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Wilk v. Board of Trustees

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


September 14, 2007

ROBERT R. WILK, PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
v.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES, STATE POLICE RETIREMENT SYSTEM, RESPONDENT-RESPONDENT.

On appeal from a final administrative determination of the Board of Trustees, State Police Retirement System, SPRS#8-10-3085.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted September 10, 2007

Before Judges Stern and A. A. Rodríguez.

Petitioner appeals from a final administrative determination of the Board of Trustees of the State Police Retirement System which adopted the recommendation of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), and, on March 30, 2006, denied petitioner's claim for an accidental disability retirement because he did not sustain his burden of proving "that he is permanently and totally disabled as a result of a traumatic event occurring during and as a result of the performance of his regular or assigned duties." As a result, petitioner received only an ordinary disability retirement.

Petitioner asserts he was injured in an automobile accident while on his way home from a required state police physical examination. He argues that "the trial court erred by finding the Board of Trustees of the State Police Retirement System did not exceed their statutory authority under N.J.A.C. 17:5-5.7," the Board of Trustees is estopped from changing its original position which approved the accidental disability retirement, and that "the trial court erred by failing to properly analyze the three prong test for determining a traumatic event." We remand the matter to the Board of Trustees in light of the recent opinion of the Supreme Court in Richardson v. Bd. of Trustees, 192 N.J. 189 (2007), which overruled Kane v. Bd. of Trustees, 101 N.J. 651 (1996). We do not preclude a further remand by the Board to the ALJ.

Remanded. We do not retain jurisdiction. However, if appellant is unsuccessful on the remand, he may file a new appeal without the need for filing fees.

20070914

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