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June, 2015 – New York State Bar Association Journal publishes Part II of article by Chet Lukaszewski, "Disability Determinations, "Disability Determinations, Judicial Authority and CPLR Article 78", in June 2015 edition, following publication of Part I in May edition.
May 2015 - May 2015 - New York State Bar Association Journal publishes article by Chet Lukaszewski, "Disability Determinations, Judicial Authority and CPLR Article 78", Part I, in May 2015 edition.
February 2015 - Following the Appellate Division, First Department's granting of Chet Lukaszewski, P.C.'s motion for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals, and the firm's filing of its legal brief, the N.Y.C. Corporation Counsel's Office and the NYPD Pension Fund, award Accident Disability Retirement without the matter being heard by the Court of Appeals, based upon a reconsideration of the case and a decision that the petitioner's trip and fall over an unexpectedly 'charged' fire hose at a chaotic, commotion filled, smoky, crowded, nighttime, fast paced fire suppression and rescue scene, which permanently disabled him for police work, was in fact an "accident" for disability pension purposes.
January 16, 2015 – The Chief Leader newspaper publishes article on an amendment to the 'WTC Presumptive Law' which re-opens the filing period for WTC Notice of Participation forms; wherein Chet Lukaszewski's opinion is presented as a New York disability pension expert.
December 17, 2014 – New York Law Journal publishes article discussing the Appellate Division, First Department's granting of Chet Lukaszewski, P.C.'s motion for leave to appeal to the New York State Court of Appeals in a case of Pastalove v. Kelly, 120 A.D.3d 419 (1st Dep't 2014); where the NYPD's Pension Fund denied a Police Officer an Accident Disability Retirement pension based upon the finding that the Officer's trip and fall over an unexpectedly 'charged' fire hose at a smoky, nighttime, fast paced fire suppression and rescue scene, which permanently disabled him for police work, was not a line of duty "accident" for disability pension purposes.
December 11, 2014 – Chet Lukaszewski, P.C.'s motion seeking leave to appeal to the New York State Court of Appeals is granted by the Appellate Division, First Department, in a case where the NYPD's Pension Fund denied a Police Officer an Accident Disability Retirement pension, while retiring him on a less lucrative Ordinary Disability Retirement pension, based upon the finding that the Officer's trip and fall over an unexpectedly 'charged' fire hose at a smoky, nighttime, fast paced fire suppression and rescue scene, which permanently disabled him for police work, was not a line of duty "accident" for disability pension purposes. The First Department, which in a non-unanimous decision, had upheld a lower Court ruling affirming the Fund's determination; stated in granting the motion, that the matter "ought to be reviewed by the Court of Appeals" to determine: "Was the order of the Supreme Court, as affirmed by this Court, properly made".
January 2014 – The NYC Teachers’ Retirement System agrees to reconsider the Accident Disability Retirement application of a teacher suffering from serious spinal injuries following a fall down the stairs after which she was placed on a permanent medical leave by the NYC Department of Education, following the filing of a lawsuit and preparation of legal memoranda by Chet Lukaszewski, P.C.; in a case where the Retirement System found no orthopedic disability but found a disability for the psychological condition Somatization Disorder, but which it found to have no connection to the fall.
December 2013 – NYPD’s Pension Fund agrees to reconsider Accident Disability Retirement pension application of retired Detective following the filing of a lawsuit and preparation of legal memoranda by Chet Lukaszewski, P.C.; in case where the Detective was found disabled by the Fund for vertigo issues, but concluded the issues had no relation to his multiple line of duty head and neck injuries, following which he experienced bouts of dizziness and vertigo.
