Montemaggi Law - Workers Compensation Attorneys


18 Jun 2010

Protect your rights to an accurate record of your Workers Compensation hearing

Posted by Paul J. Antonowicz

Currently, Workers’ Compensation hearings are written down and transcribed by qualified court stenographers. This is a valuable protection in Workers’ Compensation hearings where it is common for more than one person to attempt to speak at one time. In a Workers’ Compensation hearing, there is typically a representative for the insurance carrier, a claimant, a claimant’s representative, a Judge and sometimes witnesses.The court stenographers are able to sort out who says what and, if necessary, ask for clarification of something that is misunderstood.

Recently, the Workers’ Compensation Board has been attempting to replace court stenographers, at least partly, with a digital recording system. This type of system would not provide the same protections as a live court stenographer. Almost all attorneys that I know oppose this possibility. In fact, the Workers’ Compensation Law requires the use of a court stenographer and a recent hearing by the New York State Senate Labor Committee concluded that a recording system should not be used. Despite this, the Workers’ Compensation Board has determined to go forward with their plans for a pilot program that would replace court reporters with a digital recording system purchased from a Canadian company.

There is a proposed law currently in the New York State Senate that will clarify the law to clearly require the use of a live court stenographer (bill number S7900). Protect your rights and contact your State Senator to support bill S7900.