Court of Appeals Issues Two Decisions in NovemberThe Court of Appeals is the highest court in the State of New York and the Court of last resort in New York Workers' Compensation matters. Decisions from the Court of Appeals on workers' compensation matters are rare as only a few cases each year are accepted by the Court for review.
In Ace Fire Underwriters Insurance Company v. Special Funds Conservation Committee, the Court ruled that the Special Disability Fund’s written consent to settlement of a third party action settlement must be obtained but if it was not, the carrier has the right to compel Special Funds’ consent via an order nunc pro tunc.
In Diegelman v. City of Buffalo, the Court ruled that municipalities electing not to provide workers’ compensation coverage for police officers may be sued by officers injured in the line of duty. General Municipal Law (GML) §207-c does not bar such an action. Presumably the right to sue would also apply to firefighters covered under GML §207-a but not by an employer’s workers’ compensation plan. This decision shows that the General Municipal Law does not provide the same exclusive remedy provisions to employers afforded by the Workers' Compensation Law.