Helbock Nappa & Gallucci, LLP, the attorneys for a worker’s compensation claimant who was injured while working for the New York City Transit Authority, successfully argued at the NYS Workers Compensation Board that the claimant in this matter is entitled to receive reimbursement for the tolls expended going back and forth to his doctors. The Transit Authority had argued that they were only responsible to reimburse the claimant at the mileage rate specified by the state. The claimant argued since the mileage rate applied statewide, the Transit Authority policy discriminated against claimant’s in the New York City area. Workers Compensation claimants statewide are reimbursed the same mileage rate for traveling to and from their doctors. However, claimants residing and treating in upstate New York do not have to pay tolls (unless they travel via the NYS Thruway). In this case the claimant was paying at least $25.20 in tolls for each visit to his doctor in addition to his mileage expenses. The Workers Compensation Law Judge ruled that the Transit Authority is responsible for paying for the tolls in addition to the mileage.
Ironically, the Transit Authority is a subsidiary of the MTA that collects the tolls, but they stated in writing that they refused to reimburse the expense of the tolls. Robert Helbock, the claimant’s attorney, said, “I am not surprised that the MTA is willing to collect the tolls but thinks it is too much money to reimburse the claimant for the tolls he had to pay. I am happy to see the fairness prevailed in the Workers Compensation Law Judge’s decision. “
It is unknown whether the Transit Authority will appeal the decision.