1250 Broadway, 27th Floor New York, NY 10001


In 2004, Officer Paul R. injured his right knee while working at Newark International Airport. (Apparently, Paul slipped on a wet curb and fell to the ground.) Some two years later, Paul pursued a suspect into the Holland Tunnel, and ended up getting punched and kicked, which further injured the cop's knee.

When he later filed for accidental disability retirement benefits, Paul's request was denied by the New York State's Comptroller's office. And on appeal, the Appellate Division, Third Department, noted that an "accident' is a "sudden, fortuitous mischance that is unexpected, out of the ordinary and injurious in impact." (An injury which "results from an expected or foreseeable event arising during the performance of routine employment duties," isn't considered accidental.)

Because Paul hadn't been mindful of where he was walking (and should have known the airport curb was slippery and wet), the AD3 thought the 2004 incident could have been "reasonably anticipated" and that his tunnel altercation was "an ordinary part of his police duties."

Was there no light at the end of that tunnel?

To view a copy of the Appellate Division's decision, please use the following link: Matter of R. v. D.