A New York appeals court denied a dismissal by an airline pilot who says he developed brain damage from inhaling toxic fumes.
The Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an appeal by pilot David Dunlap, who filed a claim against his employer, JetBlue Airways Corp., after developing neurological disorders.
The appeals court ruled on a technicality, finding that Dunlap was unable to provide a complete answer to a question about his application for review to the Workers’ Compensation Board.
After Mr. Dunlap filed his claim in October 2019, an injury adjudicator found he could not establish the cause of the work injuries. Mr. Dunlap appealed to the board in August 2021, but the board denied his request for review, finding that Mr. Dunlap did not identify a written report from a toxicologist who reviewed his medical records for the airline.
Mr. Dunlap appealed. The appeals court found that the board did not err because it was permitted to adopt “reasonable rules consistent with and supplementing” state law.
The court ruled that the board properly dismissed the compensation claim because Mr. Dunlap failed to identify—by date, name and other information—the employer’s toxicologist’s report despite challenging the report’s admissibility and findings.
In a footnote, the court said lawmakers recently changed the law to prevent technical omissions from being grounds for claims and denials of review, but that the law took effect after Mr. Dunlap’s case and was not retroactive.