SUMMARIES WITH TRIAL ANALYSIS

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1 SUMMARIES WITH TRIAL ANALYSIS Volume 32, Issue 4 September 2011 A monthly review of New Jersey State and Federal Civil Jury Verdicts with professional analysis and commentary. The New Jersey cases summarized in detail herein are obtained from an ongoing monthly survey of the State and Federal courts in the State of New Jersey. $3,625,000 TOTAL VERDICT Civil Rights Police officer halts motorist via stopping at angle in front while plaintiff looking for parking spot Plaintiff is assaulted, falsely charged with assault on a police officer and resisting arrest Defendant city refuses to indemnify/defend officer...2 $2,018,000 TOTAL VERDICT Racial Discrimination Hispanic brothers contend that they are subject to ethnically hostile environment Retaliatory discharges...3 $1,895,000 COMBINED RECOVERY Dram Shop Sale of alcohol to underage driver Driver crashes, striking pole Pole pierces rear passenger s face Severe jaw fractures Nasal fracture Multiple procedures Permanent facial asymmetry Mild TBI...5 $1,450,000 RECOVERY Motor Vehicle Negligence Auto/Pedestrian Collision Decedent dog walker is struck by limousine after crossing half of uncontrolled intersection Severe head injury Organ donor decedent...6 $825,000 RECOVERY Motor Vehicle Negligence Rear End Collision 80-year-old driver is struck in rear by defendant driver under influence of drugs who flees scene Decedent s car propelled into bridge abutment 20 minutes of conscious pain and suffering before fatal cardiac arrest Green/Bitner damages....7 $1,025,000 RECOVERY Sexual Assault Five former altar boys settle child abuse claims pre-litigation with Trenton Diocese Sexual assault by late ex-priest...7 $1,000,000 VERDICT Municipal Liability Failure of defendant police officer to obey stop sign Plaintiff swerves, loses control, striking opposite wall Bilateral nasal plate fractures Inability to undergo indicated surgery.. 8 $900,000 GROSS VERDICT REDUCED BY 10% Premises Liability Negligent Maintenance Motorcyclist hits 1x1' sinkhole from water company s negligent temporary patch Crash Closed head trauma Mild TBI Reactive depression Laceration above eye necessitating sutures Soft tissue cervical injuries....9 VERDICTS BY CATEGORY Professional Malpractice (1) Surgery Civil Rights (1) Dram Shop (1) Employer s Liability (1) Landlord s Negligence (1) Motor Vehicle Negligence (14) Auto/Pedestrian Collision Broadside Collision Left Turn Collision Multiple Vehicle Collision Parking Lot Collision Rear End Collision Single Vehicle Collision Municipal Liability (3) Negligent Security (1) Premises Liability (4) Fall Down Hazardous Premises Negligent Maintenance Supplemental Verdict Digest Copyright 2011 Jury Verdict Review Publications Inc.

2 2 Summaries with Trial Analysis $3,625,000 TOTAL VERDICT CIVIL RIGHTS POLICE OFFICER HALTS MOTORIST VIA STOPPING AT ANGLE IN FRONT WHILE PLAINTIFF LOOKING FOR PARKING SPOT PLAINTIFF IS ASSAULTED, FALSELY CHARGED WITH ASSAULT ON A POLICE OFFICER AND RESISTING ARREST DEFENDANT CITY REFUSES TO INDEMNIFY/DEFEND OFFICER. U.S. District Court, District of Newark, NJ This action involved a plaintiff who contended that the individual defendant officer subjected her to a false arrest and used excessive force after the individual defendant, who was en route to testifying in municipal court and in his own car, pulled in front of the plaintiff at an angle and blocked her movement as the plaintiff was looking for a parking space on a one-way roadway in Newark. The plaintiff, who was charged with assaulting an officer and resisting arrest, also brought a malicious prosecution count. The plaintiff further contended that the defendant city acted with deliberate indifference to citizens rights by permitting the individual officer to continue acting in that capacity despite numerous prior disciplinary infractions and three prior findings of Administrative Law Judges that the individual officer lacked credibility. The city, who did not dispute the plaintiff s description of the stop and arrest on the day in question, denied that it acted with deliberate indifference and contended that it appropriately implemented a program of progressive discipline that was promulgated by the State, and which involved more severe sanctions with additional prior infractions, and that in the absence of a finding of deliberate indifference, it could not be held liable. The plaintiff related that as she was looking for a parking spot on a busy one-way roadway, she found one and stopped to parallel park when the individual defendant, operating his own car, pulled in front of her at an angle. The plaintiff contended that she became very frightened because she did not know the individual, who was wearing a coat over his uniform, was a police officer. The plaintiff contended that the individual defendant commenced yelling at her and when he told her he had a badge on, she asked him to call for back-up. The plaintiff maintained that she then attempted to place her car in park, but that it rolled a short distance. The plaintiff contended that the individual officer then began striking her through her open window and cursing at her. The individual officer placed the plaintiff under arrest for assaulting an officer and resisting arrest. The plaintiff maintained that she was kept in a jail cell for approximately eight hours until she was released on bail, and that during this time, the individual officer and other officers, verbally humiliated her by taunting her. The criminal charges against the plaintiff were downgradedtosimpleassaulttobeheardinmunicipal Court. The plaintiff contended that she responded to multiple calls to court only to have the case not heard. The criminal charges were dismissed approximately two years after the incident on speedy trial grounds. The plaintiff introduced evidence of approximately $30,000 in bills from her attorney in the criminal case. The plaintiff also charged the individual officer with simple assault. The plaintiff maintained that although she vigilantly pursued the case and appeared at court when requested, including traveling to court through a snow storm, the case was repeatedly adjourned, until ultimately, the officer was convicted of simple assault in Municipal Court approximately two years after the incident occurred. The plaintiff presented a police procedures expert who had been involved in promulgating the progressive disciplinary system, rules of police conduct and internal affairs issues, with the Attorney General s office. The expert maintained that the system constituted a guideline rather than a strict policy that must be followed in each and every situation. The expert contended that in view of a history of numerous prior administrative charges, and the history that three Administrative Law Judges hearing appeals from board rulings, had made findings that the individual officer lacked credibility, the City never should have permitted him to remain on duty and interact with the public. The plaintiff maintained that the City s permitting the individual officer to continue in this role evidenced the requisite deliberate indifference. The plaintiff did not suffer long-standing physical injuries. She maintained that the emotional consequences of the defendants actions were very significant. The plaintiff maintained that the lengthy period and numerous court appearances that were required increased the emotional consequences. Reproduction in any form without the express permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited by law. Volume 32, Issue 4, September 2011

3 SUMMARIES WITH TRIAL ANALYSIS 3 Founder IraJ.Zarin,Esq. Editor in Chief Jed M. Zarin ContributingEditors Brian M. Kessler, Esq. Michael Bagen Laine Harmon, Esq. Cristina N. Hyde Deborah McNally, Paralegal Ruth B. Neely, Paralegal Cathy Schlecter-Harvey, Esq. Julie L. Singer, Esq. Tammy A. Smith, Esq. Kate Turnbow Susan Winkler Business Development Gary Zarin Production Assistant Christianne C. Mariano Assisted Search Tim Mathieson Court Data Coordinator Jeffrey S. Zarin Customer Services Meredith Whelan Circulation Manager Ellen Loren Proofreader Cathryn Peyton Web Development & Technology Juris Design Published by Jury Verdict Review Publications, Inc. 45 Springfield Avenue, Springfield, NJ Main Office: 973/ Fax 973/ Circulation & Billing Department: 973/ New Jersey Jury Verdict Review & Analysis is a trademark of Jury Verdict Review Publications, Inc. Reproduction in any form with out the expresswritten permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited by law. New Jersey Jury Verdict Review & Analysis (ISSN ) is published monthly at the subscription rate of $345/year by Jury Verdict Review Publications, Inc., 45 Springfield Avenue, Springfield, NJ Periodical postage paid at Springfield, NJ and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to: New Jersey Jury Verdict Review & Analysis, 45 Springfield Avenue, Springfield, NJ The plaintiff s history reflected that shortly after emigrating to this country from her native Peru, the plaintiff took a one-year course at Rutgers to become more proficient with English. The plaintiff then enrolled in NJIT and became an engineer after four years. The plaintiff contended that she greatly wished to go to work for either NASA or a large defense contractor. The plaintiff maintained, however, that she believed that the charges would interfere with her ability to obtain the required security clearance, that if she applied and was turned down for this reason, such rejection would constitute an additional negative blot on her record, and that she was afraid to apply for such jobs. The plaintiff obtained a job that did not require such security clearance. The plaintiff made no income claims and argued that the jury should consider this issue on pain and suffering and the loss of enjoyment of life. The jury found that the individual officer had used excessive force, arrested her without probable cause and further found that the officer maliciously initiated the prosecution of the plaintiff. The jury also found that the plaintiff was deprived of her rights as a result of an official policy or custom of the City of Newark. The jury then awarded compensatory damages of $2,700,000 to the plaintiff and $75,000 to her husband. The jury also found that punitive damages against the individual defendant were warranted and assessed $850,000 in punitive damages. Plaintiff s police procedures expert: Wayne S. Fisher, PhD from Newark, NJ. Lesende vs. Borrero and City of Newark. Docket no (drd); Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise, Attorney for plaintiff: Robert D. Kobin of Nusbaum Stein Goldstein Bronstein & Kron in Succasunna, NJ. COMMENTARY The defendant city did not dispute the manner in which the arrest and prosecution unfolded, and the City argued that in view of the fact that it had responded to prior infractions against the individual defendant by subjecting him to progressivediscipline, itwasclearthatithadnot acted with the requisite deliberate indifference to render it liable under the Civil Rights statute. The plaintiff, who overcame this defense position, presented a police procedures expert who was involved in the promulgation of such progressive discipline concepts that were incorporatedintothecivilservicelaw,andwhoemphasizedthattheuseofsuchatacticshouldnotbe automatic, and that if an officer s behavior, or his or her pattern of behavior is sufficiently severe, it is essential that the public entity take appropriate steps to insulate the public. In this regard, the plaintiff stressed that the officer s history included the findings of Administrative Law Judges in three separate cases that the officer was not credible. Additionally, the plaintiff emphasized that in another prior case, the officer was found to have improperly accompanied a friend who was a bounty hunter into another jurisdiction without advising the local police, creating additional hazards. Finally, it should be noted that punitive damages could notbeassessedagainstthepublicentityandthatsuchpunitiveawardwasrenderedagainstthe individual officer only. $2,018,000 TOTAL VERDICT RACIAL DISCRIMINATION HISPANIC BROTHERS CONTEND THAT THEY ARE SUBJECT TO ETHNICALLY HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT RETALIATORY DISCHARGES. Hudson County, NJ This NJ LAD case involved two executives of a company that primarily provided services, including janitorial and security services, to various high rise buildings. The plaintiffs are Hispanic brothers and included a 46-year-old regional vice president and a 45-year-old portfolio manager. The plaintiffs maintained that during their several year tenure with the company, they performed well, had obtained raises and favorable evaluations. After the New Jersey Jury Verdict Review & Analysis

