Monday, April 02, 2012

Lack of objective evidence of a disability supports rejection of employee’s application for disability retirement benefits


Lack of objective evidence of a disability supports rejection of employee’s application for disability retirement benefits
Hughes v Kelly, 2012 NY Slip Op 02393, Appellate Division, First Department
A New York City police officer, Jeffrey Hughes, filed an application for accidental disability retirement benefits. He also filed an application for ordinary disability retirement benefits. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly rejected denied both applications and Hughes filed a petition pursuant to CPLR Article 78 seeking to overturn the Commissioner’s determination.
Supreme Court dismissed Hughes’ petition. Unanimously affirming the lower court’s ruling, the Appellate Division held that there was a rational basis the Commissioner’s determination.
The record, said the court, showed that after reviewing the medical evidence submitted by Hughes and the findings from its physical examinations of Hughes, the Medical Board concluded that "there was no objective evidence of a disability." Citing Matter of Appleby v Herkommer, 165 AD2d 727, the Appellate Division noted that “ It is well established that the court may not substitute its judgment for that of the Medical Board.”
The decision indicates that the Medical Board found that the deficits in Hughes’ “range of motion” were attributable to "voluntary guarding" and there were no objective radiographic studies presented showing any abnormal findings. Further, said the court, Board considered evidence submitted by Hughes' personal physicians and provided a rational explanation for its medical judgment.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2012/2012_02393.htm

Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

Challenging Adverse Personnel Decisions at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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