August 7, 2007
LORI SCOTT, APPELLANT,
POLICE AND FIREMEN'S RETIREMENT SYSTEM, RESPONDENT.
On appeal from Board of Trustees, Police and Firemen's Retirement System, Docket No. 8043-00S.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted October 4, 2006
Before Judges Skillman and Grall.
Appellant Lori Scott appeals from a final decision of the Board of Trustees of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System, which denied her application for retirement on an accidental disability pension. Appellant, an African-American female, alleged in her application that she became permanently and totally disabled from performing her assigned duties as a Senior Corrections Officer as a direct result of a series of incidents of racial and sexual harassment by other corrections officers that occurred during the two-year period between January 1998 and April 2000. An Administrative Law Judge concluded in an initial recommended decision, which the Board adopted, that the incidents of racial and sexual harassment upon which appellant's application was based did not constitute a "traumatic event" within the intent of N.J.S.A. 43:16A-7 and that she therefore did not qualify for an accidental disability pension.
On an initial review of this appeal, we determined that it appeared to be controlled by Moore v. Board of Trustees of the State Police Retirement System, 382 N.J. Super. 347 (App. Div.), certif. granted, 186 N.J. 365 (2006) and that its outcome probably would turn on the Court's decision in Moore and two companion appeals argued before the Court around the same time this appeal was argued before us. Consequently, we decided to withhold issuance of our opinion temporarily. However, we have now been advised that Moore and the two companion appeals will be reargued before the Court next fall. Therefore, we have decided to issue our opinion in this appeal before the end of the current court term.
We reject the arguments presented by appellant in support of her appeal and affirm the Board's final decision substantially for the reasons set forth in Moore, 382 N.J. Super. at 352-59. Pending the Supreme Court's further review of the issue, we do not consider the impact, if any, of Richardson v. Board of Trustees, Police & Firemen's Retirement Fund, ___ N.J. ___ (2007) upon the issue presented by this appeal.
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