Foley, Smit, O'Boyle & Weisman

NYC Supreme Court

GavelFirm Overview

Established in 1960, Foley, Smit, O’Boyle & Weisman is a mid-sized litigation law firm with its main office in Lower Manhattan, and a satellite office on Long Island (Hauppauge, NY).  We are one of the first firms to make New York Workers’ Compensation defense the cornerstone of our litigation practice.  This practice involves representation of insurance carriers, self-insured employers, third party claim administrators, and employers before the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board.  We provide specialized counsel and advice concerning the compensability of a claim, help resolve insurance coverage disputes, and handle claims from the first document filings through appeals.  All of our appellate practice is done in-house and appeals taken to the Third Department of New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, as well as New York’s Court of Appeals, are handled exclusively by the firm’s partners.

As a mid-sized firm, we are in the unique position to be able to handle all requests and assignments while also providing a personal level of service. We have partners available to discuss all issues including controverting claims, settlements, and litigation strategy

We are also one of the few firms who handle the defense of employers and insurance carriers in claims brought under the U.S. Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, making us ideal consultants in questions of workers compensation jurisdiction as well as claims brought under the Defense Base Act of 1941.  The firm also handles the defense of New York employers accused of being uninsured or accused of retaliatory discrimination (WCL §120). 

We have a long and successful history of having been involved in some of the more complex cases in the field of workers’ compensation, including the defense of claims for reimbursement against workers’ compensation carriers by private disability carriers such as Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield; the protection of an employer’s right to recover paid wages in accordance with an ERISA Benefits Plan from awards of workers’ compensation benefits; insurance fraud; and coverage disputes.

We devote a significant amount of time to lien recoveries from third party liability actions as well as the resolution of deficiency compensation issues and issues arising as a consequence of case law including those provided in Kelly v. State Insurance Fund, 60 NY2d 131 (1983); Burns v. Varriale, 9 NY3d 207 (2007); and Bissell v. Town of Amherst, 18 NY3d 697 (2012). We routinely counsel our clients on their statutory lien rights to assist them with maximizing their recoveries.  Many of the largest construction companies in New York request our representation in their workers’ compensation claims.  We are mindful of the effects our claims handling has on the outcome of 3rd party liability matters and vigorously protect our clients' Section 29 lien recovery rights by dealing directly with plaintiff counsel in liability matters. 

Besides handling cases we advise groups, such as the New York Claims Association and the New York Self Insurers Association, and we have written for and lectured at the New York State Bar Association, the Chamber of Commerce and the Trial Lawyers Association.

For our clients, we offer on-site seminars and file reviews as well as advisory memos and routine lectures on the NYS Guidelines for Determining Permanent Impairment & Loss of Wage Earning Capacity, and how to best use those Guidelines in conjunction with the Medical Treatment Guidelines to quickly and effectively bring cases to a conclusion in the most cost effective manner possible.  Foley, Smit, O’Boyle & Weisman are the leading experts in conflict resolution, stressing early intervention to avoid costly litigation down the road.  We help our clients navigate the complicated issues associated with Medicare Set Asides and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 

Our firm includes the former Supervising Judge of the Compensation Board and two former New York Workers' Compensation Bar Association Presidents. Two of our attorneys have previously served on the staff of General Counsel of the Workers' Compensation Board. Members of this firm serve as advisors to the Chair of the Workers' Compensation Board's Practices and Procedures Committee.  Our Senior Managing Partner has lectured law judges and conducted seminars at the request of three Workers Compensation Board Chairmen.  Currently, one of our partners serve on the Executive Committee of the New York State Workers' Compensation Bar Association.