July 12, 2018

Determining if an employee is eligible for accidental disability retirement benefits



Determining if an employee is eligible for accidental disability retirement benefits
Daquino v DiNapoli, 2018 NY Slip Op 03201, Appellate Division, Third Department

An employee [Petitioner] appealed the Hearing Officer denial of the Petitioner's application on the ground that the incident did not constitute an accident within the meaning of the Retirement and Social Security Law, which decision was adopted by the State Comptroller.

In this action challenging the denial of Petitioner's application for accidental disability retirement benefits on the ground that the incident did not constitute an accident within the meaning of the Retirement and Social Security Law, the Appellate Division said that Petitioner bore the burden of establishing her entitlement to accidental disability retirement benefits and Comptroller's determination will be upheld if supported by substantial evidence. Further, said the court, in order for an incident to constitute an accident within the meaning of the Retirement and Social Security Law, it must be "a sudden, fortuitous mischance, unexpected, out of the ordinary, and injurious in impact."

The State Comptroller had adopted the findings and conclusions of the Hearing Officer, who found that slipping on the water "was a sudden, fortuitous mischance and undoubtedly unexpected and out of the ordinary" but denied benefits based solely upon Petitioner's failure to demonstrate that the water she had slipped on was not readily observable.

Citing a recent decision by the Court of Appeals, Matter of Kelly v DiNapoli (30 NY3d 674, in which that court stated that "the requirement that a petitioner demonstrate that a condition was not readily observable in order to demonstrate an 'accident' is inconsistent with our prior case law," the Appellate Division annulled the Comptroller determination, explaining that "substantial evidence does not support the determination that the incident was not an accident."

The decision is posted on the Internet at:



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. 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.