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August 06, 2012

Waiving further administrative or judicial consideration of the resulting decision as a conditions of electing a particular administrative review procedure binding


Waiving further administrative or judicial consideration of the resulting decision as a conditions of electing a particular administrative review procedure binding
Colon v New York City Employees' Retirement Sys., 2012 NY Slip Op 05819, Appellate Division, Second Department

When the application for a performance-of-duty retirement disability pension was denied by the Board of Trustees of the New York City Employees' Retirement System, the applicant was advised that there were three different options to seek review of the determination available: (1) to commence a CPLR article 78 proceeding within four months of receipt of the denial letter; (2) to request review of her case by a Special Medical Committee consisting of three independent physicians; or (3) to refile for a disability pension.

The applicant elected to have her case reviewed by the Special Medical Committee and, as a condition of obtaining such a review, waived any right to further administrative or judicial review of the Board of Trustees' determination.

The Special Medical Review Committee concluded that while the applicant was, indeed, disabled, the disability was not the result of a job-related accident.

Board of Trustees adopted the Special Medical Review Committee's recommendation, again denying the application, and the applicant filed an Article 78 petition seeking to overturn the Board’s determination.

Denying the appeal, the Appellate Division said that by “electing to have her case reviewed by the Special Medical Review Committee and executing a waiver of her right to further administrative or judicial review, [the applicant] agreed to accept the Special Medical Review Committee's determination as binding and conclusive.”

Noting that the applicant did not allege that the waiver was the result of coercion or duress and its terms were “clear and unambiguous,” the court explained that "[W]hen a waiver is freely and knowingly made and not the product of coercion or duress, a party can waive his rights to seek review of an administrative proceeding and such determination is binding."

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

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