December 18, 2013 – The news website, DNAinfo.Com News, New York edition, publishes story entitled: “9/11 Hero Suffering PTSD Says NYPD Won't Give Him Disability Pay”; in connection with the filing of a lawsuit by Chet Lukaszewski, P.C., challenging the refusal of the NYPD’s Pension Fund to award retroactive pension monies to a Police Officer who was finally approved for a World Trade Center disability pension, following two successful lawsuits by the firm where the Court twice found the application had been denied improperly. The firm is seeking that the pension be awarded back to the date of the first improper denial, based upon the fact that the Officer’s psychological conditions are essentially identical now, as they were then, and that by refusing to award the pension retroactively, the Fund is benefiting financially from its own adjudicated wrongdoings which delayed the approval for 7 years. The Officer was in the Trade Center when the first plane hit, and cleared ten floors of Tower 1, and went in and out of the buildings 3 times before the collapse, and thereafter did nearly 200 hours of rescue and recovery work at Ground Zero.
November 29, 2013 – The Chief Leader newspaper publishes article on the newly enacted law which amended the ‘WTC Presumptive Law’; wherein Chet Lukaszewski is recognized as a disability pension expert, and quoted throughout. (Click here to read story)
November 2013 – Chet Lukaszewski is consulted by various news outlets as a disability pension expert, in connection with the newly enacted law which amended the ‘World Trade Center Presumptive Law’(A7803A -Abbate / S5759A –Golden; Chapter 489 of the Laws of 2013).
October 29, 2013 – The Chief Leader newspaper publishes an article on two of Chet Lukaszewski, P.C.’s recent cases, where the firm was successful, involving 9/11 psychological disabilities, entitled “Judges: Pension Boards Err on 9/11 Disabilities”. The article discusses the Appellate Division, First Department awarding a World Trade Center disability pension to an NYPD Detective; and the Supreme Court, Kings County, ordering the New York City Employees’ Retirement System to reconsider the ‘WTC’ pension application of a FDNY Emergency Medical Technician.
October 28, 2013 - The New York Law Journal publishes as a Decision of Interest, the firm's case involving the Supreme Court, New York County, finding the NYPD Pension Fund to have acted improperly in denying Accident Disability Retirement (ADR) pension benefits to a Lieutenant whose foot became lodged in a crack in a parking lot, based upon the conclusion that the event was not an “accident” for disability pension purposes; wherein the Court concluded the law and facts entitled the petitioner to ADR, as opposed to a lesser Ordinary Disability Retirement pension, for the shoulder disability which resulted from fall, and awarded ADR.
October 8, 2013 - The New York Law Journal publishes as a Decision of Interest, the firm's case involving the Kings County Supreme Court’s finding that the New York City Employees’ Retirement System improperly denied a World Trade Center disability pension to an FDNY-EMS EMT who was at the World Trade Center on 9/11/01, and nearly died when the towers collapsed, and spent several hundred hours at WTC locations thereafter, and immediately began to experience severe psychological issues for which he was removed from full duty, but who the System found to be psychologically by non-WTC issues, and retired him on a non-line of duty disability pension.
July 30, 2013 – The Chief Leader newspaper publishes article on the decision in Chet Lukaszewski, P.C.’s case, where the Kings County Supreme Court overturned the denial by the FDNY’s Pension Fund,
of a petition for line of duty death benefits brought under the ‘World Trade Center Law’, entitled: Disease Linked to Drowning – Rule Fire Pension Fund Erred With WTC Denial. (Click here to read story)
July 22, 2013 - The New York Law Journal publishes a front page article on the decision in Chet Lukaszewski, P.C.’s case, where the Kings County Supreme Court overturned the denial by the FDNY’s Pension Fund, of a petition for line of duty death benefits brought under the ‘World Trade Center Law’, entitled: Judge Orders a Closer Look at the Application for 9/11 Benefits. (Click here to read story)
June 2013 - Chet Lukaszewski, P.C. successfully compels and negotiates at pre-trial mediation, a settlement amount of $155,000.00, on behalf of firm’s law enforcement client, who suffered a broken ankle and lower back injuries in a fall down stairs while taking police action, in a personal injury case against the building owner for a failure to keep the premises in good repair.
