New Jersey’s proposed legislation to expand employer liability for employee injuries in parking lots could “open the door to some level of misuse if it passes,” Goldberg Segalla’s Ioannis S. Athanasopoulos said to Business Insurance. Explaining the potential impact of New Jersey’s Senate Bill 771, Ioannis pointed to claims where employees have lied about where and when they fell and sustained alleged injuries. He noted that the law could pose problems for employer-owned parking lots that are not adjacent to the worksite, or that require an employee to walk a public street—not maintained by the employer—between the provided lot and their workplace.
In the article, Ioannis, a partner in Goldberg Segalla’s Workers’ Compensation practice, discusses the current system for handling slip-and-fall claims, which heavily depends on the facts (e.g., whether the employee was leaving on a work-related errand at the time of the injury). Senate Bill 771 goes against the established comings-and-goings rule, which states accidents while an employee is arriving or leaving work are typically not compensable.
“This leaves up so much more opportunity to bring in an accident that was not work-related,” he said, adding that the minute an employer designates a parking lot, anything on the way would be work-related.
“Workplace Parking Lot Injuries Focus of Proposed Legislation,” Business Insurance, February 10, 2021
Ioannis S. Athanasopoulos counsels employers, insurers, and third-party administrators in workers’ compensation matters and defends them in litigation before the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation and in workers’ compensation vicinages throughout the state. Ioannis’ practice includes answering, defending, and arguing motions for medical and temporary disability benefits; engaging in trials over compensability of benefits; and negotiating and settling claims during permanency. He draws on four years of experience as a workers’ compensation litigator for the largest provider of workers’ compensation insurance policies in New Jersey, and two years as general counsel to solar power and construction companies. In addition, his experience includes acting as managing attorney of his own private practice.