ANDREW MACKOFF VS. NEW BRUNSWICK SAW SERVICE (DIVISION OF WORKERS’ COMPENSATION)

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NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION This opinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court ." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R. 1:36-3. SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION DOCKET NO. A-3625-19 ANDREW MACKOFF, Petitioner-Appellant, v. NEW BRUNSWICK SAW SERVICE, Respondent-Respondent. __________________________ Submitted March 3, 2021 – Decided July 14, 2021 Before Judges Ostrer and Enright. On appeal from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Division of Workers' Compensation, Claim Petition No. 2018-34627. Fuhrman & Edelman, attorneys for appellant (Ronald B. Edelman, on the brief). Ann Debellis, attorney for respondent (Kathleen L. Burghardt, on the brief). PER CURIAM Petitioner Andrew Mackoff appeals from the May 5, 2020 dismissal of his worker's compensation claim petition with prejudice and the denial of his motion for medical and temporary disability benefits. We affirm. Petitioner was employed by respondent New Brunswick Saw Services as a salesperson and account manager. Respondent sells and services food processing equipment and meat room equipment, such as band saws, mixers and grinders. Petitioner worked mostly from home, but as part of his duties, he traveled to his clients' businesses for meetings and service calls. He also met with prospective clients in his assigned territories, which included New Jersey, northern Delaware, parts of Pennsylvania, New York City, and southern Connecticut. He worked approximately forty-five hours a week, including weekends, but was not required to submit a daily schedule to his superiors. On December 3, 2018, petitioner left his home in Blackwood for a 10:00 a.m. meeting with a client in West Caldwell. The meeting lasted roughly one hour, following which petitioner decided he would visit a favorite hot dog place, the Galloping Hill Inn in Kenilworth. He intended to head south and stop off at his office in Middlesex after he ate lunch. On his way to the Galloping Hill Inn, petitioner was involved in a car accident. A-3625-19 2 Approximately three weeks later, petitioner filed an employee claim petition for workers' compensation benefits under N.J.S.A. 34:15-7, alleging he sustained compensable injuries to his head, neck and back during the accident. Respondent acknowledged petitioner was its employee, but denied he sustained a compensable injury that arose out of and in the course of his employment. Subsequently, petitioner filed a motion for medical and temporary disability benefits and respondent opposed same. In June 2019, the parties appeared before Compensation Judge Ingrid L. French for an evidentiary hearing. In describing the events that led up to his December 3, 2018 accident, petitioner testified that once his meeting in West Caldwell ended, he "didn't have anything pressing to do at that point." Because he had not been to his office "in a while . . . [and] was up in the northern part of the area, [he] figured at some point [he] would stop in the office." However, he "was hungry" …

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