February 12, 2013 – The Chief Leader newspaper publishes story ‘Pension Boards’ Power Mightier Than Judges’, which reports on two recent Supreme Court victories in Article 78’s brought by Chet Lukaszewski, P.C.,challenging disability pension denials, one of a 9/11 NYPD Officer with PTSD, and one of an FDNY-EMS EMT, with a lower back spinal fusion; and also discusses the problem with the pension laws, that prohibits Judges from finding applicants ‘disabled’; wherein Mr. Lukaszewski was interviewed in relation to the cases and the broader issue. (Click here to read story)
November 13/14, 2012 - The New York Law Journal publishes front page article discussing the arguments presented by Mr. Lukaszewski to the New York State Court of Appeals on Tuesday, November 13th, in connection with the 9/11 NYPD cancer case of the firm’s client, Police Officer Eddie; which was combined with two additional 9/11 NYPD cancer cases (Bitchatci and Macri), for which arguments were also held. Maldanado (View arguments at NYS COA’s website via below link.) Officer Maldanado’s case and the others, involved questions as to the application of the ‘World Trade Center Presumptive Law’ by the NYPD’s Pension Fund, and with regard to the presumption of causation that the law creates, and what constitutes ‘competent’ and ‘credible’ evidence that will be deemed sufficient to rebut the presumption. The Law Journal reports that the Court will hand down a ruling in December. The Court of Appeals is the State’s highest Court and only hears select cases which generally involve matters of ‘first impression’ and/or can be shown to be a matter of public importance; and the Court’s decisions set a precedent which must be followed by all Courts of the State. (http://www.nycourts.gov/ctapps/arguments/2012/Nov12/Nov12_OA.htm)
October 22, 2012 - The New York Law Journal publishes as Decision of Interest, firm's case involving the NYPD's Pension Fund being found to have once again acted unlawfully and contrary to an order of the Appellate Division, First Department, which had found the Fund's original denial of a Police Officer's disability pension application for serious line of duty spinal injuries, to be improper.
October 2012 - Chet Lukaszewski, P.C. successfully compels and negotiates settlement with City of New York, on behalf of firm’s NYPD Police Sergeant client, as compensation for a slip and fall accident on an icy stairway of a Queens Police Command, in a personal injury action alleging negligence on the part of the City and the NYPD, which sought recovery for the Sergeants’ resulting pain and suffering.
September 2012 – Chet Lukaszewski, P.C. successfully compels and negotiates defendant's insurance carrier to offer monies which the firm's clients deem acceptable, in a pre-trial settlement, as compensation for a trip and fall accident at a Levittown strip-mall, in a personal injury action for pain and suffering of client-wife's physical injuries, and for resulting loss of consortium to client-husband.
March 13, 2012 – The Chief Leader newspaper publishes story ‘Officer Can Appeal Denial of 9/11 Disability Pension’, which reports on Court of Appeals decision to hear 9/11-NYPD cancer case, of firm’s client Eddie Maldando. (Click here to read story)
March 2012 - The New York State Court of Appeals, the highest court in the State, grants Chet Lukaszewski, PC’s motion for leave to appeal, and agrees to hear the 9/11 NYPD cancer case of the firm’s client, Police Officer Eddie Maldanado. Officer Maldanado felt a small bump in his thigh prior to 9/11 which he thought was a muscle injury or cramp of some type, as he was an athlete and beat cop. However he did not seek medical help as the World Trade Center attacks occurred. By early November, after working security at Ground Zero for over 30 days, Maldanado had a softball sized tumor in his thigh, and the cancer also metastasized to both bone and lung tissue. Officer Maldando’s oncologist said the tumor growth and cancer spread and progression was beyond extreme, and theorized that the toxins fueled the cancer. Maldanado thankfully lived after more than a year of chemotherapy and radiation, but the tumor removal resulted in his losing the majority of his upper leg. He applied for a World Trade Center(WTC) related, line of duty, Accident Disability Retirement pension from the NYPD’s Pension Fund, under the WTC Presumptive Law, which gives 9/11 first responders a presumption of “causation” with regard to the link between their disability and their WTC efforts and toxic exposures, if disabled by a recognized WTC qualifying condition. The New York legislature included cancer as a protected qualifying condition in the law. Also, the New York Courts have established that if a pre-existing condition is exacerbated to point disability by a line of duty injury, it is considered a line of duty disability for pension purposes; which is what occurred to Maldanado, with his 9/11 exposure injuries being the line of duty injury which exacerbated his pre-existing cancer condition to the point of disability, in causing such rapid growth, that it resulted in losing the use of his right leg; if not for 9/11, he would have sought help for the small lump and not been permanently disabled by the cancer. Maldanado was denied a WTC disability pension by the NYPD’s Pension Fund, based on Fund’s argument there was no “proof” offered that WTC toxins exacerbated his cancer, and thus while they found him to be disabled, they retired him on a non line of duty disability pension. The New York State Supreme Court, and then the Appellate Division First Department both affirmed the Pension Fund’s decision. Chet Lukaszewski argued to the Court of Appeals, that the WTC Law’s presumption of causation must be rebutted with “competent evidence”, and simply saying an applicant offered “no proof” of a causal connection between their WTC exposures and their disability, is not competent evidence sufficient to rebut the presumption; he also argued that the Law was enacted to protect first responders; also that if responders felt unprotected by the disability pension laws, it could have a chilling effect on their future efforts and willingness to endanger themselves in catastrophic situations, thereby putting the general public at risk. The case will be heard by the Court of Appeals this Summer.