4 4 SUMMARIES WITH TRIAL ANALYSIS individual defendant became their direct supervisor, they were subjected to frequent comments regarding the heritage, creating a hostile work environment. The plaintiffs further maintained that they were terminated shortly after complaining about the alleged harassment. The plaintiffs maintained that shortly after the individual defendant became their supervisor, they were subjected to numerous comments regarding their heritage, which although in isolation, were felt to be moderately offensive, were so frequent as to become pervasive. The plaintiffs contended that not only were such comments made by the individual defendant, but that employees that reported to him also made such comments. The plaintiffs maintained that on one occasion, a human resources executive squeezed between the brothers and announced that she was a taco sandwich. The plaintiffs presented the subpoenaed testimony of two former employees who supported their contentions regarding the frequent remarks. The plaintiffs argued to the jury, who was aware that the witnesses appeared subject to subpoenas, that the witnesses were reluctant to testify, and the plaintiffs argued that such a factor rendered their testimony more credible. The plaintiffs further maintained that approximately one week after making complaints to in-house counsel, the portfolio manager was terminated and that the co-plaintiff was fired approximately three weeks thereafter. The plaintiff regional vice president further contended that the defendant falsely let it be known that it was believed that he had solicited a bribe from one of the contractors. The plaintiffs maintained that although the other plaintiff was able to obtain another job at comparable compensation shortly after the termination, this plaintiff has not been has been unable to return to a position of comparable pay or benefits The defendant denied that the plaintiffs were subjected to a hostile work environment or were terminated in retaliation for their complaints. The defendant contended that the plaintiffs were terminated because of poor performance. The defendant maintained that the portfolio manager had, among his failings, difficulties managing employees. This plaintiff countered that he had obtained a promotion some six months earlier and a raise approximately three weeks before the termination, denying that this position should be accepted. The defendant countered that the raise was already in the pipeline when the individual defendant had the opportunity to better observe this plaintiff s work and that this factor, rather than merit, accounted for the raise being finalized. The plaintiff denied that this position should be accepted, and contended that there was an absence of supporting documentation in this plaintiff s personnel file. The defendant further contended that the regional vice president had, in actuality, solicited a kick-back from one of its contractors. The defendant presented a witness who supported this position. The plaintiff countered that the witness, a prior employee of the contractor, could only testify that he observed a discussion about alleged kickbacks between this plaintiff and his supervisor. The plaintiff maintained that the jury should consider that the defendant could have presented this supervisor in the employ of the contractor and that it failed to do so. The plaintiff further established that the defendant was contemplating purchasing the contractor and that such a deal was on its radar. This plaintiff argued that such a factor should further reduce the defense credibility. The plaintiffs both contended that they suffered extensive emotional distress as a result of the discrimination. The plaintiffs maintained that the fact that they were the only Hispanic executives in the large company and had a good working relationship with co-employees until the harassment commenced, heightened the emotional distress. The regional vicepresident, who maintained that he was subjected to false rumors in the industry that he had solicited a kick-back from a contractor, has been unable to obtain another position. The co-plaintiff found other suitable work shortly after the termination. The jury found that the plaintiffs were subjected to a hostile work environment and were the victims of retaliatory discharges. They then awarded $1,832,500 compensatory and $52,500 punitive damages to the regional vice president. The compensatory award was allocated as follows: $800,000 for emotional harm, $632,000 for past lost earnings and $400,000 for future lost earnings. They also awarded $750,000 compensatory and $35,500 punitive damages to the plaintiff portfolio manager. The compensatory award to this plaintiff was allocated as follows: $600,000 for emotional distress, $150,000 for past lost earnings and $0 for future lost earnings. The jury also found that the individual defendant was responsible for $2,500 of each of the punitive awards. Post-trial motions, including the plaintiffs motions for attorney s fees, are pending. Cuevas vs. Omitted. Docket no. HUD-L ; Judge Esther Suarez, Attorney for plaintiff portfolio manager: John J. Piserchia of Law Offices of John J. Piserchia in Clifton, NJ. Attorney for plaintiff regional vice president: Darren J. Del Sardo of DelSardo & Montanari, LLC in Woodland Park, NJ. COMMENTARY The defendant had denied that the plaintiffs claims regarding the hostile work environment or retaliatory discharges should be accepted, and maintained that the plaintiffs were terminated for poor performance. The plaintiffs effectively undermined the defendant s Volume 32, Issue 4, September 2011

5 SUMMARIES WITH TRIAL ANALYSIS 5 case by arguing that the defendant could not point to documentation in the plaintiffs personnel files that lent significant support to the defense position. The regional vice president, who claimed that false communications regarding his allegedly requesting kick-backs from a contractor were made, and that as a result, he has been unable to obtain suitable work, countered the defense position by establishing that the defendantwascontemplatingpurchasingthebusinessofthiscontractor,ar- guing that the testimony of the former employee of this company that supported the defendant s claims, should be rejected on the issue of bias. Finally, the plaintiff also argued on this issue that the jury should take into account that the defendant could have presented the individual who supervised the former employee of the contractor who testified,butthatitfailedtodoso. $1,895,000 COMBINED RECOVERY DRAM SHOP SALE OF TWO BOTTLES OF SCHNAPPS TO UNDERAGE DRIVER DRIVER AND PASSENGERS CONSUME ALCOHOL IN PARKING LOT OF NON-PARTY APARTMENT BUILDING DRIVER CRASHES, STRIKING POLE POLE PIERCES REAR PASSENGER S FACE SEVERE JAW FRACTURES NASAL FRACTURE MULTIPLE PROCEDURES PERMANENT FACIAL ASYMMETRY MILD TBI. Bergen County, NJ This action involved a then 18-year-old rear seat passenger in a car in which the driver lost control, crashing through a wooden fence and striking an adjacent pole. The plaintiff contended that slightly more than one hour earlier, the defendant liquor store s clerk sold two bottles of 85 proof schnapps to the 18-year-old driver and his 17-year-old companion, neither of whom had valid identification. The plaintiff maintained that after purchasing the alcohol, the defendant driver parked in the non-party apartment building and the five passengers consumed all of one bottle and part of the second. The plaintiff contended that the defendant driver became inebriated and drove approximately a-half mile from the parking lot before losing control and crashing. The plaintiff brought the action against both the liquor store, contending that even without signs of visible intoxication on the part of the underage driver; the liquor store was liable for selling him the alcohol that led to his inebriation. The driver had $500,000 in primary coverage and a $1,000,000 umbrella. The liquor store had $1,500,000 in coverage. Other claims previously settled for a total of $1,095,000. The plaintiff contended that when asked by the clerk, the driver exhibited the license of his older-than-21- year-old brother that had a hole punched through it to clearly show that it was expired. The 17-year-old, who entered the store with the driver, showed his own, underage drivers license. The plaintiff maintained that the clerk none-the-less sold the alcohol to the minors. The plaintiff s alcohol expert contended that it was highly probable that the 18-year-old driver consumed the alcohol with the intention of becoming inebriated, and that his ability to drive was impaired. The plaintiff s expert and the plaintiff s second expert on alcohol service maintained that the clerk was clearly negligent in failing to ascertain that the one license that reflected the owner was over 21 had a hole punched in it to indicate that it was expired and that his companion s license reflected that he was underage. The experts further contended that the liquor store negligently failed to provide adequate training to its staff. The evidence reflected that a portion of the staff had undergone outside training in the service of alcohol and that the liquor store was required to keep a record of those attending. The plaintiff would have pointed out that the clerk was not on the list and would have argued that it was clear that she had not undergone the training. The plaintiff would have also presented a telephone company employee who was working on telephone pole approximately a-half mile from the parking lot in which the youths were drinking. The witness would have indicated that he heard the defendant driver s engine roar like a race car and looked up to see the car crashing through a wooden fence and roll over, striking another telephone pole. The plaintiff suffered multiple facial fractures, including fractures to the upper and lower jaw and the nasal area, and required numerous procedures. The plaintiff maintained that the residual scarring is very noticeable and that he also suffered a significant facial asymmetry that is permanent in nature. The plaintiff further contended that the injury left him with a mild TBI and some memory and concentration deficits that are permanent in nature. The plaintiff made no income claims. The case settled prior to trial for $1,895,000, with each defendant contributing half. Plaintiff s alcohol expert: John Brick, PhD. Plaintiff s alcohol expert: Elizabeth Trendowski. Plaintiff s oral and maxillofacial surgeon expert: Andre Montazem, MD, DMD from New York, NY. Martini vs. Vucci, et al. Docket no. BER-L Attorneys for plaintiff: Robert B. Linder and James M. Pocchia of Law Offices of Robert B. Linder in Englewood, NJ. New Jersey Jury Verdict Review & Analysis

