Important decisions and cases are published by the New Jersey court system through various organizations. Below you will find some of our attorneys’ cases that are significant and some of which have been published.
Kelly v. Gwinnell
96 N.J. 538, 476 A.2d 1219
June 27, 1984
One significant, ground-breaking case was won by our founding senior partner, George Chamlin, concerning third-party liability. In
Kelly v. Gwinnell
, the court held that if a host knowingly allows a guest to get intoxicated, and that guest leaves that residence and injures someone, the host may be held liable.
Smith v. Melgar
John T. Bazzurro won a verdict of $400,000 in a jury trial for his client’s negligence claim, resulting from a motor vehicle accident in which the defendant’s car crossed the double-yellow center lines, striking the plaintiff’s car. The defense appealed an $85,000 award from court-mandated arbitration, bringing the case to trial.
A judicial determination ruled that the defendant was 100 percent negligent as a matter of law, rejecting the defense’s argument that Ms. Smith was comparatively negligent for failure to avoid the accident at the last clear chance.
Ms. Smith’s shoulder and neck injuries included a torn rotator cuff, C6-7 radiculopathy causing numbness in her left fingers, and a torn labrum. Arthroscopic surgery repaired both tears, and trigger point injections in the cervical spine were also administered. Though she claimed no loss of wages, Ms. Smith testified that she has difficulty performing her employee duties requiring lifting in her position as an elderly group home assistant. The defendant’s motion for a new trial was denied on Jan. 9, 2009. Published in Verdict Search, March 2009.
Sherman v. Carraquillo
Andrew T. Walsh won a verdict of $200,000 in a jury trial of his client’s negligence claim, resulting from a motor vehicle accident during which plaintiff’s and defendant’s cars collided in an intersection. Injuries included multiple disk herniations caused by aggravation of an acknowledged pre-existing condition that had been asymptomatic prior to the accident. Lower back pain following the car accident significantly decreased Ms. Sherman’s ability to sleep, to exercise and to perform other physical activity. Published in Verdict Search, July 2009.
Connell v. Boyer
John T. Bazzurro won a verdict of $60,000 in a jury trial related to a
motor vehicle accident in which the defendant lost control of his vehicle on the Raritan Bridge, causing a collision with the plaintiff’s vehicle. The plaintiff was removed from the scene of the accident via ambulance and treated in the Raritan Bay Medical Center emergency room. Thereafter, she underwent treatment with her primary care physician, a chiropractor and two board-certified orthopedic surgeons. The plaintiff’s injury included a herniated disk at the L4-L5 level for which she was treated conservatively without surgery or pain management. Her treating physician testified that the plaintiff’s herniated disk is a permanent condition and will not heal to function normally even with further medical treatment.
This matter was referred to court-mandated arbitration and an award of $30,000 was given to the plaintiff. The defense appealed this arbitration award and the matter was presented to a jury on Oct. 23 and Oct. 26, 2009, before the Honorable Paul A. Kapalko, J.S.C. Prior to trial, the defense’s offer was $6,000.
At the conclusion of the trial, and after an hour of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of $60,000 for pain and suffering, disability, impairment and loss of enjoyment of life.
Cruz v. John D. Pittenger Builder Inc.
Charles J. Uliano won a verdict of $1,206,000 in a
personal injury suit for Maria Cruz against John D. Pittenger Builder Inc., owner of her Section 8 apartment in Neptune, New Jersey. A fire in the apartment claimed the life of Cruz’s 5-year-old granddaughter and severely injured Ms. Cruz, including third-degree burns on 40 percent of her body. Her injuries required painful daily wound care, skin graft surgery and other serious treatment, resulting in permanent scarring and disfigurement, and potentially more surgery in the future. The plaintiff’s negligence claims included premises liability and negligent infliction of emotional distress. After an eight-day trial, a jury decided that defendant Pittenger was 60 percent liable for failing to install hard-wired interconnected smoke detectors while Cruz was 40 percent comparatively negligent for leaving a candle burning unattended. The jury awarded the plaintiff $2 million for psychological and emotional damages and $2 million for her physical damages to address past and future pain and suffering and past and future medical bills.
Flynn, Commr 2009: August 3,
as appeared in New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education
2010 School Law Conference Manual:
District suspension of teacher without pay was wrongful because under N.J.S.A. 18A:6-14, board [of education] may only suspend without pay if tenure charges have been filed or employee has been indicted; therefore, board must return pay withheld and provide prospective pay until certification of tenure charges or indictment; Commissioner declines to consolidate issue with separate pending matter involving whether teacher may perform his teaching duties while the criminal charges are pending. [Case won by Marcie L. Mackolin, Esq.]
*Prior successes are no guarantee of future results.