Jessica Coro v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co.
June 22, 2021
CategoriesFindings of Fact Partial Incapacity Procedure Work Search Post-Injury Earnings Total Incapacity Findings of Fact Partial Incapacity Post-Injury Earnings Procedure Total Incapacity Work Search
Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys
Jessica Coro v. Liberty Mutual (attached) - Coro injured her neck in a car accident while working for Liberty Mutual, requiring surgery and lost time from work. Liberty ended her employment, but Coro soon found work elsewhere paying less than her pre-injury annual earnings of $18,000. Liberty reduced her ongoing varying-rates benefits to a fixed partial based on an annual earning capacity of $30,000 established by labor market survey. Coro then went out of work entirely and filed a petition claiming total disability benefits.
The contract ALJ McElwee found she had the capacity to earn $40,000 annually, based on the labor market survey, but he failed to expressly order payment of ongoing fixed partial incapacity benefits. Coro appealed, and the Appellate Division discussed the work search rules and shifting burdens of proof. The panel upheld Judge McElwee's decision but amended it to order payment of ongoing fixed partial benefits.