New York State Court of Appeals
Death Benefits — Apportionment
Hronicich v. Con Edison
Background: At issue on this appeal is whether the Workers’ Compensation Law requires apportionment of death benefits between work-related and non-work related causes. The decedent was diagnosed with asbestosis from his employment as a plumber’s helper and mechanic at the defendant employer. After being classified with a permanently partially disability, he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, unrelated to his work with the defendant.
Ruling: The Court of Appeals held that the statute does not contemplate such apportionment. The court noted that there was no language in Section 16 of the WCL to suggest that the Workers’ Compensation Board should apportion death benefits in such a manner.
David W. Faber for the appellants; Jill Singer for the respondent Special Disability Fund; Laura Etlinger for the respondent Workers’ Compensation Board