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Pirher v. Board of Public Works of South River

Decided: October 21, 1955.

DENNIS PIRHER, PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
v.
BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS OF SOUTH RIVER, NEW JERSEY, AND BOROUGH OF SOUTH RIVER, A CORPORATION OF NEW JERSEY, DEFENDANTS-RESPONDENTS



Clapp, Jayne and Francis. The opinion of the court was delivered by Francis, J.A.D.

Francis

The issue for determination here is whether a municipal employee who suffers an injury arising out of and in the course of his employment, can recover workmen's compensation after he has retired on pension which was granted because of disability produced by the accident. An award was denied in the Division of Workmen's Compensation and in the County Court. 35 N.J. Super. 193.

The facts are undisputed. Petitioner had been in the employ of respondent Board of Public Works of South River since January 15, 1938, as an operator in its sewage disposal plant at South River, New Jersey. On June 29, 1952 he sustained an employment-connected accident, which resulted ultimately in the amputation of his left foot and lower leg.

Respondent paid all medical and hospital expenses and full wages from August 8, 1952 (the last day of work) until March 31, 1953. In addition, Pirher received workmen's compensation at the statutory rate of $30 weekly from April 1, 1953 to March 31, 1954.

On March 4, 1953 an application was made to retire on disability under the State Employees Retirement System, N.J.S.A. 43:14-31, which was made applicable to municipal employees by N.J.S.A. 43:15-1. This section provided:

"A member who has not attained age seventy shall, * * * upon his own application * * * be retired by the board of trustees for accident disability, on an accident disability allowance. * * *"

Retirement was granted as of April 1, 1953 at $216.53 a month. Pirher was entitled to this payment under N.J.S.A. 43:14-34 and he is still receiving it.

The accident disability allowance for a person under 70 years of age was fixed by section 34, supra , as:

"a. An annuity which shall be the actuarial equivalent of his accumulated deductions [from wages] at the time of his retirement; and

b. A pension, in addition to the annuity, of two-thirds of his final compensation." (Insertion ours.) N.J.S.A. 43:14-16.

"Annuity" is defined to be:

"* * * payments for life derived from contributions made by a member as ...


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