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March 2017 Archives

Emancipation as a Threshold Issue

dollar-941246_960_720-300x225.jpgIn Ricci v. Ricci, No. A-1832-14T1, 2017 WL 541084 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Feb. 9, 2017), the Appellate Division examined the role of the court in determining emancipation and when a parent is obligated to provide support for the child in the form of college tuition. The facts involved an unfortunately common scenario: strife and eventual estrangement between parents and child. Under New Jersey law, once a child turns 18, they are presumed emancipated, though the child or parent can attempt to refute this presumption. Parents are not normally required to support a child over the age of 18, though enrollment in a full-time education program has been held to call for future support.

New Jersey DWI Penalties

New Jersey has strict penalties for driving while intoxicated. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission has guidelines of the consequences that anyone convicted of a DWI charge will face.

Medical Professional Misconduct

Fotolia_84298213_XS.jpgMedical professionals, such as doctors, nurses, and pharmacists study for years to become qualified for their jobs. However, due to a simple misunderstanding or a blatant disregard for ethics, a medical license can be attacked and revoked and a career can be ruined. Some of the most commonly seen legal issues that healthcare professionals are faced with include accusations of fraudulent billing, insurance company fraud, inappropriate sexual relations, and alcohol or drug abuse. When these issues occur, medical professionals may not only be facing fines and license loss, but also criminal charges, depending on the situation.

Manufacturing Defects vs. Design Defects

Fotolia_98665111_XS.jpgWhen a person is injured due to a product and wants to sue, the lawyer must investigate whether the product was defectively designed or manufactured. One must look at every step of the process to determine what went wrong, from the drawing board to the finished product. Design defects are exactly what they sound like, a defect in the design that is not picked up in testing.

Diversity in the Profession

Cohn Lifland attorneys Mercedes Diego, Audra DePaolo, Julie Kim, Joseph Maurice and Andrew Macklin congratulate Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir Grewal, recipient of the Diversity in the Profession Award. 

Standing Up for Data Privacy Rights

AdobeStock_117586360-1-768x512.jpegIn In re Horizon Healthcare Servs. Inc. Data Breach Litig., 846 F.3d 625 (3d Cir. 2017), the Third Circuit decided the issue of whether a violation of statutory rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") was a de facto injury that satisfied the concreteness requirement for standing. The dispute began when two laptops which contained sensitive personal information were stolen from Horizon Healthcare Services, a health insurer. Plaintiffs filed suit on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated persons alleging that Horizon willfully and negligently violated the FCRA by inadequately protecting their personal information. The District Court dismissed the case for lack of Article III standing, finding that none of the Plaintiffs had alleged a cognizable injury because none of them alleged that the information stolen had been used to their detriment.

Determining the Scope of Privilege under the Patient Safety Act

Fotolia_52956667_M-768x503.jpgIn Brugaletta v. Garcia, No. A-4342-15T1, 2017 WL 476219 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Feb. 6, 2017), the Appellate Division addressed the scope of privilege under the Patient Safety Act ("Act"). The Act imposes the obligations of self-critical analysis and reporting on hospitals when harmful events occur. Hospitals are required to undergo self-critical analysis when "preventable events, near-misses, and adverse events" occur, and these analysis reports are privileged if conducted pursuant to the hospitals implemented safety plan. If a patient suffers a "serious preventable adverse event" ("SPAE"), the Act requires the hospital to report both to the patient and to the NJ Department of Health ("Department"), with these reports subject to separate privileges.

Dog Bite Injuries

beagle-938012_960_720-300x225.jpgMost dogs are very loyal and not dangerous to people. Many dogs are considered a part of the family. However, dog bite injuries happen more often than many people realize. Some dogs can cause serious harm. Dog owners are responsible for making sure their dogs do not cause harm to others. When someone is bitten by a dog, the owner will be held liable. However, if the person who was bitten was illegally on the dog owner's property, instigated the attack, or the owner can prove that the injured party knew about the vicious propensity of the animal, the owner may not be held responsible.

Medical Bills in a Car Accident

4682892162_3d50b238d5_z-Copy.jpgA car accident can be overwhelming. It can take a significant financial toll on those involved. If one is injured in the accident, there will be medical expenses, possible surgical expenses, lost earnings and the diminution of daily life's activities and enjoyment.

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