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



Michael J. Reynolds, Esq.

February 25, 2013: Congratulations are in order to The Insider’s top attorney for 2012: MICHAEL J. REYNOLDS, Esq. who exemplifies the high quality of legal representation in the workers compensation community in the State of New York.\

While there are over 10,000 administrative law judge decisions appealed yearly 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.

The list of attorneys which follows are those who presented the prevailing arguments in the New York State Workers Compensation decisions posted in 2012 by the Appellate Court, Third Department. This list can be used to settle cocktail party arguments and to answer various trivia questions but, in reality, is no way reflective of the quality of the attorneys listed (or not listed) or their arguments. As for those whose arguments did not prevail, they are not listed: many take on cases which they know have a very small likelihood of winning and they certainly should be neither criticized or publicized for that. Attorneys from the Office of the Attorney General and Special Funds Conservation are not included because they are automatically a party to a substantial number of cases. Since the Court affirms the NYS WCB about 70% of the time, regardless of which side they represent, they are automatically on the winning side 70% of the time. This does not take away, however, from  recognition of their skills.¹ And as one winner so clearly added, this list does not give credit to all those on the staffs of all the attorneys listed below without whom they would not have been successful.

As the “Winningest Attorney of 2012“, Michael J. Reynolds, acting of counsel to Weiss, Wexler, & Wornow PC of New York City, represented employers/carriers in prevailing arguments in four cases affirmed by the New York State Appellate Court, Third Department, successfully defending the Board’s decisions in

  • Blotko v Solomon Olive The claimant was not an employee of the general contractor, having never been hired by them even though the general contractor hired many of the claimant’s employees.
  • Rosario v AIG The claimant voluntarily removed herself from the labor market by not making a realistic attempt to find work.
  • Sciame v Airborne Express The claimant was not entitled to a schedule loss of use award as he had previously been classified with the maximum award with a permanent partial disability. Last week, the Court of Appeals denied claimant’s motion to appeal.
  • Ward v General Utils While the claimant sustained a work-related occupational disease, General Utilities was not employer of record responsible for the claim.

Honorable Mention is given to the following, led by Robert E. Geyer (Wolff, Goodrich & Goldman) whose two wins include a Reversal. The others in this group are, with two affirmances each:

  • Jeffrey M. Fox (Walsh and Hacker, Albany )
  • Renee E. Heitger (Hamberger & Weiss, Buffalo)
  • John B. Paniccia (Stockton, Barker & Mead)
  • Sarah A. Thomas (Jones, Jones, New York City )
  • Theresa E. Wolinski (Foley, Smit, O’Boyle & Weisman, Hauppauge)
  • Nancy E. Wood (Law offices of Nancy Wood, New York City)

Although there were 18 reversals issued by the Third Department in 2012, no one attorney won more than one, with the exception of one attorney who appeared frequently at the Court: Jill B. Singer of the Special Fund who had four reversals among her 13 successful appearances. And as has been the case every year since I have been posting decisions, there is one pro-se claimant who prevailed at the Third Department: Nevin Visic in the Matter of Visic v O’Nero & Sons Constr. Co.

¹The Insider: When I first published this list for the 2009 calendar year, the Board was prevailing in 92% of its cases, as it had done for many years before. Since then, the Board’s winning percentage has dropped to the barely passing grade of 70%. More on the that next week.

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, Reverse, and Deny.

Barone, Danielle (P)
Barry, Patricia (P)
Bayer, Genelle (P)
Browning, Charles (SIF)

Carlton, Jason (P)
Collins, John (P)
Conroy, Patrick (P)
Daly, Michael (P)
Darling, Karen (P)
DeCoursey, Joseph (P)
DeCurtis, Peter (P)
Dell, Alex (P)
Disant, Rudolph (P)
Dmitriev, Anna (P)
Dorr, Shayne (P)
Du, Mark (P)
Fernandez, Donya (AG)

Fox, Jeffrey (P)

Garlipp, Jared (P)
Gerstein, Terri (AG)
Geyer, Robert (P)

Gibbon, John (P)
Gluck, Joel (P)
Goldman, Davin (P)
Groenwegen, Paul (AG)

Gruber, Michael (P)
Hassler, Christina (P)
Heitger, Renee (P)

Holley, Danielle (P)
Joseph, Michael (P)
Kaufmann, Thomas (P)
Kent-Friedman, Alison (SIF)
Klee, Jonathan (P)
Landa, Elissa (P)
Leff, Marjorie (AG)

Lemire, Christopher (P)
Levitt, Amy (P)
McKinley, Sean (P)
McMahon, Timothy (P)
Mraz, Mary (P)
Paniccia, John (P)

Phillips, Thomas (SIF)
Pro-se (PS)
Quinn, Brendan (P)
Ramsey, Leith (P)
Reynolds, Michael(P)

Romano, Joseph (P)
Ronk, Christopher (AG)

Rosa DiSant, Rudolph (P)
Ruina, Michael (P)
Ryba, Lauren (P)
Segall, Steven (AG)

Singer, Jill (SF)

Sontupe, Felice (AG)
Steel, Iris (AG)

Thomas, Sarah (P)

Vecchione, Michael (P)
Welch, Michael (P)
Wolinksi, Theresa (P)

