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12 N.J.A.R. 926

Public Employees' Retirement System, Bd. of Trustees; Gable, Stephen F. v
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Citation: 12 N.J.A.R. 926
Decision Date: 1987
Agency: PUBLIC EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM
Synopsis: Petitioner's application for accidental disability benefits was de- nied. He requested a hearing and the matter was transmitted to the Office of Administrative Law. Petitioner, a corrections officer, is totally and permanently dis- abled as the result of three separate work-related incidents involving physical restraint of prisoners. The administrative law judge assigned to the case concluded that the incidents were traumatic events and petitioner was therefore eligible for accidental disability. Upon review, this initial decision was rejected by the Board of Trustees of the Public Employees' Retirement System. The Board found that two of the incidents were not traumatic events as defined while breaking up altercations is within the normal stress and strain of a corrections officer's job. In addition, because such contact is expected, the source of harm is not involuntary. The source of injury in this case also was not a great rush of force or uncontrollable power. Therefore, petitioner was not entitled to accidental disability benefits. The Appellate Division, 224 N.J. Super. 417, reversed and re- manded. The case was subsequently consolidated with another appeal. petitioner was entitled to accidental disability because an inmate as- sault on a corrections officer is a traumatic event. James Katz, Esq., on behalf of petitioner (Tomar, Seliger, Simonoff, Adourian & O'Brien) State of New Jersey 927 Kathe Mullally, Law Assistant, on behalf of respondent (W. Cary Edwards, Attorney General of New Jersey, attorney)
Citation Tracker rejected-Bd. of Trustees; reversed & remanded-224 N.J. Super. 417 (App. Div. 1988); affirmed -115 N.J. 212 (1989) [Updated through 1991]