Levinson Axelrod, P.A. Partner Todd Wachtel recently secured a six-figure settlement in a workers’ compensation dependency case out of our Raritan office involving a man who died from COVID-19.
As noted in case records, Todd represented the widow of a man who died from COVID-19 that he contracted while on a business trip. The man had tested negative for COVID-19 before going on the trip and tested positive when he returned. He passed away shortly after, and COVID was listed on his death certificate as the official cause of death.
As this case involved the surviving spouse of a worker who died due to their occupational exposure to COVID-19, the widow was entitled to dependency benefits, which provide weekly payments to the dependent spouse for the rest of their life, or until they remarry. In this case, however, the Petitioner wanted the certainty of resolving the claim now pursuant to NJSA 34:15-20, which allows for the recovery of a lump sum settlement in exchange for the Petitioner releasing their rights arising from the claim.
Ultimately, the Petitioner was able to secure a $640,000 settlement pursuant to N.J.S.A. 34:15-20 which operates as a dismissal with prejudice.
This is yet another successfully handled case involving occupational COVID exposure handled by our firm. Earlier this year, Todd prevailed in a dependency action in which he secured $950,000 for the spouse of a delivery driver who contracted COVID-19 and later passed away from the illness.
Todd D. Wachtel is a NJ Supreme Court Certified Workers’ Compensation Attorney and former Deputy Attorney General who represented the State of New Jersey in Workers’ Compensation proceedings. In his work fighting for claimants, Todd has leveraged his unique insight to help workers and families recover millions in compensation following work-related injuries and illnesses. Todd is an inducted Fellow in the College Of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers and serves on the State Bar’s Executive Committee of the Workers’ Compensation Section, where he assists in reviewing issues and proposed laws critical to the practice of Workers’ Compensation in New Jersey.