6 6 SUMMARIES WITH TRIAL ANALYSIS COMMENTARY Theplaintiff,whomaintainedthatthedefendantunderagedriverbecameinebriated,crashingthecarbecausehewasservedbythedefendant liquor store, was not, in this case involving service to a minor, required to establish visible intoxication in order to hold the liquor store liable. Although an alcohol server can generally interpose the affirmative defense of the underage consumer producing identification that appears valid, the plaintiff emphasized that the driver produced his older brother s license, that was accepted notwithstanding that a hole was punched in it to denote that it had expired. Regarding damages, it is thought that the combination of the observations of the noticeable permanent scarring and facial asymmetry, the expected strong jury reaction to the liability issues involving service to a minor who became inebriated and lost control, causing the accident, and the detailed evidence regarding particularly severe initial injuries, would have undoubtedly culminated in an especially large verdict if the case had been tried. Further, the plaintiff would have underscored the severe nature of the injuries by pointing to a series of photographs taken both shortly after the collision, and during the recuperation phase, in which the plaintiff underwent numerous medical procedures. $1,450,000 RECOVERY MOTOR VEHICLE NEGLIGENCE AUTO/PEDESTRIAN COLLISION DECEDENT DOG WALKER IS STRUCK BY LIMOUSINE AFTER CROSSING HALF OF UNCONTROLLED INTERSECTION SEVERE HEAD INJURY SHORT PERIOD OF CONSCIOUS PAIN AND SUFFERING AT SCENE ORGAN DONOR DECEDENT IS KEPT ON LIFE-SUPPORT UNTIL ORGANS HARVESTED. Union County, NJ In this matter, a woman sued on behalf of her deceased husband who was killed by a truck driver on a Florida interstate. The plaintiffs argued that the defendant driver was liable for the collision and the defendant employer should not have had her driving that long, in which case the subject incident would not have occurred. The defendants contended that the decedent was liable for the collision via a lack of evasive action. The collision occurred at 4:00 a.m. on December 22, 2009, on Interstate 95 in Flanger County, Florida. The decedent, Julio R., 33, was driving his tandem tractor-trailer when the defendant, Betty Ann T., a driver for Williamson Distributors, merged her own tractortrailer onto the interstate from an emergency lane. The decedent collided with the rear of her truck, killing Julio R. The decedent s widow filed suit against Betty Ann T. and her employer Williamson Distributors on behalf of herself, her deceased husband, and her two children. The wrongful death action was heard before Judge Dalton in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida in Jacksonville. At trial, the plaintiff argued for the driver s negligence through her failure to abide by the 14-hour hour of service rule of the Florida Motor Carrier Safety Act, which stipulates that after 14 hours of on duty time a truck driver is required to go off duty for at least ten hours. Evidence presented by the plaintiff showed that the defendant driver had been on shift since 8:30 a.m. the previous morning. They further showed that the driver was running behind schedule due to a delay loading the truck, and was expected to deliver her load by 6:00 a.m. the following morning. The defendant argued that the deceased should have taken evasive maneuvers and had the necessary time to do so. Both sides brought testimony from accident reconstructionists, economists and human factors experts. The investigating officer and medical examiner also testified. The case settled prior to trial for $1,450,000. Plaintiff s economist expert: Stan Smith from Chicago, IL. Plaintiff s internal medicine/ anesthesiology expert: Peter Salgo, MD from New York, NY. Kennedy vs. Graham, et al. Docket no. UNN-L , Attorneys for plaintiff: Robert G. Goodman and Brian R. Goodman of Palmisano & Goodman in Woodbridge, NJ. COMMENTARY The plaintiff was able to resolve the case for only slightly less than the $1,500,000 policy limits, notwithstanding that the decedent did not work outside of the home. It is felt that this case underscores the manner inwhichthelosses of theguidanceand adviceand of theservices a devoted wife and mother can, under appropriate circumstances, provide great leverage to a plaintiff. In this regard, the detailed evidence of an unusually devoted wife and mother of 16 and 19-year-old childrenwouldhaveprobablyreflectedacompellingfamilysituationand that the loss warranted very substantial compensation. Volume 32, Issue 4, September 2011

7 SUMMARIES WITH TRIAL ANALYSIS 7 $825,000 RECOVERY MOTOR VEHICLE NEGLIGENCE REAR END COLLISION 80- YEAR-OLD DRIVER IS STRUCK IN REAR BY DEFENDANT DRIVER UNDER INFLUENCE OF DRUGS WHO FLEES SCENE DECEDENT S CAR PROPELLED INTO BRIDGE ABUTMENT 20 MINUTES OF CONSCIOUS PAIN AND SUFFERING BEFORE FATAL CARDIAC ARREST DECEDENT LEAVES SEVERELY MENTALLY DISABLED SON GREEN/BITNER DAMAGES. Bergen County, NJ This action involved an 80-year-old decedent who was struck in the rear by the defendant, who was under the influence of oxycodone, and propelled into a bridge abutment. The plaintiff contended that the decedent experienced approximately 25 minutes of pain, suffering and severe anxiety before suffering cardiac arrest at the scene. The decedent was a strong caregiver for a 53-year-old son who was severely mentally disabled and who was living in a care dependent facility. The defendant had $1,000,000 in coverage. The evidence disclosed that when the defendant driver struck the plaintiff s vehicle, it swerved into oncoming traffic, and crashed into a bridge abutment. The decedent s injuries included several crushed ribs and an open femur fracture. The plaintiff maintained though EMT and police observations that the decedent was conscious, in pain, and in great anxiety for approximately 25 minutes. The plaintiff contended that because of the extensive bleeding associated with femur fracture, a tourniquet had to be applied before the decedent was extricated from the vehicle with the Jaws of Life. The decedent suffered cardiac arrest at the scene and did not regain consciousness. The decedent s son, in his late 50s, was severely mentally disabled and was a resident in a care dependent facility. The plaintiff maintained that the bond between the mother and son was great and that she would visit him at least several times per week. The plaintiff contended that the decedent continued to provide services, such as bringing the son s laundry home to do it for him, and taking him for haircuts and to the dentist. The plaintiff also maintained that they would often go the park together and also work on puzzles. The plaintiff contended that the underlying disability of the son rendered the need for such guidance and advice all-the-greater. The plaintiff would have presented a number of caregivers at the facility in which the son was a resident. The witnesses would have described a very kindly woman who was extremely close to her son and the plaintiff would have maintained that the value of Green vs. Bitner damages was very substantial. The case settled shortly after the institution of suit for $825,000. Scordato vs. Benedetto. Docket no. BER-L , Attorney for plaintiff: Beth G. Baldinger of Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman, LLC in Roseland, NJ. COMMENTARY The plaintiff was able to resolve this action involving the death of an 80-year-old driver for $150,000 less than the $1,000,000 policy limits shortly after the institution of suit. It is thought that the combination of factors, including the evidence of an impaired defendant driver wholeftthesceneafterthecollision,thedetailedevidenceoftheespecially close relationship between the decedent and her disabled son, and thedescriptionofthepainand suffering and severeanxietyexperienced by the decedent for 25 minutes at the scene, would probably have culminated in a particularly large award if the case had been tried. In this regard, it would appear that because of these factors, the carrier recognized that resolving the case at a time in which costs of litigation were minimized appeared especially prudent. $1,025,000 RECOVERY SEXUAL ASSAULT FIVE FORMER ALTAR BOYS SETTLE CHILD ABUSE CLAIMS PRE-LITIGATION WITH TRENTON DIOCESE SEXUAL ASSAULT BY LATE EX-PRIEST. Superior Court of NJ, Mercer County In this matter, five men accused a New Jersey priest of sexually assaulting them while they were altar boys during the 1970s and 1980s. They brought suit against his former diocese for employer s liability. The five men in this matter, now middle-aged, were between ages 11 and 16 when they were altar boys for the Incarnation Church in Ewing, New Jersey. The men alleged that during their time as altar boys for the subject priest, he molested them repeatedly, one stating approximately 150 times, often during trips. The priest was stripped of his priesthood in 2002 in connection to another accusation of child abuse. The men came forward in The former priest died in The plaintiffs and the Diocese of Trenton entered into a tolling agreement which halted the statute of limitations normally attached to allegations of sexual abuse. The agreement determined that if they were unable to reach settlement respecting the plaintiffs allegations, they would be entitled to file complaints that would have been retroactive to the beginning of the tolling agreement. New Jersey Jury Verdict Review & Analysis