February 2012 - Chet Lukaszewski was consulted by the New York Injured Workers’ Alliance (NYIWA) on potential changes to due process hearings in New York State Disability Retirement cases, based on his long history of successfully representing disability pension applicants in the various New York City Retirement Systems and Pension Funds, as well in the State’s Retirement System, and also at every level of the New York State Courts. Mr. Lukaszewski shared his disability pension expertise with the NYIWA in the hopes of bringing about meaningful reforms which will benefit injured workers.
December 2011 - Chet Lukaszewski, Esq., is recognized by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, along with a select group of New York attorneys, as a lawyer who has reputably and successfully advocated on behalf of victim’s of ‘September 11th’.
November 2011 - Settlement monies obtained for multiple plaintiffs in automobile case where injuries resulted in no time lost from work.
Wednesday July 27, 2011 - El Diario la Prensa the largest and oldest Spanish-language daily newspaper in New York City, and the oldest Spanish-language daily in the United States; publishes a story on the continued fight by Chet Lukaszewski, P.C., on behalf of client Jackie Fernandez, in seeking line of duty death benefits from the FDNY Pension Fund, following the Appellate Division Second Department ruling in March of 2011, which overturned the denial by Fund of Ms. Fernandez’s application for the same under the World Trade Center Law (which she submitted prior to hiring Chet lukaszewski, P.C.), in connection with the death of her husband, a FDNY Lieutenant who had run 9 marathons during his career, and spent hundreds of hours at the World Trade Center site, and retired in good health in 2002, but thereafter began to suffer various health issues, and eventually died in July 2006 at the age of 52, as a result of a complex cardiac event while playing in shallow water with his young nephew in full view of his family while on vacation, where Ms. Fernandez’s multiple medical experts found her husband to have died as a result of his toxic 9/11 exposures, as evidenced by coal dust found throughout his body during an autopsy, including his lungs, and other scientific indicators that demonstrated that his body, particularly his heart, had been weakened by the toxins, which lead to the cardiac event that caused his death. The Pension Fund found the death to simply be a drowning, and then in Court the Fund and City argued that even if the Lt. Fernandez was caused to drown by a cardiac event, it was a standard heart attack, with no WTC exposure connection. The Appellate Court remanded the case to the Pension Fund with strong instructions, but the Fund continues to withhold the pension sought, and Chet lukaszewski P.C. continues its efforts on Mrs. Fernandez behalf, with the hope of a successful outcome.
