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Appellate Division, In Reversing Dismissal Of Personal Injury Case Against University, Reaffirms Principle That Landowners Have A Duty To Warn Independent Contractors Of Latent Defects

October 23, 2019

ROBERT B. SPAWN reports on a recent unpublished decision from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. In a recent New Jersey case, a Defendant-University hired an electrical services company as an independent contractor to repair lights on the roof of its library, and Plaintiff (an employee of the electrical services company), was injured during the course of his work. On the date of the incident, Plaintiff attempted to access the roof by using a bucket truck (as was his custom), but a car of one of the University's employees was preventing Plaintiff from accessing the roof in such a manner. Plaintiff was thus forced to find an alternate way to the roof, and, while en route, Plaintiff leaned on a balustrade (a cast-stone railing) in order to retrieve pliers that(...)

The Changed Circumstances Standard On An Alimony Modification Application Is Alive And Well!

September 20, 2019

MARGARITA ROMANOVA reports on a recent published decision from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. The Appellate Division recently ruled that the 2014 amendments to the alimony statute did not alter the changed circumstances standard applicable on an alimony modification application based on cohabitation and reversed a trial court's order that permitted broad and intrusive discovery of the former spouse's and her new boyfriend's financial information. Following a ten-year marriage, the parties were divorced in 2014, after the effective date of the 2014 amendments to the alimony statute. The Judgment of Divorce incorporated their Marital Settlement Agreement, wherein the Husband agreed to pay the Wife alimony for seven-and-a-half years. The parties agreed that the(...)

Appellate Division Affirms Jury Verdict Of No Cause Of Action And Rules That Testimony Regarding A Past Workers’ Compensation Claim Can Aid The Jury In Understanding The Nature And Extent Of The Injuries At Issue In A Negligence Action

September 20, 2019

ROBERT B. SPAWN reports on a recent unpublished decision from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. In a recent New Jersey case, a Defendant stipulated to liability for causing a November 2012 rear-end collision in which a Plaintiff was injured. Plaintiff conceded that he was subject to New Jersey's "verbal threshold" law (N.J.S.A. 39:6A-8(a)), meaning that, in order to recover, Plaintiff would have to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that he sustained a permanent injury caused by the November 2012 collision. Accordingly, during trial, the parties disputed the cause and extent of the injuries to Plaintiff's cervical spine, left shoulder, and lumbar spine. Plaintiff expectedly claimed that his injuries were caused by the November 2012 accident (and were(...)

Significance Of Choice Of Law And Forum Selection Clauses In Marital Settlement Agreements

September 12, 2019

MARGARITA ROMANOVA reports on a recent unpublished decision from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. Following a two-year marriage, the parties were divorced by way of a Dual Judgment of Divorce that incorporated the parties' Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA). The parties agreed to share joint legal custody of their child, and the Wife was designated as the Parent of Primary Residence and the Husband as the Parent of Alternate Residence. The parties also agreed that New Jersey law would govern the custody and parenting disputes relative to their minor child. While the divorce proceedings were pending, the Wife moved to Italy, and the parties agreed on a parenting time schedule whereby the child alternated time with each parent between New Jersey and Italy. After(...)

Appellate Division Affirms Grant Of Summary Judgment To Beach Borough Based On Design Immunity Under The Tort Claims Act In Personal Injury Case

August 19, 2019

ROBERT B. SPAWN reports on a recent unpublished decision from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. In a recent case, a Plaintiff sued a Defendant-New Jersey Borough for personal injuries after she fell off of the east side of a boardwalk when visiting the beach. More specifically, Plaintiff alleged that the absence of a handrail on the section of the boardwalk where she fell constituted a dangerous condition that was the proximate cause of her injuries. Prior to the incident, in October 2012, a portion of Defendant's boardwalk was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. In contemplating reconstruction design, Defendant consulted engineers about a number of aspects of the boardwalk, including the placement of railings. Once it was confirmed that the absence of railings(...)