A New York appellate court upheld a partial denial of worker’s compensation benefits in Martinez v. LeFrak City Management, et al, finding that the claimant violated the state’s Worker’s Compensation Law and was therefore disqualified from certain benefits. The claimant filed for medical and loss of use benefits for an allegedly work-related injury. The court held that hospital records and other evidence showed that the claimant had not disclosed an injury sustained in a boxing match, unrelated to his work duties, about two weeks earlier.
According to the court’s opinion, the claimant, Edelmiro Martinez, worked as a porter for LeFrak City, an apartment development in Queens, New York. He was boxing professionally at the same time. Martinez reportedly fought in a match at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut on July 30, 2004 and sustained an injury to his left arm. Records from both the casino and the hospital showed that Martinez suffered a torn left bicep, and he reportedly learned that he would need surgery to repair the muscle on August 9, 2004. The court says that Martinez returned to work as a porter.
On August 18, 2004, Martinez told his employer that he injured his left arm at work. He had surgery to repair the bicep on August 20, and filed a claim for worker’s compensation benefits shortly afterwards. The final determination was that Martinez had a schedule loss of use of his left arm of thirty percent.