September 2016 Archives | Bergen County, New Jersey, Law Blog
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September 2016 Archives

Liability for Not Stopping the Bus?

Copy-of-Fotolia_80752093_L-768x512.jpgWhile riding on a NJ Transit bus, Anasia Maison alleged that her fellow passengers became increasingly unruly with her and then injured her by throwing a glass object at her face. In addition to suing the passenger who threw the object, Maison alleged that NJ Transit had a duty to maintain security on the bus, keep her safe and free from harm and take reasonable steps to prevent the incident and her injuries from occurring. NJ Transit responded that it was not liable to Maison based on the immunity provisions of the NJ Tort Claims Act (the "TCA").

Lab Reports and the Right to Cross Examination

Fotolia_52912435_XS.jpgIf a toxicologist reviews a blood sample taken by another specialist and later testifies at trial, it may not violate a driver's Sixth Amendment rights under the Confrontation Clause. In State v. Michaels, the defendant had struck an oncoming car when she crossed the center line, severely injuring the opposing car's driver and killing the passenger. The defendant gave permission for a blood sample to be taken and admitted that she had used Xanax and cocaine the night of the accident. The defendant's blood sample was sent to a lab where analysts tested it and found it contained cocaine and Xanax. The assistant lab director wrote a report determining that, based upon the analysts' findings, it was unsafe for the defendant to drive a car on the evening of the accident.

Performing The Wrong Procedure

pexels-photo-1.jpgVolume 316, No. 11 of The Journal of the American Medical Association featured an article called "Performing the Wrong Procedure." The article included reasons why these errors occur, and we decided to pass that information on as it is a recurring theme in so many of the malpractice case in which we represent the injured.

Jurisdiction Does Not Extend to Germany

Fotolia_55224559_L-768x432.jpgIn State v. Sumulikoski, students from Paramus Catholic High School attended a school-sponsored trip abroad to, among other places, Germany. While in Germany, two male chaperones, a 28-year-old permanent substitute and athletic coach and a 31-year-old vice president of operations, had sexual relations with three 17-year-old female students. They were charged in New Jersey with multiple counts of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

New Jersey Personal Injury Litigation

Barry Knopf and Audra DePaolo are working on the new edition of the LexisNexis Practice Guide New Jersey Personal
Injury Litigation, which they expect to be released in early 2017. 

Intraoperative Monitoring in Back Surgery and Its Importance in Malpractice Actions

Fotolia_74198154_M-1-300x214.jpgA patient is wheeled into the operating room. The surgeon is present. The anesthesiologist appears and then a group appears with computers and electronic monitoring equipment. You probably have not been told who they are before you entered the room and it probably will not be any part of your focus as you are put to sleep.

Insurance: Getting What You Paid For

Fotolia_43465207_XS.jpgImagine this: You are driving along when a car cuts you off, forcing you over the median and into oncoming traffic. You collide with another car, and you are then hit by a tractor trailer. You are severely injured, and the car that caused your injuries is nowhere to be found. It sped off, never to be seen again. Thankfully, you purchased "Uninsured Motorist," or "UM," coverage. This coverage protects you when you are injured by a driver who is unknown or uninsured. But, when you ask your insurance company to pay up, it refuses, and forces you to go to trial instead of offering a reasonable settlement.

In an Accident? Retrieve Your Own Credentials

4682892162_3d50b238d5_z-Copy.jpgIn March 2009, Duran Keaton was in an accident that caused his car to roll over and remain overturned on a median. As he was being treated by EMS for his minor injuries, a trooper arrived at the scene and entered Mr. Keaton's vehicle through the rear driver-side window to retrieve Mr. Keaton's registration and insurance information. The trooper did so without requesting permission to enter the vehicle, or indeed, without speaking with Mr. Keaton at all. While in the vehicle, the trooper saw a gun in an open backpack and a small bag of marijuana near the dashboard. Thus, the trooper arrested Mr. Keaton.

Election and Political Law

Copy-of-Fotolia_80752093_L-768x512.jpgIn Schroeder v. County of Atlantic, dated April 2, 2015, the Law Division Court upheld an ordinance that limited the county's ability to award a contract to any professional business entity that contributed more than $300 to "any campaign committee for any elective county office or to the current holders of any elective county office" within one year preceding the contract, and prohibited any such entity under contract with the county from contributing to "any campaign committee for any elective county office or to current holders of any elective county 'office' during the contract's duration."

DWI: Not All Evidence Can Be Used Against You

shutterstock_18277498-300x203.jpgOn the afternoon of January 25, 2010, Julie Kuropchak and her friends went to Houlihan's. The friends shared appetizers. Ms. Kuropchak had a sip of her friend's margarita. Later that evening, Ms. Kuropchak felt ill. She took some Nyquil and made an appointment with her doctor. At 8:30 p.m., over six hours after her sip of alcohol at Houlihan's, Ms. Kuropchak met with her doctor. On her way home, Ms. Kuropchak was involved in a motor vehicle accident. She was arrested for DWI and was given not one, not two, not three, but rather nine breathalyzer tests. These tests were performed approximately eight hours after Ms. Kuropchak had her sip of a margarita. Most of the breathalyzer tests did not produce valid results, but tests eight and nine showed a blood alcohol limit of .10%. A defendant may be convicted of DWI if she registers a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher, subject to proof of the breathalyzer's reliability.

Drivers May Get More Than a Ticket If Their Passengers Don't Click It

policeman.jpgIt has long been the law in New Jersey that a driver must ensure that his or her passengers "buckle up." Thanks to a recent decision by our state's Supreme Court, that law may now serve as the basis for a conviction of a second degree crime in the right (or wrong) case.

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