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Sep 4, 2020

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Poughkeepsie Family Fights For Workers Compensation Benefits After Father's Death

What You Need To Know

  • Eric Watson died suddenly in 2018 after being granted workers compensation benefits in 2007 after a workplace accident
  • According to New York Workers Compensation Law when a worker dies while still receiving workers compensation benefits those payments should continue being paid, to either a spouse or surviving minor child
  • Eric Watson's family filed a claim that Kanye should get the remaining 38.8 weeks of benefits owed to his son but the workers compensation board ruled against the family

Poughkeepsie resident Eric Watson was a family man juggling three jobs when he was injured while working as a teacher's assistant for Dutchess County BOCES BETA.

"He was out on workers compensation and he was awarded seven years to receive the same payment weekly," said Linda Green, the mother of Eric Watson's children. After he recovered, he went back to work but died suddenly in 2018, leaving his family devastated.

"My dad was really a special person and he really cared a lot about his family and worked hard to provide for us," said Kanye Green, Eric Watson's 16-year-old son.

According to New York Workers Compensation Law, when a worker dies while still receiving workers compensation benefits, those payments should continue being paid, to either a spouse or surviving minor child. In this case, the family wants those benefits to go to Mr. Watson’s son Kanye, who dreams of going to Duke University on a basketball scholarship after high school.

"Immediately, Kanye and I both looked at it as this is money that we can put towards his college fund," said Linda Green. Their attorney filed a claim that Kanye should get the remaining 38.8 weeks of benefits owed to his father, but the workers compensation board ruled against the family.

"We appealed that to the appellate division, which takes it out of the workers compensation board into the court, and we won," said Lou Dauerer, the family's lawyer.

The appellate division ruled that Kanye was entitled to his father's benefits, but the insurance company and workers compensation board filed a motion to reargue the case, further delaying the payments.

"There is no words other than the word of frustration, because you would think that the workers compensation board would be more for the worker of New York state, rather than the insurance company," said Linda Green.

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