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Under The Tort Claims Act, Conduct That Is Objectively Indicative Of A Decedent’s Lack Of Due Care Will Preclude A Finding Of Any Actionable Dangerous Condition (And Any Liability Against A Defendant)

November 25, 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ROBERT B. SPAWN reports on a recent unpublished decision from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division.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 Decedent was struck and killed by a motor vehicle on a four-lane roadway at approximately 9:30 p.m. on January 29, 2013. The driver of the motor vehicle explained that he did not see Decedent attempting to cross the street because she was wearing dark clothing. Decedent had also apparently elected to enter the roadway at a point not designated for crossing, despite the existence of crosswalks located near where she was hit. In her complaint and summary judgment motion papers, Plaintiff (the administratrix of Decedent's estate) asserted that the road was a dangerous condition that proximately caused Decedent's injuries, and that, as(...)

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ROBERT B. SPAWN reports on a recent unpublished decision from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division.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(...)

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ROBERT B. SPAWN reports on a recent unpublished decision from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division.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(...)

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(...)

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(...)