Corrections Officer Who Fell While Going to Her Car to Retrieve an Item Gets Benefits

Pennsauken, NJ (Law Firm Newswire) June 25, 2019 – The Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court ruled that a fall on ice by a corrections officer while on the way to her car to retrieve a hygiene item occurred during the performance of her regular or assigned duties, entitling the officer to an accidental disability pension.

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Kristy Bowser, a corrections officer, learned she would be working a second shift at the Mercer County Correctional Center (MCCC). During the second shift, she went to her car to retrieve a feminine hygiene product. While walking to her car in the MCCC parking lot, Bowser fell on ice, resulting in permanent and total disability.

Bowser applied for an accidental disability pension with the Police and Firemen's Retirement System Board of Trustees (Board). The Board denied Bowser's application, finding that her injury did not occur during and as a result of her regular or assigned duties.

The Appellate Division, in Bowser v. Board of Trustees, Police and Firemen's Retirement System, ruled in June 2018 that Bowser's break to retrieve necessary items from her car was like an employee taking a restroom break during the workday. Bowser obtained relief from a fellow officer before leaving her post, and she was on the clock at the time.

In Mattia v. Board of Trustees, Police and Firemen's Retirement System, a decision reached by the same panel on the same day, the Appellate Division upheld the Board's denial of benefits to Paul Mattia. Mattia fell on ice in the parking lot, injuring himself, before he checked in to receive his work assignment.

Proving an injury occurred within the scope of employment or regular duties of the job can be difficult without the benefit of an experienced workplace attorney. Talk to a lawyer at Petrillo and Goldberg at 856.249.9295.

Petrillo & Goldberg Law

6951 North Park Drive
Pennsauken, NJ 08109

19 South 21st Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

70 South Broad Street
Woodbury, NJ 08096

Phone: 856-486-4343
Fax: 856:486-7979

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