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Bergen County, New Jersey, Law Blog

A walk on the beach turns dangerous

When on vacation with your family to the beach, a reasonable person might expect to come back with a sunburn. This August, a family vacationing in Wildwood, New Jersey faced a very different sort of harm. 

As they walked on the beach on their last day of vacation before the start of the school year, the 11-year old boy and his family came upon the dog and its owner. After getting permission to pet it from the owner, the boy approached the dog.  At that point, the dog bit the boy on the nose. When the family called an ambulance, the dog owner ran away, though he later turned himself in.

America’s Best Driver’s Report Uncovers the Worst

This summer, as vacationers traveled to their favorite destinations, Allstate released their fifteenth annual America’s Best Drivers Report. The annual study looks at 200 metropolitan areas and ranks them based on the number of property damage claims between January 2016 and December 2017.

Dangerous Drivers. Dangerous Roads.

Breakfast Is the Most Important, Yet Perhaps the Most Dangerous, Meal of the Day

“Part of a healthy breakfast” has been a well-known tagline that ended cereal commercials for decades.  Yet, in today’s modern world, when it comes to growing the grains that promote these good eating habits, the use of products such as Monsanto's Roundup undermines any nutritional value to a toxic level.

Instead of killing just plants, the well-known herbicide is creating potentially deadly health problems for consumers.

How Reliable Are Eyewitnesses?

The reliability of eyewitnesses in identifying a criminal suspect remains a constant source of debate.  Yet, continuing research over this complex topic is revealing surprising, albeit subjective, results. 

Eyewitness identifications are actually broken up into three separate procedures.  First, a "show-up" is where an individual is presented to the witness, and the eyewitness is asked to confirm whether the individual is the perpetrator of the alleged crime.  Second, a "live lineup" is where the suspect (and individuals standing in as "fillers" because they are of a similar height, build, and complexion as the suspect) physically stand before a witness, and the witness is asked to identify the perpetrator.  Third, a "photo array" is where the witness is asked to identify the perpetrator from a variety of photographs, one of which is the suspect, and the rest of which are fillers.  These processes are heavily dramatized in movies and television shows.  However, none of them are as theatrical, nor as straightforward, as they may seem.  In fact, eyewitness identifications are just one piece of the intricate puzzle involved in narrowing down the suspect field, which involves more scientifically reliable procedures, such as fingerprinting and DNA evidence.

A Disturbing Pattern in Non-Profit Healthcare

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, the largest hospital system in Memphis and the second largest private employer in Shelby County, Tennessee, boasts six hospitals and 150 outpatient centers, clinics, and physician practices in its health system.  It was also named by Fortune Magazine as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2018.  Its CEO, Dr. Michael Ugwueke, made $1.6 million in compensation in 2017.

As a non-profit organization, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare is generally exempt from local, state, and federal taxes.  Recognized as an industry leader, the non-profit healthcare system generates more than $2 billion in revenue annually and rank at the top for most profits per patient.   

Servicemember Discrimination from Surprising Sources

Members of the military make monumental sacrifices, from family time to their well-being, all in service to our country. Those who serve in the National Guard and Reserves while holding down full-time jobs sometimes have to leave their place of employment temporarily when ordered to deploy.

Federal law mandates that employers keep jobs open for these men and women serving the country. In 1994, Congress passed the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). While initial deployments were scarce, they have significantly increased over the 25 years since the USERRA passed due to the events of 9/11 and subsequent military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Distracted Driving In New Jersey: What You Need to Know

Distracted driving can be extremely dangerous.  According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, over 25 percent of motor vehicle accidents in the United States are the result of a distracted driving.  Nationwide, over 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving crashes just in in 2017.

Between 2013 and 2017, over 700,000 crashes in New Jersey involved a distracted driver, and driver inattention was listed as a contributing circumstance in 51 percent of the state's crashes in 2017.

Memories Are Malleable: Should We Trust Witnesses?

The "star witness" in a criminal case says that they saw the crime happen in person. Though it was a year ago, they swear that they remember it perfectly. They give compelling testimony and the person who was accused of the crime goes to jail.

Ten years later, a break in the case comes when new DNA evidence arrives. The authorities run tests, and they are shocked when they see that the man whom was convicted was not the one who committed the crime. The DNA evidence demonstrates very clearly that the perpetrator was another individual entirely.

They exonerate that first man, and release him, but there is no way to give him back the years of his life spent incarcerated. How could this happen? Was the witness lying?

How Much Time do I Have to File a Construction-Defect Action Against a Contractor Who Performed Services on my Home?

In one context or another, we often hear or utter the words "time is of the essence." But what does this actually mean for property owners who wish to sue a contractor for construction-defects on their property? In short, it means that the aggrieved property owner must file a lawsuit within a specific timeframe or risk having the case dismissed. Not to worry, however, as these statutes provide a relatively generous amount of time in which to bring an action. A brief breakdown of the relative statute of limitation and statute of repose is helpful in determining whether time is really of the essence in your particular case.

Can My Contractor Put a Lien on my Property?

We receive many calls from property owners who are in a dispute with a contractor. Most of them ask: can my contractor place a lien on my property? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. To make matters worse, even subcontractors or material suppliers with whom you never even entered a contract on the project may also have lien rights. Before panic sets in, you should know that these potential lienholders are subject to very strict limitations on both the timing and form of their filings. If they make even an honest or seemingly harmless mistake, their lien rights may be wiped out entirely. Let's blog!

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