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TOTAL INDUSTRIAL DISABILITY AND THE NEW YORK WORKERS COMPENSATION BOARD

President Dennis Hughes, of the New York State AFLCIO, has recently posted an insightful editorial on the AFLCIO website discussing the role of state agencies, the political appointees in those agencies and the disturbing trend of those appointees to overturn factual findings of hearing officers in order to promote a political agenda. In particular, a recent decision by the Courts in New York overturned an attempt by the New York State Workers' Compensation Board to deny benefits of a total industrial disaiblity to a worker, even though the facts found by the law judge (hearing officer) were accepted by the Board itself! Can you imagine, the hearing officer found an injured worker, with limited English, an inability to gainfully return to employment and a permanent partial disability to have a total industrial disability, yet the Board (the entity that handles appeals in workers' compensation cases), agreeing with all of the factual findings, nevertheless, found that worker to not have a total industrial disabiilty. The Court, encouraginly, took the Board (consisting of political appointees!) to task, and overturned the decision, in essence reinstating the hearing officers findings. A hearty thank you to the workers' compensation attorneys involved, the judges, and Dennis Hughes for providing workers in New York with this important informaiton!

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