Ability to do light work doesn’t disqualify disabled employee from receiving workers comp

A former Camden police office is eligible to receive workers compensation even though he was able to do some light work, according to an unpublished opinion from the Appellate Division of New Jersey’s Superior Court. The officer was injured in an on-the-job auto accident and his physician stated that he was unable to perform his duties as a police officer. A physician hired by the city, however, opined that the officer would be able to perform his old job. The officer and the city went to trial.

During the trial, the city played a video showing the officer performing some physical work. The trial judge took the video into consideration, but stated that it did not negate the presence of injuries preventing the officer from performing his duties as a police officer. The court found in favor of the police officer keeping his workers compensation disability benefits.

The city appealed. The appellate court agreed with the trial court, determining that the video evidence showing the officer performing some work could not keep him from receiving disability benefits.

Lance v. City of Camden Police Dept., DOCKET NO. A-6606-06T3 (Sup Ct NJ, App Div 2008).

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