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Counsel fees under the Workers’ Compensation Law cannot be apportioned when the future benefits to the claimant are speculative, as they are when a permanent, partial disability is reported, the Appellate Division, 3rd Department, held Thursday.

In a unanimous ruling, the justices overturned a trial court decision ordering St. Paul/Travelers Insurance Co. to pay nearly $19,000 in so-called “fresh money.” It said the apportionment of counsel fees when the future benefit to the carrier is speculative is not feasible.

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