March 2011 – The New York Law Journal, The New York Post and The Chief Leader, publish stories on the Appellate Division, Second Department, decision obtained by the Chet Lukaszewski overturned the denial by the FDNY Pension Fund of a petition for line of duty death benefits brought under the World Trade Center Law, which had been upheld by the lower Court, and remand the application for further consideration. The application was brought by the widow of an FDNY Lieutenant who had run 9 marathons during his career, and spent hundreds of hours at the World Trade Center site, and retired in good health in 2002, but thereafter began to suffer various health issues, and eventually died in July 2006 as a result of a complex cardiac event while playing in shallow water with his young nephew in full view of his family while on vacation; where the Pension Fund said the death had no connection to his WTC injuries and illness. The Court ordered that the Pension Fund Board of Trustees to send the case back to its Medical Board to specifically address medical evidence indicating that Mr. Fernandez's drowning was precipitated by his heart condition, which was the result of respiratory distress caused by responding to the 9/11 attacks. (Click here for full LAW JOURNAL story) (Click here for full N.Y. POST story) (Click here for full CHIEF LEADER story)
March 9, 2011 - Chet Lukaszewski appears on Good Day New York, on Fox 5, with client Jackie Kaht Fernandez, to discuss recent Appellate Division Second Department decision in favor of his client, who is the widow of an FDNY 9/11 first responder.
December 20, 2010 – The Chief Leader newspaper publishes ‘Letter to Editor' by Chet Lukaszewski, under heading: End Politics Over Zadroga.
The following is a letter that was sent to select U.S. Senators by my law firm at the urging of the Feal Good Foundation, which it is believed could potentially break the Republican filibuster which is currently preventing the James Zadroga Bill from becoming law. I encourage all to reach out to the Foundation for the list of Senators who could be swing votes in this critical and monumental piece of legislation.
(Click here to view Letter)
December 6, 2010 – The Chief Leader newspaper publishes story ‘Court Tells Police Board Must review Pension Plea Based on Mental Condition’, which reports on the Chet Lukaszewski, P.C., case Rosenthal v. Kelly; where the Supreme Court, New York County, vacated the Accident Disability Retirement (“ADR”) pension denial, and award of a lesser Ordinary Disability Retirement (“ODR”) pension, by the NYPD Pension Fund. The case involved a former NYPD police officer who had presented extensive evidence of a causal link between her line of duty injury(s) and orthopedic conditions, and the development of a psychological condition known as Somatization Disorder. The article discusses the fact that the petitioner applied for a disability pension for her physical injuries, and it was the Pension Fund’s Medical Board who diagnosed Somatization Disorder; but did in fact feel it was linked to her line of duty injury(s), and thus she was entitled to a ‘three-quarter’ ADR pension. However the Pension Fund’s Board of Trustees refused to accept their own Medical Board’s multiple detailed explanations, and denied ADR and instead retired the petitioner on ODR. The Court found that the Board of Trustee had acted improperly and remanded the case for further consideration in keeping with the strongly worded decision.
(Click here to read story)
August 17, 2010 – The Chief Leader newspaper publishes story Appellate Ruling Reins In Medical Boards’ Powers , which reports on the Chet Lukaszewski, P.C., case Kiess v. Kelly; where the Appellate Division First Department reversed the decision of the Supreme Court, New York County, which upheld a disability pension denial in the case of a former NYPD police officer who had presented extensive evidence of severe line of duty related spinal injuries. The article discusses the magnitude and potential positive effects the decision will have for disability pension applicants; quoting several experienced pension attorneys who praise Chet Lukaszewski for obtaining the ruling.
(Click here to read story)
On March 25, 2010, The New York Law Journal , published, as a ‘Decision of Interest', Chet Lukaszewski P.C.'s favorable judgment in the matter St Louis v. New York City Employees' Retirement System , Index No. 104060/09; where the Kings County Supreme Court found the New York City Employees' Retirement System (NYCERS) acted in a legally deficient manner in denying the disability pension application of a New York City Staff Nurse. In the case Justice Arthur Schack held that it was clear that the NYCERS' Medical Board had dismissed findings of its own physicians and an independent physician, as well as ignored medical proof of disability which was submitted by the petitioner. The Court held that the Board of Trustees adopted a Medical Board recommendation which was not supported by credible evidence. The Court annulled the denial and remanded the application to the Retirement System for a new evaluation and new report by the Medical Board with regards to petitioner's numerous debilitating conditions. In its decision the Court emphasized that the denial lacked a rational basis and the Medical Board put forth a bald and conclusory explanation for its findings which failed to substantiate that the petitioner was not disabled from performing the duties of a City Nurse.