Wood, Nancy (NYC)
———– (SIF)
R_Dingman v Lake Luzerne..3rd
A_Pelaez v Silverstone..3rd
A_Miller v Joyful Farms..3rd
D_Fowler v Crouse Community Ctr..3rd
R_Lama v SPK Rest..3rd
A_Mucci v NYS Dept of Corr..3rd
A_Nanni v Source Corp..3rd
R_Kasic v Bethlehem Steel..3rd
A_Roberts v Waldbaums..3rd
A_Stenson v NYS Dept of Trans..3rd
A_Torres v Kaufmans Bakery..3rd
A_Alcott-Avery v Finger Lakes..3rd
A_Ward v General Utils..3rd
R_Morin v Town of Lake Luzerne ..3rd
A_McLeod v Ground Handling ..3rd
A_Eaton v Dellapenna Assoc..3rd
A_Francis v Jewelry Box..3rd
A_Nassar v Masri Furniture..3rd
A_Forsyth v Staten Is Dev Dis..3rd
A_Laib v State Ins Fund..3rd
A_Burris v Olcott..3rd
A_Richardson v Schenectady CSD ..3rd

A_Wiess v Mittal ..3rd
A_Rivera v North Cent Bronx Hosp..3rd
R_Johnson v Anheuser Busch..3rd
A_Soluri v Superformula ..3rd

R_Schmidt v Falls Dodge Inc…CA
R_Cappellino v Baumann & Sons Bus..CA
A_Sola v Corwin..3rd
A_Silverman v NYS WCB..3rd
R_Zamora v New York Neurologic..CA
R_Ramadhan v Morgans Hotel..3rd
A_Connolly v Huberts ..3rd
A_Bland v Gelman et al..3rd
A_Connolly v Huberts ..3rd

R_Prather v Amerada Hess ..3rd
A_Thomas v Warren County DPW ..3rd
A_Searchfield v Lowes Home Ctrs..3rd
A_Martinez v Lefrak City..3rd
R_Tamara v Airborne Express..3rd
A_Satalino v Dans Supreme..3rd
A_Giudi v New Paltz Fire Dept..3rd
A_Jennings v Avanti Express..3rd
A_Pettit v Scipio VFD..3rd
R_Cary v Salem CSD..3rd
A_Brzezinski v Gambino..3rd
A_Wheeler v Bloomingdales..3rd
A_Potter v VM Paolozzi..3rd
R_Engoltz v Stewarts..3rd
A_Siddon v Advance Energy Tech..3rd
A_Spaulding v Lowes..3rd

A_Beth V v NYS Off of Child Svcs..3rd
R_Visic v O’Nero & Sons Constr..3rd
R_Donato v Aquarian Designs..3rd
R_Spinnato v GE Advanced Mat..3rd
A_Blotko v Solomon Oliver..3rd
A_Rosario v AIG ..3rd
A_Sciame v Airborne Express..3rd
A_Ward v General Utils..3rd

A_Capalbo v Stone & Webster..3rd
A_Miller v Joyful Farms..3rd
A_Stenson v NYS Dept of Transp..3rd
A_Woods v NYS Thruway Auth..3rd
A_Mangroo v Paramount Brands..3rd
A_Stevens v Fisher Hotels ..3rd
A_Capalbo v Stone & Webster..3rd
A_Griffin v Town of Dewitt..3rd
A_Roberts v Waldbaums..3rd
A_Runge v National Baseball..3rd
A_Searchfield v Lowes Home Ctrs..3rd
A_Thomas v Warren County DPW ..3rd
A_Beth V v NYS Off of Child Svcs..3rd
A_Bland v Gelman et al..3rd
A_Brennan v Vill of Johnson City..3rd
R_Canfora v Goldman Sachs..3rd
A_Catapano v Jaw..3rd
A_Francis v Jewelry Box..3rd
A_Hosey v Central NY DDSO..3rd
A_Hroncich v Con Edison ..3rd
A_Kirisits v Durez Plastics ..3rd
R_Murphy v Riverside Gas & Oil..3rd
R_Simpson v Nassau ExtendedCare ..3rd
A_Southard v Corning Hotel..3rd
R_Weiner v Glenman Indus ..3rd
A_Richman v NYS Unified Court..3rd
A_Angelo v Occidental Chem..3rd
A_Eaton v Dellapenna Assoc..3rd
A_Eccles v Truck Lite..3rd
D_Fetter v Verizon..3rd
A_Hahn v Brylin Hosp..3rd
A_Hroncich v Con Edison ..3rd
A_Liebman v NYC Dept of Envtl..3rd
A_Nassar v Masri Furniture..3rd
A_Nichols v Hale Creek ASACT..3rd
A_Potter v VM Paolozzi..3rd
A_Sola v Corwin..3rd
A_Zhang v Tonys Marble..3rd
A_Franco v Peckham Industries..3rd
A_Rodriguez v New Sans Souci..3rd

R_Zamora v New York Neurologic..CA
A_Pettit v Scipio VFD..3rd
A_Brzezinski v Gambino..3rd
A_Zeppieri v Hofstra Univ..3rd
A_Belaska v NYS Dept of Law..3rd
A_Flynn v Managed Care..3rd