8 8 SUMMARIES WITH TRIAL ANALYSIS The matter was laid to rest pre-litigation for a settlement of $1 million, including $200,000 for each of the five men, and an additional award of $25,000 to cover therapy costs for an additional two years. Otis Roberts, et al vs. Diocese of Trenton. Docket no. N/A; Judge N/A, Attorneys for plaintiffs: Mitchell Garabedian of Law Offices of Mitchell Garabedian in Boston, MA, and Greg Gianforcaro of Law Offices of Gregory G. Gianforcaro in Phillipsburg, NJ. Attorney for defendant Diocese of Trenton: Steve Goodell in Lawrenceville, NJ. COMMENTARY Thediocesehasstatedthattheallegationsagainstthelatepriestwere credible, and urged other victims of sexual abuse to come forward. The late ex-priest s niece came forward in 2004 with similar allegations. That matter was settled for $325,000. $1,000,000 VERDICT MUNICIPAL LIABILITY FAILURE OF DEFENDANT POLICE OFFICER TO OBEY STOP SIGN PLAINTIFF SWERVES AND LOSES CONTROL, STRIKING OPPOSITE WALL BILATERAL NASAL PLATE FRACTURES INABILITY TO UNDERGO INDICATED SURGERY FROM CARDIAC DISEASE TOTAL OBSTRUCTION IN ONE NASAL CAVITY, PARTIAL OBSTRUCTION IN OTHER TWO PRIOR CERVICAL BULGES BECOME HERNIATIONS NEW CERVICAL HERNIATION. Hudson County, NJ The plaintiff driver, in his mid 40s at the time of the accident, contended that the defendant driver, a municipal police officer, negligently failed to obey a stop sign to the plaintiff s right. The plaintiff maintained that the negligence caused him to swerve and lose control, striking a wall on the other side of the roadway on which the plaintiff was proceeding. The defendant denied that the plaintiff s version was accurate. The defendant contended that the patrol car was waiting for traffic to pass when the plaintiff lost control of his car because of excessive speed and careened into the wall. There was no impact between the vehicles. The defendant and his passenger had testified in discovery the patrol car was a few feet behind the stop sign when the plaintiff lost control, swerved to within three feet of patrol car, and then continued out of control to the wall on the opposite side of the street. The plaintiff countered that demonstrative evidence, including aerial photographs of the area, reflected that the defendant could not make such observations from behind the stop sign as testified to in discovery. The defendant indicated at trial that the patrol car was stopped approximately six feet in front of the stop sign when the plaintiff lost control. The plaintiff contended that in light of the inconsistency, the defendant s position should be rejected. Theevidencealsodisclosedthattheplaintiffwas charged with careless driving as he was in the hospital. The jury was not aware of a plea to a reduced charge of impeding traffic. The plaintiff suffered fractures of both nasal plates. The plaintiff maintained that one nasal passage is completely obstructed and the other is partially obstructed. The plaintiff contended that surgery would otherwise be indicated, but that because of an underlying cardiac condition, surgery is considered too risky and that the plaintiff will permanently suffer the very significant breathing difficulties. The plaintiff suffered two cervical bulges in a trauma approximately one and a-half years earlier. The plaintiff pointed to the MRI films taken shortly after the prior incident which showed the bulges. The plaintiff contended that his cervical pain was relatively mild until after the subject collision. The plaintiff contended that new MRIs disclosed that these two bulges progressed to herniations and that he sustained a new cervical herniation as well. The plaintiff maintained that these injuries were causally related to the subject incident. The defendant denied that the plaintiff s claims should be accepted. The defendant maintained that any progression and/or disc pathology was related to a combination of degenerative disc disease and strains related to physical work that plaintiff performed as part of his job as a construction supervisor. The plaintiff countered that he had been essentially asymptomatic for many years until the subject collision occurred. The plaintiff contended that he can no longer do this work. The plaintiff has obtained other work providing cost estimates and the plaintiff made no future income claims. The jury found the defendant 100% negligent and awarded $1,000,000. Witkowski vs. Jersey City; Judge Mary Costello, Attorney for plaintiff: John F. Golden of Albert L. Buzzetti & Associates, LLC in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. COMMENTARY The plaintiff had contended that the defendant police officer negligently failed to stop at a stop sign to the plaintiff s right, resulting in the plaintiff swerving and losing control, striking a wall on the left side of the roadway. The defendant denied that the plaintiff s claims were accurate and maintained that the plaintiff lost control as he was traveling at an excessive rate of speed. There was no impact between the vehicles. The plaintiff, in overcoming this defense position, pointed to demonstrative evidence, including aerial photographs of Volume 32, Issue 4, September 2011

9 SUMMARIES WITH TRIAL ANALYSIS 9 the area, strenuously arguing that the configuration was such that the defendants could not have made such observations as they were sitting behind the stop sign, as testified to in discovery. The plaintiff further argued that in view of the inconsistency between the defendant s deposition and his trial testimony, that he was stopped approximately six feet in front of the stop sign, the defense position should clearly be rejected. In this regard, the stark factual dispute regarding the manner in which the collision occurred polarized the issues. This polarization was heightened by the fact that one of the parties was a police officer, and it is thought that upon rejection of the defendants liability contentions, the jury was more inclined to accept the plaintiff s damages position, as well as his liability contentions. Moreover, although the jury was not aware that after being charged with careless driving, the plaintiff had pled guilty in Municipal Court to a reduced charge of impeding traffic; the jury was aware that the plaintiff was charged with careless driving while he was in the hospital, and this factor clearly heightened the jury reaction. Additionally, the plaintiff was required to establish that he met the Tort Claims Act verbal threshold, which in this case would constitute a permanent loss of a bodily function. In this regard, the plaintiff emphasized that because of an underlying cardiac condition, he cannot undergo otherwise indicated nasal surgery, and the very substantial breathing deficitsinvolvingacompleteobstructioninonenostrilandapartialin the second nostril, is clearly permanent in nature. $900,000 GROSS VERDICT REDUCED BY 10% FOR FAILURE TO MITIGATE PREMISES LIABILITY NEGLIGENT MAINTENANCE MOTORCYCLIST HITS 1X1' SINKHOLE FROM WATER COMPANY S NEGLIGENT TEMPORARY PATCH CRASH CLOSED HEAD TRAUMA MILD TBI REACTIVE DEPRESSION PLAINTIFF DOES NOT UNDERGO RECOMMENDED PSYCHOTHERAPY LACERATION ABOVE EYE NECESSITATING SUTURES SOFT TISSUE CERVICAL INJURIES. Middlesex County, NJ The plaintiff motorcyclist, in his mid 40s, contended that the defendant water company, which had performed roadwork in February, 2008, and placed a temporary patch, negligently failed to follow its own rules that required the defendant to obtain a professional paving contractor to repave the road after it completed its work. The plaintiff contended that the patch failed and that the defendant responded by simply reapplying an inadequate temporary patch only. The plaintiff maintained that this patch failed as well, creating an approximate one foot by one foot sink hole and that he lost control upon encountering it, crashing. The plaintiff presented a neighborhood resident who testified that shortly after the defendant did the initial work in February, the patch deteriorated. The plaintiff maintained that the defendant responded to complaints by sending a crew who placed another temporary patch. The plaintiff maintained that the defendant recognized the need for a professional paving company to make the temporary patch permanent and that its rules required it to have such work done. The plaintiff maintained that the jury should consider that not only did the defendant fail to do so after first applying the patch; it acted in a particularly negligent fashion by failing to obtain a professional service and placing the temporary patch a second time. The plaintiff had no recollection of the accident because of the head trauma. The plaintiff pointed to testimony of an eyewitness motorist traveling in the opposite direction that the sink hole had descended below grade level and the plaintiff maintained that the danger was not visible to him. The plaintiff maintained that he suffered a closed head injury, a laceration above the eyebrow that required 56 sutures and which left some scarring which the plaintiff did not find significantly affected him and soft tissue cervical injuries that will cause permanent pain and restriction. The plaintiff contended that he sustained a mild TBI and some impact on his memory and his ability to concentrate. The plaintiff s neuropsychologist maintained that several batteries of neuropsychological tests confirmed the deficits. The plaintiff contended that he will permanently suffer periodic headaches and difficulties sleeping in addition to some memory and concentration difficulties. The defendant denied that the plaintiff suffered neuropsychological injuries or cognitive deficits. The defendant contended that the jury should consider that the plaintiff scored at the average range or better on testing that gauged concentration and memory. The defendant maintained that any continuing symptoms stemmed from a psychological reaction. The defendant pointed out that the plaintiff failed to follow medical recommendations to undergo psychotherapy, and maintained that he failed to mitigate his damages. The plaintiff countered that improvement in subsequent batteries are, in fact, diagnostic of a neuropsychological deficit, and that it was likely that the plaintiff, whose scores in some categories were in the average range initially and improved in subsequent batteries, initially had much better than average abilities. The plaintiff s experts did not dispute that a portion of the plaintiff s current complaints are psychological in nature and that he would probably benefit from psychotherapy. The plaintiff contended that he sought therapists, but the two about whom he inquired were not in his health plan. The defendant countered that the plaintiff could easily have found a participating therapist. New Jersey Jury Verdict Review & Analysis

