Court of Appeals Grants Motion for Leave in Case Allowing PPD Benefits After Death
On 9/24/21, the Court of Appeals granted the employer leave to appeal the Appellate Division’s decision in Green v. Dutchess County BOCES, which we reported on back in March 2020. Our readers will recall that the Green decision found that when a claimant with a capped permanent partial disability (“PPD”) dies for reasons unrelated to established injuries, any remaining weeks on the PPD cap are payable to the deceased claimant’s surviving relatives enumerated in WCL §15(4). The employer’s initial motion for leave to appeal to the Court earlier this year was dismissed.
We continue to believe that this decision is wrongly decided and fails to apply long-standing precedent requiring causally related lost time / lost wages as a prerequisite to permanent partial disability awards. In light of the pending appeal before the Court of Appeals, we recommend that carriers and employers continue to object to such awards. None of our firm’s pending appeals on this issue have been decided by the Board, which we presume is awaiting a decision from the Court of Appeals before resolving the pending appeals.