LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE o/b/o SABERT CORPORATION, Plaintiff-Respondent,
JOSE R. RODRIGUEZ, Defendant-Appellant.
January 15, 2019
appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division,
Middlesex County, Docket No. L-2564-17.
H. Lande argued the cause for appellant (Law Offices of Gill
& Chamas, attorneys; David H. Lande, on the brief).
G. Ramos argued the cause for respondent (Capehart &
Scatchard, PA, attorneys; Betsy G. Ramos, of counsel and on
M. Clancy argued the cause for amicus curiae New Jersey
Advisory Council on Safety and Health (Borbi, Clancy &
Patrizi, attorneys; James M. Clancy, on the brief).
Judges Fisher, Suter and Firko.
Jose R. Rodriguez (Rodriguez) appeals from an order entered
by the trial court granting plaintiff Liberty Mutual
Insurance's (Liberty) application for reimbursement for
its workers' compensation benefits paid to Rodriguez from
his third-party recovery based on the fee ratio calculated
for the overall settlement and not the sliding scale set
forth in Rule 1:21-7. We affirm.
relevant facts are not disputed and the matter was ripe for
disposition. See, e.g., Brill v. Guardian Life
Ins. Co. of Am., 142 N.J. 520, 540 (1995). Rodriguez was
injured during the course of his employment at Sabert
Corporation in 2012. Liberty was the workers'
compensation carrier for Sabert. Rodriguez retained the Gill
& Chamas law firm (law firm) to represent him in his
workers' compensation matter and the third-party action
against the tortfeasor. Rodriguez entered into an Agreement
to Provide Legal Services in 2002 that provided the law firm
would receive a fee, under the 2012 version of Rule
1:21-7(c), as follows:
(1) 33[.33]% of the first $500, 000 recovered;
(2) 30% on the next $500, 000 recovered;
(3) 25% on the next $500, 000 recovered;
(4) 20% on the next $500, 000 recovered; and
(5) on all amounts recovered in excess of the above by
application for a reasonable fee in accordance with the