Spring 2017 ler 590 e government regulation ii 132 p

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Spring 2017 LER 590-E: GOVERNMENT REGULATION II 132 | P a g e The liberal intent of the statute is reflected by the fact that the Legislature has amended the law twice to extend the deadline for claimants to file for coverage ( see L. 2008, ch. 489, § 18; L. 2007, ch. 199, § 1; see generally Matter of Smith v. Tompkins County Courthouse, 60 N.Y.2d 939, 941, 471 N.Y.S.2d 46, 459 N.E.2d 155 [1983] [stating the general rule that the Workers' Compensation Law is to be liberally construed] ). To qualify for the coverage afforded by the statute, a claimant must essentially establish three elements, which relate to time, location and activity. The first two elements are clearly defined by the statute. The time element is limited to relevant activity occurring between September 11, 2001 and September 12, 2002 ( see Workers' Compensation Law § 161 [1][i]-[iv] ). The locations are specifically spelled out in the statute and include, as pertinent here, the “World Trade Center site” ( see Workers' Compensation Law § 161 [1][i] ), which “means anywhere below a line starting from the Hudson River and Canal Street; east on Canal Street to Pike Street; south on Pike Street to the East River; and extending to the lower tip of Manhattan” ( Workers' Compensation Law § 161 [2] ). The qualifying activity that a person must show if his or her location was the World Trade Center site is that he or she “participated in the rescue, recovery, or cleanup operations” ( Workers' Compensation Law § 161 [1][i] ). FN3 This language, which is susceptible to varying interpretation and application, is the focus of the current appeal. Claimant contends that the Board construed the qualifying activity in the statute too narrowly and focused unduly in her case on the word “rescue” rather than “recovery.” Under well- established rules of statutory construction, each word of a statute is to be given effect ( see McKinney's Cons. Laws of N.Y., Book 1, Statutes § 231 ; see also Matter of SIN, Inc. v. Department of Fin. of City of N.Y., 71 N.Y.2d 616, 621-622, 528 N.Y.S.2d 524, 523 N.E.2d 811 [1988] ). While the three terms (rescue, recovery, cleanup) will often overlap in the context of post- attack activity at the World Trade Center site, nevertheless, in a situation where a participant's activity falls within only one of the terms, he or she would still be covered by the statute. Since the word recovery is not separately defined in the statute and had not been construed prior to enactment of the statute to have a “technical or peculiar significance,” the word should “be interpreted according to the meaning ... generally accepted at the time of enactment” ( McKinney's Cons. Laws of N.Y., Book 1, Statutes § 232) . The term recovery in the context of the aftermath of the terrorist attacks certainly could have different meanings to different people. Each individual who returned to lower Manhattan in the days and months after the attacks-to work at a job not associated with rescue and cleanup, to live, to purchase a product, to buy lunch, to visit, to mourn, to encourage-contributed, in an expansive sense of the term, to the “recovery.” Although the legislation is construed liberally,
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