10 10 SUMMARIES WITH TRIAL ANALYSIS The plaintiff is a carpenter and was able to return to work six months after the accident and the evidence reflected that the soft tissue cervical injuries essentially resolved. The jury found the defendant 100% negligent and assessed damages at $900,000. They also found that the gross award should be reduced by 10% for failure to mitigate. Nigro vs. New Jersey American Water Co. Docket no. MID-L ; Judge Heidi Willis Currier, Attorney for plaintiff: John R. Gorman of Lutz Shafranski Gorman & Mahoney in New Brunswick, NJ. COMMENTARY The plaintiff obtained a very substantial award, notwithstanding the absence of any income claims. The evidence that the defendant not only failed to follow its own rules regarding obtaining a professional paving contractor after placing a temporary patch in the roadway,but heightened thedanger byfailing todosoevenafter theinitial temporary patch failed, returning and replacing its own temporary patch, was thought to have created a strong jury response. Additionally, the plaintiff, who avoided the imposition of any comparative negligence for failing to avoid the sink hole, had no memory of the accident. The plaintiff presented a passing motorist neighborhood who testified that the sink hole had descended below grade level, and the plaintiff argued that he was unable to see the defect. A major damages dispute revolved around the question of whether the plaintiff suffered permanent cognitive deficits or psychological injuries only, which the defendant contended could be resolved through psychotherapy. The defendant had emphasized that the plaintiff performed at a level of at least average of the portion of neuropsychological testing that related to cognitive deficits. The plaintiff effectively argued that the very fact that these initial average scores were followed by improved scores reflected a neuropsychological component in and of itself, stressing that improvement over time is considered a significant diagnostic criteria. Finally,thejuryfoundthattheplaintifffailedtomitigatehisdamages and reduced the award by 10% for this reason. In this regard, the plaintiff could not dispute that notwithstanding the issue of neuropsychological injury, he also suffered a psychological reaction for which psychotherapy had been futilely recommended. Verdicts by Category PROFESSIONAL MALPRACTICE $550,000 RECOVERY Surgery Medical Malpractice Surgery Failure of vascular surgeon to properly identify and isolate ureter Loss of kidney. Morris County, NJ This action involved a plaintiff, in her late 40s, who was undergoing orthopedic surgery in which the defendant vascular surgeon created an anterior opening for the surgery and closed at its completion. The plaintiff contended that the defendant negligently failed to identify the ureter and isolate it. The plaintiff maintained that the defendant negligently placed a surgical clip on the ureter and negligently failed to ascertain that he had done so when closing the patient. The plaintiff maintained that three days later, she developed severe gastric complaints and that ultimately, a CT-scan showed clips on the same plane on the two dimensional film as the ureter. The plaintiff contended that although not 3-D, the presence of theclipinthesameplaneastheureterlentcompelling support for the plaintiff s position. It was undisputed that the plaintiff suffered a blockage that led to the loss of the kidney. The defendant denied that he placed a clip on the ureter and contended that it was highly likely that the plaintiff developed scar tissue that caused the obstruction. The plaintiff countered that scar tissue would not form in such a short period and denied that this position should be accepted. The plaintiff would have also argued that the claim by the defendant that he made careful observations and identified the ureter when closing the patient was not credible and should be rejected. The defendant maintained that in view of prior surgeries, the plaintiff wouldbemorevulnerabletoscartissueinashorter period. The defendant further pointed out that the titanium clips are routinely left in a patient and contended that the prior surgeries would account for the finding of clips on the CT-scan. The plaintiff contended that the pain and suffering during her recuperation after the kidney was removed was very significant. The plaintiff is currently asymp- Volume 32, Issue 4, September 2011

11 VERDICTS BY CATEGORY 11 tomatic. The evidence disclosed that the chances of future injury or disease to the remaining kidney are less than 2%. The case settled prior to trial for $550,000. Plaintiff s urologist expert: Arnold Melman, MD from Bronx, NY. Plaintiff s vascular surgeon expert: Raymond S. Wojtalik, MD from Haddonfield, NJ. Gilbert vs. Dolgen. Docket no. MRS-L , Attorney for plaintiff: Herbert M. Korn of Law Offices of Herbert M. Korn in Morristown, NJ. CIVIL RIGHTS $185,000 RECOVERY Civil Rights Plaintiff is arrested without probable cause following melee at teen party After arrest, individual officer mistakenly identifies plaintiff as individual who struck him at party and assaulted him Contusions to head and face Non-fracture elbow injury. Morris County, NJ The incidents giving rise to this lawsuit occurred while the 17-year-old plaintiff and his 18-yearold brother were among approximately 700 guests at a non-alcoholic teen party held at a ballroom. Police from various departments, including the Morris County Prosecutor s Office, were called in for crowd control. The plaintiff contended that the assaulting officer was addressing a female patron when he was placed in a headlock by his 18-year-old brother, who knew the girl. Numerous officers came to the initial officer s assistance and arrested about 20 teens, including the plaintiff. All those arrested were brought to Dover Police Headquarters where they were placed in holding cells, the juveniles younger than 18 in one cell and those 18 and older in another. The plaintiff contended that after he was in the holding cell for approximately 20 minutes, the assaulting officer came into the holding cell area and shouted out, Who s the (m.f.) who hit me? The plaintiff maintained that when no one answered, the officer looked at him and said, You re the one, mistaking him for his older brother. The plaintiff contended that the officer then took him out of the holding cell to a back processing room. The plaintiff maintained that upon entering the room, the officer closed the door and took off his belt containing his gun and holster, accusing the plaintiff of being a tough guy. The plaintiff contended that the officer then asked him if he wanted to fight him, prompting him to answer No. The plaintiff asserted that the officer then punched him in the head several times, threw him into a metal filing cabinet, knocked him down and kicked him several times. The plaintiff maintained that as the officer punched him in the nose, face and head, he ordered the plaintiff to say, Yes, sir, which the plaintiff did. The plaintiff, who lives in a different town, also contended that the officer told him that if he ever catches him in Dover again he ll kick his ass. The defendant denied that the plaintiff s version was accurate or that he was beaten. The plaintiff would have presented a number of the arrested teens and although none saw the actual assault, they saw the officer take the plaintiff from the cell and heard the commotion in the room only several feet from the cells. They also saw the defendant return the plaintiff to the juvenile cell with blood dripping from his nose and on his shirt and with facial bruises. Several of the youths gave sworn statements confirming that the plaintiff s face had no blood or bruises before the officer s attack. The plaintiff was released to the custody of his parents that evening, but no charges were ever brought against him. His parents brought him to the emergency room where CT-scans were taken of his brain and face. X-rays were also taken of his injured left elbow. All testing came back negative. The plaintiff had one follow-up visit with his pediatrician and the injuries essentially resolved. The case settled at trial call for $185,000. Echevarria vs. Town of Dover Police Department, et al. Docket no. MRS-L ; Judge Stephan C. Hansbury, Attorney for plaintiff: Joel I. Rachmiel of Law Offices of Joel I. Rachmiel in Springfield, NJ. New Jersey Jury Verdict Review & Analysis

12 12 VERDICTS BY CATEGORY $150,000 VERDICT DRAM SHOP Dram Shop Defendant restaurant/tavern serves three beers and two shots to defendant 20-yearold driver/assailant Assailant strikes plaintiff passenger after car pulls over to enable plaintiff to urinate Fractured larynx. Middlesex County, NJ This action involved four friends who visited the defendant restaurant/tavern, all of whom were in their early 20s with the exception of the 20-yearold driver. The plaintiff contended that none of the tavern s employees properly checked the minor s ID and served him some three 16 ounce beers and two shots of hard liquor. The plaintiff maintained that such service substantially contributed to an incident that occurred when the group left and the car was still in the parking lot. While they all sat in the car, two passengers including the plaintiff exited to urinate before leaving. After urinating, the defendant believed plaintiff urinated on the door. The plaintiff contended that the driver exited the car, walked over to the rear passenger door, opened it and repeatedly punched plaintiff while he was seated in the rear passenger seat. The defendant assailant denied that the plaintiff s version of the fight was accurate. This defendant contended that there were no punches thrown in the car and that after plaintiff exited the car, a verbal match ensued and then punches were thrown outside the car. The plaintiff suffered a fractured larynx. He required surgery and the implantation of hardware. He contended that he will permanently suffer slight hoarseness. The external scarring essentially resolved. The jury found the defendant assailant 75% liable, the tavern 25% liable and awarded $150,000. D Onofrio vs. Fox & Hound, et al. Docket no. MID-L ; Judge Arthur Bergman, Attorney for plaintiff: Nicholas J. Leonardis of Stathis & Leonardis in Edison, NJ. DEFENDANT S VERDICT EMPLOYER S LIABILITY Employer s Liability Retaliatory Termination LAD case Non-tenured Assistant Superintendent of Schools/Affirmative Action Officer is allegedly terminated in retaliation for involvement in a sexual harassment investigation. Monmouth County, NJ This was an action brought under NJ LAD in which the plaintiff, a non-tenured Assistant Superintendent of Schools, as well as the school district s Affirmative Action Officer, contended that he was terminated in retaliation for his involvement in an investigation into allegations by a school administrator that a teacher in the district had left an offensive, anti-gay note on a car thought to belong to the school administrator. The plaintiff, who later recused himself from the affirmative action investigation due to his friendship with the complaining administrator, contended that his position as the Affirmative Action officer nonetheless led to his forced resignation from his position. The defendants BOE and Superintendent of Schools pointed out that the plaintiff was terminated more than one year after the incident of alleged anti-gay bias, and that the decision to request the plaintiff s resignation was made by a newly hired Superintendent of Schools who had decided that the plaintiff s overall job performance was deficient, justifying a determination that was made as part of a personnel change which needed to be made prior to plaintiff gaining tenure. The jury found for the defendant. Haas vs. Holmdel Board of Education. Docket no. MON-L ; Judge Honorable O Brien Kilgallen, Attorney for defendant: Peter H. Spaeth of Wolff Helies Duggan Spaeth & Lucas, PA in Manasquan, NJ. Volume 32, Issue 4, September 2011