October 2009 - Firm disability pension client Harold Hoover, featured in NY Daily News article on October 7, 2009, which focused on the injuries incurred by EMS workers as the result of being improperly forced by the FDNY to wear a new heavy duty work boot at all times. As article notes, the firm is currently litigating the decision by the New York City Employees' Retirement System, denying Mr. Hoover a line of duty disability pension for the cracked bone and torn tendons in his foot, that he suffered just months after being forced to wear the boots, which he complained of from the first day on; injuries his doctors say were unquestionably caused by the boots. NYCERS claims Mr. Hoover's injuries were the result of his diabetes, which he'd been diagnosed with the first year he was an EMT, and had not affected his ability to work during his 19 year career. The case is set for argument in November 2009.
June 2, 2009 – The Chief Leader newspaper publishes story on lawsuit filed by Chet Lukaszewski, P.C., relating to his client Police Officer Patrick Triola, and several other NYPD clients of the firm, who are all being denied line of duty disability pensions for a variety of World Trade Center related ailments, while being found disabled by sleep apnea, which the Police Pension Fund claims has no connection to ‘9/11’, despite medical evidence to the contrary and a number of cases which seem to demonstrate a clear link. (Click photo for full story)
May 2009 - Settlement reached in personal injury suit versus popular Long Island bar/restaurant, where plaintiff was assaulted by group of four patrons in front of premises, where security staff had ejected patron by holding his arms behind his back, while simultaneously escorting a group of four men whom had confronted plaintiff inside the premises, out the front entrance, wherein plaintiff was attacked by the four the moment he was released from the grasp of the security personnel, resulting in a broken leg and jaw.
March 31, 2009 - Chet Lukaszewski is successful in first Article 78 Petition commenced by and litigated via Chet Lukaszewski PC. Case involves NYPD officer denied a line of duty disability pension for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (For additional case details, see Pension Litigation page. As explained therein, gap in Mr. Lukaszewski’s litigation history created by formation of own firm.)
March 25, 2009 - Mr. Lukaszewski is invited to rally/press conference at City Hall to protest City’s motion for Summary Judgment in the cases of uniformed workers in 9/11 class action lawsuit. (See photo; click to enlarge)
March 2009 - Settlement monies obtained in auto accident case for plaintiff with soft tissue injuries only and no time lost from work.
February 2009 - Mr. Lukaszewski is invited to appear at the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring & Treatment Program – Mt. Sinai Medical Center, Advisory Board meeting, to discuss issues facing law enforcement personal affected by the 9/11 Terrorist attacks. December 2008 - Mr. Lukaszewski meets with United States Congressman Timothy Bishop regarding 9/11 police disability issues.
NEWS ARTICLE: September 17, 2008: The Chief Leader newspaper publishes story on the 9/11 not for profit foundation which Mr. Lukaszewski helped to found and served as Board of Director for: “Detectives Form Help Group For Cops Ailing From 9/11.” (click photo for the article)
Mr. Lukaszewski appears on request, before the Long Island World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program Advisory Board, at its September 2008 meeting, on the issue of World Trade Center disability pensions for uniformed civil servants.
Invited to attend National Police Week in Washington D.C. (May 10-16th, 2008) to meet with local United States Senators and Congressmen, regarding 9/11 and other pension issues facing local law enforcement.
2008-2010- Mr. Lukaszewski helps to form the not for profit charitable organization The 9/11 Police Aid Foundation, a group which assists police officers and their families who’ve been impacted by the attacks of 9/11; and serves as a member of the group’s Board of Directors of 9/11 Police Aid Foundation.
2008-2009- Mr. Lukaszewski serves as an advisor to the Board of Directors of the World Trade Center Rescuers Foundation; a pending not for profit organization assisting FDNY-EMS personnel affected by the September 11th tragedy.
(News and Archives chronicle Mr. Lukaszewski’ career, upon opening Chet Lukaszewski, P.C.)
* Disclaimer as per disciplinary rules : "prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome."