Amoah v. Mallah Management, L.L.C.

866 N.Y.S.2d 797, 57 A.D.3d 29 (2008)

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Amoah v. Mallah Management, L.L.C.

New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division
866 N.Y.S.2d 797, 57 A.D.3d 29 (2008)

Facts

In March 2003, Benjamin Amoah (plaintiff) came to the United States with a visa, which would expire in October 2003. The visa did not authorize Amoah to work. Amoah met Frank Boahen-Appiah, who allowed Amoah to use Boahen-Appiah’s driver’s license, Social Security card, and other documents to obtain work. Boahen-Appiah allowed Amoah to stay with him. In April 2003, Amoah began working for Mallah Management, L.L.C. (Mallah) (defendant) as a parking-garage attendant. In April 2005, Amoah was injured in the course of his employment. Mallah submitted a claim on behalf of Amoah for workers’-compensation benefits with its insurance carrier (defendant). Benefits were given under Boahen-Appiah’s name. Boahen-Appiah thereafter demanded that Amoah split the benefits with him and give him two-thirds of any recovery in a third-party action regarding the accident. When Amoah refused, Boahen-Appiah took back his documents and forced Amoah to leave. In September 2005, Amoah notified the employer’s insurance carrier of his real name. In November 2005, the carrier contested the payment of benefits with the Workers’ Compensation Board (the board). After hearings, a workers’-compensation-law judge (WCLJ) found that Amoah was not precluded from benefits by his use of fraudulent documents. The WCLJ awarded benefits after finding that Amoah had sustained a work-related injury. Mallah appealed for review by the board, which affirmed the WCLJ’s decision. Mallah and its carrier appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Stein, J.)

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