13 VERDICTS BY CATEGORY 13 $20,000 RECOVERY LANDLORD S NEGLIGENCE Landlord s Negligence Plaintiff tenant contends window is improperly seated in frame when installed one to two years earlier Open window falls and strikes plaintiff s fingers Displaced fracture to middle finger Closed reduction and pinning performed under local anesthetic because of pregnancy. Union County, NJ The plaintiff tenant, who was standing next to the window with her boyfriend, watching the July 4th fireworks with her hand on the window ledge, contended that the window suddenly dropped with force. The plaintiff s engineer maintained that based upon his inspection, the window was not properly seated in the frame when first installed, causing the incident. The plaintiff further contended that the window was rarely kept open, contributing to the relatively long interim between the time of installation and the incident. The defendant s engineer denied that the window was improperly seated or otherwise installed improperly. The plaintiff s emergency room physician would have contended that the plaintiff sustained a displaced fracture of the middle finger. The plaintiff was nine months into term at the time of the incident. The plaintiff s physician would have related that the plaintiff underwent an open reduction and pinning that were performed under a local anesthetic. The plaintiff contended that the relatively small surgical scar is permanent in nature. The plaintiff further maintained that she will permanently suffer intermittent pain that is heightened upon cold weather. The case settled prior to trial for $20,000. Plaintiff s emergency room physician expert: David Rojer, MD from Elizabeth, NJ. Plaintiff s engineering expert: Michael Natoli, PE from Totowa, NJ. Ordonez vs. ICJ Investments and Garden State Window Factory, Inc. Docket no. UNN L , Attorney for plaintiff: Joel I. Rachmiel of Law Offices of Joel I. Rachmiel in Springfield, NJ. $420,000 RECOVERY MOTOR VEHICLE NEGLIGENCE Auto/Pedestrian Collision Motor Vehicle Negligence Auto/Pedestrian Collision UM case Delivery person is struck by driver who flees scene Ankle fracture with surgery Non-union Subsequent surgery Diabetes hampers recovery and prevents plaintiff from returning to work. Passaic County, NJ The then 61- year-old plaintiff deliveryman contended that after alighting from the back of his delivery truck, he was struck in the right foot by an unidentified auto, which fled the scene. The plaintiff proceeded under a $1,000,000 UM policy. The plaintiff sustained an oblique fracture in the distal fibula shaft just above the joint line, and a fracture of the medial malleolus involving the plafond surface of the tibia. The plaintiff underwent hardware implantation surgery with external fixation, followed by subsequent procedures involving bone grafting due to non-union in the fracture zones, with the addition of infuse-bone morphogenic protein with collagen sponge. His recovery has been hampered by severe unrelated diabetes. He never returned to work. The case settled during pre-arbitration mediation conducted by the Honorable Joseph F. Scancarella (retired), of counsel to Perconti & Conk in North Haledon, New Jersey. His worker s compensation benefits must be repaid and the net lien is approximately $54,000. Diaz vs. Apex Express Attorney for plaintiff: John J. Piserchia of Law Offices of John J. Piserchia in Clifton, NJ. New Jersey Jury Verdict Review & Analysis

14 14 VERDICTS BY CATEGORY $263,930 VERDICT Broadside Collision Motor Vehicle Negligence Broadside Collision Woman s neck and back injuries meet New Jersey verbal threshold for recovery Herniated disc Bulging disc radiculopathy. Camden County, NJ Thismattersawarareinstanceofaplaintiff meeting the verbal threshold in a New Jersey motor vehicle case. The plaintiff collected $263,930 in total, including $240,000 in compensatory damages in connection with a broadside collision. On March 23, 2007 the plaintiff was riding as a passenger in a vehicle down Evesham road in Evesham Township, New Jersey. The plaintiff s vehicle was broadsided as it passed a Wawa parking lot when the defendant Brett W. exited the lot. The plaintiff s vehicle spun out due to the off-center collision. As a result of the collision, Mary C. sustained a herniated disc in her lower back, a bulging disc and radiculopathy in her neck. The plaintiff s medical expenses were paid for by New Jersey Personal Injury Protection. The plaintiff filed suit in the Superior Court of Camden County for motor vehicle negligence. The defendant Brett W. was named, as well as the owner of the vehicle (who was dismissed pre-trial). The plaintiff sought compensatory damages. The defendant s insurer offered $15,000 to settle the matter. In the two day trial, the plaintiff s case for damages was made, with liability stipulated by the defendant. To these ends the plaintiff brought testimony from orthopedic surgeon Dr. Laura Ross and the neurologist Dr. Shiva Gopal. The defendant argued that the plaintiff did not meet the verbal threshold for a permanent injury. They brought expert testimony from Gary Goldstein, an orthopedic surgeon. The jury returned a $240,000 verdict for the plaintiff, with stipulated lost wages of $10,444 and $13,486 in prejudgment interest. The total award was $263,930. Plaintiff s neurologist expert: Shiva Gopal from Voorhees, NJ. Plaintiff s orthopedic surgeon expert: Laura Ross from Hainesport, NJ. Defendant s orthopedic surgeon expert: Gary Goldstein from Voorhees, NJ. Mary Connolly vs. Brett Walker. Docket no. L633-09; Judge John A. Fratto, Attorney for plaintiff: Benjamin Goldstein of Drinkwater & Goldstein in NJ. Attorney for defendant: Rudolph & Kayal in Sea Girt, NJ. $250,000 VERDICT Left Turn Collision Motor Vehicle Negligence Left Turn Collision Plaintiff strikes the defendant s vehicle when defendant turns left in front of the plaintiff Lumbar and shoulder injuries Sexual dysfunction. Middlesex County, NJ The 71-year-old male plaintiff in this motor vehicle negligence case alleged that the defendant failed to yield the right-of-way and turned left in front of the plaintiff, causing a collision. The defendant admitted liability in causing the collision, but argued that the plaintiff s injuries were degenerative in nature and not caused by the accident. On February 10, 2005, the plaintiff was proceeding on Truman Road in Edison Township when the vehicle operated by defendant made a left hand turn in front of him, causing a collision in which the plaintiff struck the defendant s vehicle. The plaintiff suffered herniated L4-5 disc with lumbar radiculopathy, lumbar nerve root impingement, left shoulder nerve root impingement possibly requiring future surgical decompression and sexual dysfunction. The defendant admitted negligence in causing the collision and argued that the plaintiff s injuries were degenerative in nature. The defendant s medical expert testified that the plaintiff s present complaints were not caused by the motor vehicle accident with defendant, but were instead the result of spinal stenosis, degenerative spondylosis and a disc protrusion at L4-5, which were all part of the natural aging process. The jury found for the plaintiff and awarded him $250,000. Plaintiff s medical expert: Arthur Tiger M.D. from Dover, NJ. Defendant s medical expert: Joseph Dryer M.D. from Millburn, NJ. John McCutchen vs. Meng Wang. Docket no. L , Attorney for plaintiff: Roy Mossi of Gelman, Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy in Dover, NJ. Attorney for defendant: Eugene Purcell of Purcell, Mulcahy, O Neill & Hawkins in Bedminster, NJ. Volume 32, Issue 4, September 2011

15 VERDICTS BY CATEGORY 15 DEFENDANTS VERDICT Multiple Vehicle Collision Motor Vehicle Negligence Multiple Vehicle Collision Defendant drives wrong way on divided highway Front end strike Alleged second impact to rear by co-defendant Herniated cervical and lumbar discs claimed No permanent injury found. Morris County, NJ The plaintiff alleged that a vehicle driven by the defendant was proceeding the wrong way on a divided highway and struck the front of her car. The plaintiff claimed that a vehicle driven by the co-defendant then negligently struck her car in the rear. The defendant stipulated to negligence in colliding with the plaintiff s car. The codefendant denied that his vehicle contacted the plaintiff s vehicle. Both defendants maintained that the plaintiff s injuries did not meet the verbal threshold of her automobile insurance policy. The plaintiff was a female, approximately 50 years old at the time of the accident. She testified that she was driving in the left lane of Route 46 east in Parsippany when the defendant s vehicle approached driving the wrong way (west) on the divided highway. The plaintiff testified that she stopped, but the defendant struck the front passenger side of her car as it passed. Shortly thereafter, the plaintiff claimed that the co-defendant s car impacted her vehicle from behind. The plaintiff was diagnosed with disc herniations in both her cervical and lumbar spine which her chiropractor and radiologist causally related to the collision. The plaintiff was treated non-surgically with chiropractic care and epidural injections. She made no claim for economic damages. The elderly defendant did not appear at trial. The codefendant maintained that his car was struck by the defendant s vehicle, but never contacted the plaintiff s car. He argued that the lack of property damage to the back of the plaintiff s vehicle supported his contentions. The defendant s orthopedic surgeon testified that any pathology shown on the plaintiff s MRI films was a result of degeneration and the normal aging process, not trauma. The jury found that the plaintiff did not sustain a permanent injury as a result of the collision and a verdict in favor of both defendants was entered. Defendant s orthopedic surgery expert: Barry Levine from Morristown, NJ. Gordeeva vs. Chundak, et al. Docket no ; Judge Robert Brennan, Attorney for defendant Chundak: John M. Kearney of Sellar Richardson, P.C. in Livingston, NJ. Attorney for defendant Laoucher: Lawrence B. Lambert of Frenkel, Lambert, Weiss, Weissman & Gordon in West Orange, NJ. $76,375 VERDICT Parking Lot Collision Motor Vehicle Collision Parking Lot Collision Defendant driver turns left out of parking lot and into path of plaintiff driver Cervical herniation and cervical and lumbar bulges No disc surgery Expedited trial. Monmouth County, NJ The 49-year-old plaintiff driver contended that the defendant driver negligently turned left out of a parking lot and into her path, causing the collision. The defendant contended that the plaintiff failed to make adequate observations and was comparatively negligent. The plaintiff maintained that she suffered a herniation at C6-7 and bulges with impingement at C4-5, C5-6, L2-3, L4-5 and L5-S1. The plaintiff contended that the injuries were confirmed by MRI. There was no evidence that disc surgery is indicated. The defendant maintained that any back difficulties were related to degenerative disc disease only. The plaintiff countered that she had no significant prior symptoms or treatment. The jury found the defendant 100% negligent and awarded $75,000. With stipulated lost income, the award was $76,375. Prejudgment interest brought the award to $92, The defendant had $100,000 in coverage. Conlon vs. Chachkes, et al. Docket no. MON-L , Attorney for plaintiff: Paul K. Caliendo of Gill & Chamas in Woodbridge, NJ. New Jersey Jury Verdict Review & Analysis

