
Nicolette, Sean (P)
Obertubbesing, Edward (SIF)
O’Connor, Kelly (P)
Oliver, John (P)
Oot, Michael (P)
Osborne, Alexander (P)
Pizza, Anthony (P)
Quinn, Brenda (P)
Ramsey, Leith (P)
Rella, Gerarda (P)
Reynolds, Michael (P)
Riekstins, Janis (SIF)
Romano, Joseph (P)
Rosa DiSant, Rudolph (SIF)
Rossillo, Vincent (P)
Rubin, Bruce (P)
Ruina, Michael (P)
Segall, Steven (AG)
Silver, Marc (SIF)
Singer, Jill (SF)
Sonnenshein, Larry (NYC)
Steel, Iris (AG)
Tabor, George (P)
Teff, Justin (P)
Tyler, Gary (P)
Tyler, Gary (P)
Violando, Michael (P)
Weerth, Matthew (P)
Wolinski, Theresa (P)
Wood, Nancy (SIF)
Wu, Steven (SF)
A__Cuffe v Supercuts
R__Chmura v T&J Painting
A__Walton v Lin Dot
A__Steadman v Albany County
A__Alm v Natural Health Fmly
R__Warner v Franklinville CSD
A__Walton v Lin Dot
A__Longo v Graphic Packaging
R__Appley v America Food
R__Choto v Consolidated Lumber
S__Coleman v Schenectady County
S__Rodgers v NYC Fire Dept
S__Sauers v K-Mart Corp
A__Machajewski v Town of Cambria
R__Stenson v NYS DOT
A__DeGennaro v Island Fire
A__Levy v Plainview Fire Dept
A__McFadden v NYC Dept of Corr
R__Coyle v Midwest Steel
A__Hester v Homemakers Upstate
A__Cassaro v Horton
S__DeFayette v Verizon
A__Garti v The Salvation Army
A__Smith v Albany Cty Sheriff
A__Messina v Hudson News Co
A__Hardy v Trico
A__Salgy v Halsted Comm.
A__Bouyea v McLane Northeast
A__Beardsley v Walmart
A__Palermo v Primo Coat
A__Cooper v Cosmopolitan Care
A__Witkowich v SUNY
R__Funke v Eastern Suffolk Boces
R__Nickel v Pilgrim Psychiatric
D__Dow v Silver Constr Corp
A__Eber v Jawanio
R__Held v NYS WCB
A__Carroll v Fagan Inc
R__Wilkins v NY Power Authority
A__Pucci v DCH Auto Group
A__McCarthy v Verizon
A__Fayo v Crystal Run Health
A__Fischer v Kaleida Health
A__Kwadzogah v NYC Health-Hosp
A__Rondon v Manhattan/Bronx Tr.
A__Heckerman v Daimler Chrysler
A__Hamza v Steinway & Sons
A__Machajewski v Town of Cambria
A__Leslie v Eastman Kodak
S__Carr v Cairo Fire Dist
A__Siliverdis v Sea Breeze Servs
R__Beder v Big Apple Circus
R__Maye v Alton Mfg
S__Fischer v UPS
A__Hayes v Nassau County P.D.
A__Amacio v Tully Construction
A__Cicciarelli v Westchester HCC
A__Falkouski v City/ Rensselaer
A__O’Neil v City of Albany P.D.
A__Longo v Graphic Packaging
R__Lewis v Stewarts Marketing
R__Fitzgerald v Berkshire Farm
R__Pacatte v SUNY Cobleskill
A__Maw v Wal-Mart
A__Grugan v The Record
R__Whittaker v Central Sq CSD
A__Quagliata v Starbucks Coffee
A__Sillitti v Liberty Travel
S__Veeder v NYS Police Dept
R__Plew-Jourdanais v Adirondack
A__Lavigne v Peru CSD
A__Bobbit v Chardbonneau Constr
A__Grasso v Brewster CSD
A__Smith v TWA
A__Baxter v TG Peppe
A__Klamka v Con Ed
A__Poli v Taconic Correctional
S__Gardner v Triple R Transp
R__Burke v Verizon
A__Conyers v Van Rensselaer
A__Pratt v LI Jewish Medical
A__Conyers v Van Rensselaer
A__Garti v The Salvation Army
A__Smith v Albany Cty Sheriff
A__McCarthy v Verizon
A__Castelli v NRG
A__Hope v Warren County Bd Elec
A__Jii v Chen
R__Krausa v Totales Debevoise
A__Lloyd v New Era Cap Co.
R__Kakuriev v Home Services
A__Albano v Waldbaum
A__Copak v Our Lady of Victory
A__Pinter v Louis Kennedy Trkg
S__Brown v Guilderland CSD
A__Hammond v Dutchess Bldg
A__Donnelly v Alden CSD
A__Castelli v NRG
R__Burley v Theriault Transp
A__Hunt v Price Chopper Golub
R__Gaddis v Niagara Mohawk
S__Guidice v Herald Co
A__Williams v NYC
A__York-Gunning v St Johns Hosp
A__Quagliata v Starbucks Coffee
A__Albano v Waldbaum
A__Ortiz v MartinViette Nursery
A__Duma v Gentian Baca
D__Dow v Silver Constr Corp
A__Klamka v Con Ed
A__Butler v General Motors
A__Gillan v NYS Dept of Corr
A__Bran v Wimbish
A__Borgeat v C & A Bakery
D__Dow v Silver Constr Corp
S__Morphew v Aero
A__Fazzary v Niles
A__Carlineo v Snelling/Snelling
A__Hope v Warren County Bd Elec
A__Huggins v Masterclass Masonry
A__Dipippo v Accurate Signs
D__Cucinella v NYC Transit Auth
A__Browne v Medford Multicare
A__Becker v Rauli & Sons
A__Raynor v Landmark Chrysler