New Jersey Supreme Court docket Declines to Hear Medical Supplier Appeals Concerning Jurisdiction in Staff’ Compensation Courts

The central theses

  • Unless New Jersey has jurisdiction over the underlying claim for a replaceable work-related injury, it does not have jurisdiction over the medical care provider’s claim

  • The parties may have to litigate in full the matters that determine the jurisdiction of the labor compensation courts

  • Employers and carriers should continue to aggressively decline additional payments for these types of claims

The New Jersey Supreme Court sent a strong message to New Jersey medical service providers on March 30, 2021 by declining to be certified in Anesthesia Assocs. of Morristown v Weinstein Supply Corp. In these consolidated claims, New Jersey medical providers filed claims for additional payment for the treatment of workers who lived and worked outside of New Jersey, suffered out-of-state work-related injuries, and had filed workers. Claims for damages in their home states. The indemnity judges dismissed the claims for lack of jurisdiction in New Jersey.

The Court of Appeal upheld these dismissals in what appeared to be the Supreme Court’s first impression of the jurisdiction issues involved in these extraterritorial claims by medical providers. The appeals court ruled: “If the department is not responsible for the underlying claim for a replaceable work-related injury, it is not responsible for a [medical provider claim] for payment. “

The appeals court also endorsed the well-known six-factor analysis for assessing jurisdiction for compensation claims by employees. In particular, the court found that the providers’ broader arguments alleging breach of contract were “insufficiently substantiated to warrant discussion in a written statement”.

The rejection of the application for certification leads to considerable uncertainty with regard to the legal status of these questions of competence, as the decision of the appeals department has not yet been published. Thus, there is no binding precedent in New Jersey. While the application for certification was pending, several compensation judges signaled that they agreed with the decision. However, some judges who found the decision unconvincing continued to use a broader concept of jurisdiction. Given the recent Supreme Court decision to deny certification, these judges in the latter camp may have a harder time justifying the future expansive view.

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