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N.G. v. State

May 16, 1997

N.G., PETITIONER-RESPONDENT,
v.
STATE OF NEW JERSEY, DIVISION OF YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICES, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Division of Workers' Compensation.

Approved for Publication May 20, 1997.

Before Judges King and Loftus. The opinion of the court was delivered by Loftus, J.A.D.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Loftus

The opinion of the court was delivered by

LOFTUS, J.A.D.

The State of New Jersey, Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS), appeals from a decision of the Division of Workers' Compensation which held that petitioner, N.G., was entitled to compensation for injuries sustained in an incident on June 21, 1992, because the injuries arose "out of and in the course of employment." The parties stipulated that petitioner had suffered a twenty-five percent partial total permanent psychiatric disability, giving rise to 150 weeks of disability at the rate of $124 per week, for a total of $18,600.

On this appeal, DYFS contends:

THE ASSAULT ON THE PETITIONER BY HER NEIGHBOR'S BOYFRIEND INSIDE HER APARTMENT AND LATER IN HER NEIGHBOR'S APARTMENT WAS NOT AN INCIDENT "ARISING OUT OF AND IN THE COURSE OF HER EMPLOYMENT." THE DECISION OF THE JUDGE OF COMPENSATION SHOULD THEREFORE BE REVERSED.

A. Petitioner's Disability Did Not Result From an Incident Arising "In the Course Of" Her Employment.

B.

Petitioner's Disability Did Not "Arise Out of" Her Employment.

We have considered the applicable law in light of the evidence presented and conclude that DYFS's contention is without merit. We affirm.

The facts establish that N.G. was employed as a family service specialist in the Division of Youth and Family Services. She investigated incidents of child abuse and neglect and provided services to families in crisis. She volunteered to work weekends for the Special Response Unit. This required her to be on call twenty-four hours a day during the weekends. Her work in this respect began at 5 p.m. on Friday and ended at 9 a.m. on Monday morning. N.G. was paid an additional $99 for being on call over the weekend, plus seventeen dollars an hour for time spent answering a call and for completing the corresponding paperwork.

At 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 20, 1992, N.G. was assigned to answer a call at Jersey City Medical Center. After completing her duties with regard to the call, N.G. returned to her residence in Newark at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 21, 1992. When N.G. arrived at her residence, a two-family home, she encountered a man in the common foyer area of the house. He attempted to engage N.G. in conversation and she declined to participate. She went up the stairs, entered her apartment on the second floor, and closed the door. Almost immediately after this, the man climbed the steps and knocked on her door. Before she opened the door she asked, "who is it?" The man identified himself as "Louis" and insisted on talking to her. ...


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