Full evidentiary hearing required before discontinuing GML Section 207-a benefits
Giorgio v Bucci, Appellate Division, 246 A.D.2d 711, Motion to appeal denied, 91 N.Y.2d 814
Thomas Giorgio, a Binghamton firefighter, began receiving disability benefits pursuant to Section 207-a effective January 13, 1996 based on his claim of a work-related injury on that date. On May 23, 1996 Binghamton told Giorgio that his benefits were being terminated, alleging that there was “newly discovered evidence that his condition predated the January 13, 1996 incident.”
Giorgio sued, but withdrew that action when the City agreed to continue his benefits and give him a “pre-termination hearing.” The City upheld the original decision to deny him Section 207-a benefits on the grounds that Giorgio’s injury was not the result of a work-related incident. Again Giorgio sued, seeking reinstatement to the payroll, restoration of his leave credits and a declaration that the administrative procedure used by the City was unconstitutional.
On the merits of Giorgio’s “due process claims,” the Appellate Division said that he had been denied “the right to a full evidentiary hearing prior to the termination of his benefits.” Why? Because, said the Court, Giorgio had not been allowed to confront and cross-examine witnesses or to offer evidence on his own behalf.
The lesson here is that when an employer holds a hearing to determine whether Section 207-a [and, presumably, Section 207-c] benefits should be discontinued, it must be a full evidentiary hearing, complying with all the requirements of administrative due process.
Subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to laws, rules and regulations may have modified or clarified or vacated or reversed the decisions summarized here. Accordingly, these summaries should be Shepardized® or otherwise checked to make certain that the most recent information is being considered by the reader.
THE MATERIAL ON THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. AGAIN, CHANGES IN LAWS, RULES, REGULATIONS AND NEW COURT AND ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS MAY AFFECT THE ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS LAWBLOG. THE MATERIAL PRESENTED IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND THE USE OF ANY MATERIAL POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.
Consistent with the Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations, the material in this blog is presented with the understanding that neither the publisher nor members of the staff are providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader is advised to seek such advice from a competent professional.