16 16 VERDICTS BY CATEGORY Rear End Collision $250,000 PRE-SUIT POLICY LIMITS RECOVERY Motor Vehicle Negligence Rear End Collision Cervical and lumbar herniations Cervical fusion Future lumbar fusion is contemplated Bilateralcarpaltunnelsyndrome Surgery scheduled as of time of recovery. Sussex County, NJ The plaintiff driver contended that the defendant driver negligently struck her in the rear. The plaintiff maintained that she sustained cervical and lumbar herniations that were confirmed by MRI,alongwithbilateralcarpaltunnelsyndrome. The plaintiff underwent cervical fusion surgery and maintained that she will nonetheless suffer permanent restriction and some pain. The evidence would have also disclosed that a lumbar fusion in the future is contemplated, but had yet to have been scheduled as of the time of the recovery. The plaintiff has scheduled bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome surgery. The defendant pointed out that the plaintiff had been involved in a slip and fall approximately one year earlier and an MVA some months previously, and contended that these factors could well be accounting for any continuing complaints. The plaintiff countered that she required little treatment after these prior incidents and would have contended that the defendant s position should be rejected. The case settled prior to the institution of suit for the $250,000 policy limits. Ackerson-Rotundi vs. Scymanski Attorneys for plaintiff: Andrew A. Fraser and Timothy E. Dinan of Laddey Clark & Ryan, LLP in Sparta, NJ. $175,000 VERDICT Motor Vehicle Negligence Rear End Collision Lumbar herniation Damages only. Sussex County, NJ Liability was stipulated in this rear end collision case. The plaintiff driver contended that she sustained a lumbar herniation that was confirmed by MRI approximately three months after the collision. The defendant denied that the plaintiff sustained a herniation in the accident, or that she sustained a permanent injury. The plaintiff maintained that she had no prior disc difficulties, and that it was clear that the incident caused the herniation. The plaintiff underwent pain management therapy and contended that despite such treatment, she will permanently suffer very significant symptoms. The plaintiff made no income claims. The plaintiff made an offer for judgment of $100,000, which was rejected by the defendant. The jury awarded $175,000. On July 12, 2011 the judgment, including enhancements under the Offer for Judgment rule, was entered in the amount of $244, Shishilla vs. Hollar. Docket no. SSX-L ; Judge Edward Gannon, Attorney for plaintiff: Steven J. Loewenthal of Nusbaum Stein Goldstein Bronstein & Kron in Succasunna, NJ. $100,000 PRE-SUIT RECOVERY Motor Vehicle Negligence Rear End Collision Cervical herniation Cervical fusion Plaintiff mother of five is able to return to job as automobile salesperson. Sussex County, NJ The plaintiff driver of this motor vehicle negligence action contended that the defendant driver negligently struck her in the rear. The plaintiff maintained that she sustained a cervical herniation that was confirmed by MRI, and which required a cervical fusion. Theplaintiff,whoreturnedtoherjobasanautomobile salesperson, maintained that she works despite the additional pain. The plaintiff is the mother of five children, and contended that she has extensive difficulties performing everyday household chores. The case settled prior to the institution of suit for the $100,000 policy limits. Harvey vs. Gallo Attorneys for plaintiff: Andrew A. Fraser and Timothy E. Dinan of Laddey Clark & Ryan, LLP in Sparta, NJ. Volume 32, Issue 4, September 2011

17 VERDICTS BY CATEGORY 17 $100,000 POLICY LIMIT RECOVERY Motor Vehicle Negligence Rear End Collision Cervical and lumbar herniations Lumbar discectomy Plaintiff obtains hair dresser job after accident and contends she works despite extensive pain Difficulties caring for two young children. Sussex County, NJ The 41-year-old plaintiff driver contended that she was struck in the rear by the defendant driver. The plaintiff contended that as a result, she sustained herniations at C4-5 and L5-S1 that were confirmed by MRI. The plaintiff underwent a lumbar discectomy. The plaintiff contended that she will suffer permanent pain and limitations. The plaintiff was not working at the time of the collision and made no wage claims. The plaintiff has since obtained a job as a hairdresser and contended that she works despite significant additional pain. The plaintiff also contended that she has very substantial difficulties caring for her two young children. The defendant maintained that in view of the job choice made by the plaintiff, her claims regarding the extent of the current symptoms should be significantly questioned. The case settled prior to trial for the $100,000 policy limits. Sochacki vs. Winkler. Docket no. SSX-L , Attorneys for plaintiff: Andrew A. Fraser and Timothy E. Dinan of Laddey Clark & Ryan, LLP in Sparta, NJ. $75,000 PRE-SUIT RECOVERY Motor Vehicle Negligence Rear End Collision Plaintiff driver is propelled into median divider on interstate highway Internal derangement of knee Aggravation of knee bursitis sustained in high school incident Plaintiff allegedly asymptomatic prior to subject incident. Morris County, NJ The 29-year-old plaintiff driver contended that the defendant driver negligently struck her in the rear while changing lanes on I-80. The plaintiff maintained that her vehicle was propelled into the median divider. The plaintiff contended that she suffered an internal derangement of the knee. The plaintiff had sustained traumatically induced knee bursitis in a high school incident. The plaintiff maintained that she had been asymptomatic for the approximate five-year period preceding the subject incident. The plaintiff underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and contended that despite this intervention, she will permanently suffer pain and some difficulties ambulating. The plaintiff made no income claims. The case settled prior to the institution of suit for $75,000. Plaintiff s orthopedic surgeon expert: John Vitolo, MD from Sparta, NJ. Stormes vs. Sydennis Attorneys for plaintiff: Andrew A. Fraser and Timothy E. Dinan of Laddey Clark & Ryan, LLP in Sparta, NJ. $3500 VERDICT Motor Vehicle Negligence Rear End Collision Plaintiff claims adjuster contends incident caused continuing cervical complaints No verbal threshold Damages only. Bergen County, NJ Liability was stipulated in this case in which the plaintiff driver was struck in the rear. The plaintiff, an insurance claims adjuster in his late 40s, had not opted for the verbal threshold. The plaintiff contended that he developed radiating cervical pain shortly after the accident, and maintained that he suffered lasting and permanent injuries. The plaintiff did not undergo an MRI. The plaintiff s orthopedist indicated that the X-rays showed significant degeneration and testified that this condition rendered plaintiff much more vulnerable to injury upon trauma. The plaintiff s orthopedist maintained that the plaintiff will suffer symptoms for the remainder of his life and is at increased risk of future cervical arthritis. The defendant s orthopedist contended that the plaintiff suffered a sprain only and that the condition probably resolved within approximately six weeks. The plaintiff testified that he continues to work despite the pain because of economic necessity. The jury found that while the plaintiff had sustained an injury as a result of the accident, the injury did not warrant compensation. The court, finding this verdict to be inconsistent with the law, sent the jury back to reconsider its decision. The jury then returned with a verdict of $ 2,500 for the injuries and $1,000 on a per quod claim. Defense counsel advises that the de minimus verdict did not warrant filing an Appeal. Martino vs. Keary. Docket no. BER-L ; Judge Rachelle L. Harz, Attorney for defendant: John W. McDermott of Harwood Lloyd in Hackensack, NJ. New Jersey Jury Verdict Review & Analysis

