March 20, 2017
On January 17, 2017, MICHAEL J. RANKIN reported on a New Jersey case where the Court granted the Defendant Township's motion for summary judgment because the Plaintiff, who alleged a shoulder injury during the process of being handcuffed, failed to produce an expert report in discovery to prove liability against the Township's police officer who arrested him. In that case, the Court found that Plaintiff needed an expert to inform the jury about police practices and procedures and how the officers deviated from those standards.
MICHAEL J. RANKIN now reports on a recent New Jersey case providing yet another example of the importance of retaining an expert to prove liability.(...)
March 7, 2017
Michael J. Rankin reports on a recent case dealing with an employee's waiver of a jury trial pursuant to an employment contract.
An employee brought suit against his former employer alleging breach of contract and violation of New Jersey's Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), N.J.S.A. 34:19-1 et seq. CEPA is New Jersey's "Whistleblower Act" protecting employees from retaliation after they disclose, refuse to participate in or object to their employer's participation in unlawful or harmful activity.
Pursuant to a jury-waiver provision in plaintiff's employment contract, the trial court denied his demand for a jury. Following a bench trial, the trial court dismissed plaintiff's claims. Plaintiff appealed, challenging, amongst other things, the trial court's application(...)
February 27, 2017
MICHAEL J. RANKIN reports on a recent New Jersey case dealing with insurance coverage for property damaged by winds and flooding caused by Hurricane Irene.
Plaintiffs were the owner and tenant of property insured by defendant. On August 27, 2011, the property was damaged. At that time, Hurricane Irene had made landfall and caused severe flooding to the surrounding area. The owner-plaintiff of the property made a property damage claim to defendant. Defendant denied coverage because "flooding and surface water" caused the damage, and the policy excluded coverage for damage caused solely or in part by flooding.
Plaintiffs disputed the defendant's findings, arguing that the damage was caused solely by sewage back-up. Plaintiffs did concede, however, that the area surrounding(...)
February 14, 2017
MICHAEL J. RANKIN reports on a recent case dealing with the validity of a priority lien that the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS) filed against a decedent's estate for reimbursement of Medicaid benefits the decedent received. DMAHS determined the lien attached to all assets in the estate, including the decedent's one-third elective share against the augmented estate of his wife that included the proceeds from the sale of the couple's former marital home.
In this case, the decedent and his spouse lived together in their jointly-owned condominium before he began living in an assisted living facility in April 2007. On July 18, 2007, decedent's spouse executed her Last Will and Testament disinheriting the decedent and naming their children as the sole(...)
February 13, 2017
Barry Kozyra is representing two full service independent clinical laboratories operating in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in a prospective sale to an independent cannabis lab testing and media firm. Both companies provide a broad range of diagnostic tests (blood, urine, cholesterol, drugs) for patients, physicians, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and drug and alcohol treatment programs and clinics.