Best Lawblog Contest for 2017 now being conducted by The Legal Institute

From now until
September 15th, 2017, Lawblog fans can nominate their favorite blogs and bloggers for inclusion in the voting round of 2017. As in previous years, the nomination process is competitive, meaning the more nominations a blog receives, the more likely it is to be included in the public voting stage of the contest.

To access the link to the nomination form, click on:

https://www.theexpertinstitute.com/blog-contest/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=CTA&utm_campaign=blog-contest-8.14.2017-general

Monday, November 25, 2013

Pension Board's ignoring a long-standing interpretation of law addressing eligibility for certain retirement benefits ruled arbitrary and capricious


Pension Board's ignoring a long-standing interpretation of law addressing eligibility for certain retirement benefits ruled arbitrary and capricious
Richter v Kelly, 2013 NY Slip Op 07803, Appellate Division, First Department

The New York City Police Pension Fund's Medical Board examined an applicant for Accidental Disability Retirement [ADR], a police surgeon, and certified that this disability was the result of an accidental injury received in the performance of police duty, pursuant to General Municipal Law §207-k, the so-called Heart Bill. 

§207-k provides that in the event of an impairment of health is caused by a diseases of the heart that results “in total or partial disability or death to a paid member of the uniformed force of a paid police department or fire department who successfully passed a physical examination on entry into the service of such respective department, which examination failed to reveal any evidence of such condition, shall be presumptive evidence that it was incurred in the performance and discharge of duty, unless the contrary be proved by competent evidence.”

The Board of Trustees of the Police Pension Fund, however, reversing a policy established by years of practice and internal memoranda, denied the police surgeon’s application on the ground that the Heart Bill did not apply to a police surgeon.

The Appellate Division, however, annulled the Board's decision and affirmed  a Supreme Court decision granting the police surgeon’s application for ADR benefits pursuant to.§207-k.

The court noted that in 1993 the City’s Assistant Corporation Counsel had written to the Pensions Section that the Corporation Counsel’s office “has interpreted the Heart Bill to apply to police surgeons.”

Rejecting Board's arguments is support of its claim that the Heart Bill did not apply to police surgeons, the Appellate Division said that “neither the title of General Municipal Law §207-k ("Disabilities of policemen and firemen in certain cities") nor the reference in the statute to ‘police officers’ creates ambiguity as to whether the statute applies to police surgeons.” Further, said the court, the Board did not show that a literal reading of the statute would frustrate its purpose.

Accordingly, the Appellate Division ruled that the Board was bound by the Medical Board's determination of regarding the police surgeon’s disability and cannot now seek "clarification" of the Medical Board's determination, explaining that in the absence of credible medical evidence that police surgeons disabling heart condition was not related to her service as a police surgeon, the Board’s determination to deny her ADR benefits under the Heart Bill lacks a rational basis and is arbitrary and capricious.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/3dseries/2013/2013_07803.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/

A Reasonable Penalty Under The Circumstances at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

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

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

Caution:

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. 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 the publisher is not providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader should seek such advice from a competent professional.

Items published in NYPPL may not be used for commercial purposes without prior written permission to copy and distribute such material. Send your request via e-mail to publications@nycap.rr.com

Copyright© 1987 - 2017 by the Public Employment Law Press.



___________________



N.B. From time to time a political ad or endorsement may appear in the sidebar of this Blog. NYPPL does not have any control over such posting.

_____________________

.