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.

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 take pride in 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; claims based on work related stress; insurance fraud; and recovery of workers’ compensation liens from liability recoveries. We are also leading the fight in both the judiciary and legislature to limit and or abolish payments into the Aggregate Trust Fund.  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).  Many of the largest construction companies in New York request our representation in their workers’ compensation claims.  We are mindful of the effects our claim 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.  The firm is proud of its achievement in having recovered a § 29 lien recovery in excess of one million dollars for one of the largest self-insured employers in the State of New York.

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 2012 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 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, two of our partners serve on the Executive Committee of the New York State Workers’ Compensation Bar Association.