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Comp benefits denial overturned


A New York appeals court ruled Thursday that an employee injured in a vehicle accident didn’t violate the state’s Workers’ Compensation Law by not disclosing a third-party settlement.

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York found that the state’s Workers’ Compensation Board erred in terminating comp benefits for Leonore Salvia, who was injured in the August 2013 accident.

Ms. Salvia had filed for benefits in February 2015, a year after a third-party suit was filed on her behalf.

In June 2021, Ms. Salvia’s employer, Nutritional Frontiers LLC, and its insurer, Uninsured Employers’ Fund, petitioned to have the benefits suspended because Ms. Salvia settled a third-party lawsuit without their consent.

A workers comp judge found no violation of state law, but the Workers’ Compensation Board reversed that decision and ordered benefits terminated.

The appellate court said there was no evidence Ms. Salvia received any compensation in the third-party action and that the board wrongly reversed the workers comp judge, who had found “no evidence of a willful misrepresentation with the intent to deceive.”