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Appellate court sides with WC Board in disallowing claim

By Mike Pettinella

Failure to report an injury in a timely fashion is the basis for a decision by the Appellate Division of a State Supreme Court to disallow a claim by City of Batavia Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano for workers’ compensation stemming from a work-related slip and fall in December 2018.

In a four-page ruling handed down last week, the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department agreed with the Workers’ Compensation Board that since Napolitano waited until after 30 days had elapsed to report the injury, his claim for benefits was invalid.

According to the ruling, the chief waited until April 2019 to file his claim as he contended the injury to his right knee became “progressively worse” as time went on.

Workers' Compensation Law §18 requires that a claimant seeking workers' compensation benefits must provide written notice of an injury within 30 days after the accident causing such injury. 

The Appellate Court’s decision indicates that Napolitano “admittedly neither reported the incident to the employer nor sought medical treatment for approximately four months – opting instead to just ‘muscle through’ it by self-diagnosing and self-medicating his injury … until he reached the point where ‘the pain just would not subside.’ ”

Napolitano declined to comment on the matter.

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