Johnson v. The Home Depot USA, Inc.Annotate this Case
In 2010, the Workers’ Compensation Board found that Fay Johnson was injured while working for Home Depot USA, Inc. Home Depot agreed to pay Johnson benefits. In 2012, Johnson went missing. Later that year, Home Depot filed two petitions, one seeking permission to stop paying benefits and the other asking the Board to declare Johnson’s benefits forfeited. A hearing officer ordered that Johnson’s benefits be suspended until Johnson reappeared and dismissed the petition for forfeiture as moot. The Workers’ Compensation Board Appellate Division affirmed. Johnson’s attorney appealed on Johnson's behalf. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the hearing officer reasonably found that the statutory requirement that petitions for review of incapacity and for forfeiture of benefits be served on “other parties” was satisfied by service on Johnson’s attorney, who continued to represent her before the Board; and (2) the hearing officer had the authority to direct Home Depot to pay Johnsons’ benefits into a segregated account pending a hearing on the petitions and to suspend her benefits following the hearing.