18 18 VERDICTS BY CATEGORY DEFENDANT S VERDICT ON VERBAL THRESHOLD Motor Vehicle Negligence Rear End Collision Plaintiff driver is struck in rear on interstate highway Alleged lumbar and thoracic herniations Defendant points to photographs of minimal damage to both cars. Passaic County, NJ The 37-year-old plaintiff driver contended that the defendant driver negligently struck him in the rear when proceeding on an Interstate highway. The plaintiff maintained that he sustained a herniation at T7-8 and an annular tear at L4-5. The plaintiff contended that the injuries were confirmed by MRI and that because more conservative treatment modalities appear to be inadequate, he will probably require surgery in the future in both areas. The plaintiff works as a pediatric radiologist. He related that much of his work is interventional in nature, and that he works despite additional radiating pain and weakness caused by bending. The defendant denied that the collision was related to the plaintiff s complaints and contended that they were caused by degenerative disc disease only. The defendant pointed to photographs that showed a minimal impact. The plaintiff maintained that he had no prior symptoms or treatment and that in view of this factor and his age, the defendant s position should be rejected. The jury found the defendant 100% negligent and found for the defendant on the verbal threshold. Plaintiff s orthopedic surgeon expert: Howard Baruch, MD from Cliffside Park, NJ. Plaintiff s radiology expert: Edward Millman, MD from Paterson, NJ. Defendant s orthopedic surgeon expert: Joseph Dryer, MD from New York, NY. Taragin vs. Wong. Docket no. PAS-L ; Judge Thomas J. LaConte, Attorney for defendant: Kevin J. McGee of McDermott & McGee, LLP in Millburn, NJ. DEFENDANT S VERDICT Motor Vehicle Negligence Rear End Collision Woman tries unsuccessfully to meet verbal threshold Herniation and bulging discs Internal derangement of the knee. Camden County, NJ In this matter, a woman rear-ended at a Cherry Hill intersection tried unsuccessfully to recover for cervical bulges and herniation and a confirmed radiculopathy of her cervical vertebrae. The defendant claimed that the plaintiff failed to meet the verbal threshold. The incident occurred on Friday, May 18, 2007 as the plaintiff was proceeding westbound on Route 70. While stopped near an intersection with Greentree road in Cherry Hill, the plaintiff was rear-ended by the defendant. The plaintiff s vehicle was struck with sufficient force to precipitate a second collision with the vehicle in front of it. The plaintiff sustained spinal injuries including bulges to her C5-C6 and C6-7, C5-C6 radiculopathy, acute/chronic lower back pain caused by herniations. She also suffered an internal derangement of her right knee and possible carpal tunnel syndrome. The plaintiff filed suit in the Superior Court of Camden County for motor vehicle negligence. The plaintiff sought recovery of compensatory damages for her injuries, arguing herself as being permanently disabled by the incident. The driver of the other vehicle was named as defendant. In non-binding arbitration, the plaintiff s claim was valued at $45,000. The plaintiff filed for the trial de novo. During the five day trial, the plaintiff brought testimony and evidence supporting their damages claims. The plaintiff alleged permanent injury to her neck, back and knee, stating a need for treatment including a cervical fusion procedure. The defendant stipulated liability. Expert testimony was provided by the neurosurgeon James Lowe, M.D. Defense argued that the plaintiff s injuries did not pierce the verbal threshold. The verbal threshold in New Jersey state law requires proof of permanent injury in motor vehicle cases in order to recover noneconomic damages. Testifying for the defense were orthopedist Dr. Larry S. Rosenberg and Dr. Elisabeth Post, M.D. The jury returned after four hours deliberation with a 6-1 verdict for the defendant, finding that the plaintiff failed to prove her injury was permanent. Plaintiff s orthopedics expert: James Lowe from Linwood, NJ. Defendant s occupational medicine expert: Elizabeth Post from Mount Laurel, NJ. Defendant s orthopedics expert: Larry Rosenberg from West Berlin, NJ. Awilda Gonzalez Rodriguez vs. Kimberly Malseed. Docket no ; Judge Faustino Fernandez Vina, Attorney for plaintiff: Louis DeVoto of Rosetti and DeVoto, PC, of Cherry Hill, NJ. Attorney for defendant: Diane Magram of Marshall, Dennehy, Warner, Coleman, & Goggin in Cherry Hill, NJ. Volume 32, Issue 4, September 2011

19 VERDICTS BY CATEGORY 19 CONFIDENTIAL RECOVERY Single Vehicle Collision Motor Vehicle Negligence Single Vehicle Collision Woman sues after golf cart overturns with her inside Soft tissue injuries. Camden County, NJ In this matter, a woman sued after being injured when a golf cart overturned. The matter was settled in pretrial mediation for a confidential amount. On Saturday, July , the plaintiff was being given a ride by Thomas S. in a golf cart. The plaintiff was being driven across the golf course at Clementon Park on Berlin Road in Clementon, New Jersey when the vehicle overturned. The plaintiff sustained whiplash-type soft tissue injuries and some headaches. Her medical expenses were covered by her husband s military benefits. The plaintiff filed suit in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Camden County. Named in the suit was the driver of the golf cart and Rekab Inc., the owner of Clementon Park. Recovery was sought for negligence and negligent driving. The matter was not a motor vehicle negligence matter, as there were no motor vehicle insurers involved. Settlement was reached in pretrial mediation for a confidential amount. Robin Porter vs. Rekab Inc & Thomas Schrader. Docket no ; Judge Joel Rosen, Attorney for plaintiff: Joseph Audino in Berlin, NJ. Attorney for defendant: Benjamin Goldstein of Drinkwater & Goldstein in Atco, NJ. Attorney for defendant: Dennis Marconi of Law Offices Of Barnaba & Marconi, LLP in Trenton, NJ. MUNICIPAL LIABILITY $3,575,700 RECOVERY Municipal Liability Township is sued after fall from bus step leaves elderly man paralyzed. Somerset County, NJ In this matter an elderly Chinese citizen and United States resident was paralyzed when he fell from a senior citizen bus. On Nov. 22, 2006, the plaintiff, Ruixiang S., 71, was studying English at the Montgomery Township senior center as part of his application for United States citizenship. The bus in question was the transport to and from that facility for himself and several other seniors, including a 93-year-old woman that was confined to a wheelchair. The circumstances of the plaintiff s behavior in this incident, being his assistance to the elderly woman in boarding and exiting the bus, were cited as both a result of his cultural consideration for the needs of the elderly, as well as a misunderstanding regarding the bus s wheelchair ramp. Prior to August 2006, the vehicle s driver had been a woman untrained on the operation of the ramp, resulting in her assumption that it was inoperable. Acting under this assumption, the former driver had allowed passengers including the plaintiff to assist in the loading and unloading of the woman s wheelchair. A new driver, trained by the previous one, took up her duties after August. That driver, in keeping with her instruction by her predecessor, allowed the plaintiff to assist the woman. The plaintiff was walking backward down the bus s main entrance, pulling the wheelchair, when he fell from the top step onto the curb, striking his head on the concrete. The impact resulted in a spinal injury that rendered him quadriplegic. The plaintiff now requires constant care by a third party and was forced to return to China. A year after the incident, the plaintiff s citizenship was granted. The plaintiff and his wife filed suit in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Somerset County for negligent training, naming Montgomery Township and First Vehicle Services, the repair company. The plaintiff sought recovery of medical damages that would permit him to return to the United States. First Vehicle Services was removed from the suit via summary judgment after successfully arguing that they had repaired the lift. The defendant argued that the plaintiffs did not provide an accompanying examination of the plaintiff, then in China, verifying his condition and vitality. The matter was later settled pre-trial for $3.575 million, with the township s insurer covering approximately $3.44 million of the settlement cost and the remaining $135,830 paid by the township s excess insurer, Genesis Management and Insurance Services Corporation. Ruixiang Shen & Mei Rong Gao vs. Montgomery Township, et al. Docket no. L ; Judge Jack Keefe, Attorney for plaintiff: Michael Falcione in Lawrenceville, NJ. Attorney for defendant: George Wilgus in Trenton, NJ. New Jersey Jury Verdict Review & Analysis

20 20 VERDICTS BY CATEGORY $350,000 VERDICT Municipal Liability Plaintiff pedestrian is struck when traffic light turns green by right-turning city truck Left temporal bone fracture Small right occipital epidural hemorrhage Vertigo Hearing loss Cervical herniation No surgery Damages only. Essex County, NJ Liability was stipulated in this case in which the plaintiff pedestrian, 34 at the time of the incident and 37 at trial, contended that after the light controlling both the plaintiff and the defendant driver, who was stopped to her left, had changed from red to green, she began walking. The plaintiff contended that the defendant negligently failed to make observations and yield, striking her. The plaintiff s two young children were accompanying her and did not sustain physical or emotional injury. The plaintiff contended that she suffered a fracture to the left temporal bone and a small right-sided occipital epidural hemorrhage. The plaintiff claimed that she will permanently suffer vertigo and some hearing loss, as well as periodic headaches. The plaintiff further maintained that she suffered a cervical herniation with radiculopathy that was confirmed by MRI and EMG and which will cause permanent symptoms. The defendant denied that the plaintiff suffered the claimed herniation and contended that the other injuries substantially resolved. The plaintiff made no income claims. The jury awarded $350,000. Parra vs. City of Newark, et al. Docket no. ESX-L ; Judge John Kennedy, Attorney for plaintiff: John D. O Dwyer of Ginarte O Dwyer Gonzalez Gallardo & Winograd, LLP in Newark, NJ. $25,000 RECOVERY Municipal Liability Edison cop sues after reprimand for complaining after fellow officer who refused him aid as first responder Compensatory damages. Middlesex County, NJ In this matter, an Edison police officer filed suit, alleging retaliation against a whistleblower. In the July 3, 2008 incident that surrounded in this case, Sgt. Alex G., and the plaintiff patrolman Joseph K., were first responders on the scene of an automobile accident on Cedar Lane in Edison. In that incident, the patrolman was the first to arrive on scene, where he successfully extricated the driver of the wrecked vehicle, Kapil G. of Highland Park. When the patrolman requested Sgt. Alex G. s aid in removing the two passengers from the vehicle, the sergeant refused because of the men s race. The two men, Karan B. and Amarinder C., both 24, died at the scene. Kapil G. is currently serving a 14-year state prison sentence for drunk driving and two counts of vehicular manslaughter in connection with the incident. The patrolman later reported Alex G. s refusal to the Police Division s Internal Affairs Unit, but no proof was discovered by that supported the plaintiff s contentions. The patrolman was placed on administrative leave after confronting Alex G. and charged with insubordination. The charge was later dismissed with failure to file charges in a timely fashion (failure to file insubordination charges within the required 45-day period). The plaintiff filed suit on a whistleblower action in the Superior court of New Jersey, Middlesex County. Named in the suit were Edison Township, Edison Township Police Department, Police Director Brian Collier, Police Chief Thomas B., Sgt. Alex G., Lt. Gregory F., et al. The plaintiff and his spouse sought compensatory and punitive damages. Trial commenced with testimony heard by a plaintiff s psychologist. The matter was settled on the fourth day, prior to the defendant putting forward their case, for $250,000. Joseph Kenney & Robin Kenney vs. Edison Township, Edison Township Police Department, Police Director Brian Collier, Police Chief Thomas Bryan, Sgt. Alex Glinsky, Lt. Gregory Formica, et al. Docket no. MIDL ; Judge Phillip Lewis Paley, Attorney for plaintiff: Theodore Campbell in New Brunswick, NJ. Attorney for defendant: Eric L. Harrison of Methfessel & Werbel in Edison, NJ. Volume 32, Issue 4, September 2011

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