Assigning law enforcement personnel to perform light duty while receiving benefits pursuant to §207-c of the General Municipal Law
Barkor v City of Buffalo, 2017 NY Slip Op 02270, Appellate Division, Fourth Department
A City of Buffalo police officer [Petitioner] was receiving benefits pursuant to General Municipal Law §207-c as the result of his having suffered a disability in the line of duty. While receiving such benefits, Petitioner returned to work in a light-duty capacity.
Petitioner while at work in such light duty employment status reported that he "twisted his ankle exiting the restroom and allegedly exacerbated the prior injuries." In the course of the administrative hearing that followed, Petitioner presented evidence, in the words of the Appellate Division, "suggesting that he was not able to work at all." The Hearing Officer, however, credited other evidence and determined that Petitioner could perform light-duty assignments.
Petitioner challenged the Hearing Officer's determination by initiating an Article 78 action seeking a court order vacating the Hearing Officer's decision.
The Appellate Division said that it agreed with the employer that the Hearing Officer's determination that Petitioner could continue to perform the light duties assigned to him was supported by substantial evidence. The court explained that ""The Hearing Officer was entitled to weigh the parties' conflicting medical evidence" and "[a court] may not weigh the evidence or reject [the Hearing Officer's] choice where the evidence is conflicting and room for a choice exists."
As to Petitioner's claim that "he was not able to work at all," it should be noted that in the event an individual otherwise eligible for benefits pursuant to §207-c of the General Municipal Law is "permanently disabled," §207-c.2 of such law provides as follows:
2. Payment of the full amount of regular salary or wages, as provided by subdivision one of this section, shall be discontinued with respect to any policeman who is permanently disabled as a result of an injury or sickness incurred or resulting from the performance of his duties if such policeman is granted an accidental disability retirement allowance pursuant to section three hundred sixty-three of the retirement and social security law, a retirement for disability incurred in performance of duty allowance pursuant to section three hundred sixty-three-c of the retirement and social security law or similar accidental disability pension provided by the pension fund of which he is a member. If application for such retirement allowance or pension is not made by such policeman, application therefor [sic] may be made by the head of the police force or as otherwise provided by the chief executive officer or local legislative body of the municipality by which such policeman is employed.
The decision is posted on the Internet at:
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