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13 N.J.A.R. 331

Police and Firemen's Retirement System; Barney, Thomas H. v
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Citation: 13 N.J.A.R. 331
Decision Date: 1988
Synopsis: Petitioner's application for accidental disability retirement ben- efits was denied. He requested a hearing and the matter was trans- mitted to the Office of Administrative Law. It was stipulated that petitioner, a police officer, became per- manently and totally disabled as a result of a work-related incident when he fell down a flight of stairs. The remaining issue was whether the incident constituted a traumatic event, as required for accidental disability. The administrative law judge assigned to the case concluded that the incident was a traumatic event and that petitioner should be awarded accidental disability benefits. Upon review, this initial decision was rejected by the Board of Trustees of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System. The Board said the incident was not a traumatic event as defined by Kane because it did not involve a great rush of force. Rather, this was a 'slip and fall' accident. Petitioner was not entitled to accidental disability ben- efits. The Appellate Division affirmed the decision of the Board. Michael J. Mitzner, Esq., on behalf of petitioner (Mitzner & Kaczorowsld, attorneys) Juan J. Gonzalez, Deputy Attorney General, on behalf of respondent (W. Cary Edwards, Attorney General of New Jersey, attorney)