Kocanowski v. Bridgewater Tp., ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2017).  Plaintiff was a volunteer firefighter in Bridgewater.  She slipped on ice while responding to a fire and was injured.  She sought temporary disability and medical benefits under workers’ compensation.  The Township opposed that, arguing that because plaintiff was unemployed (having stopped work to help her ill father), she could not get temporary disability. read more

Vitale v. Schering-Plough Corp., ___ N.J. ___ (2017).  Plaintiff was hired as a security guard by a security company.  The company required him to agree to waive any claim against any customer of the security company to whom he might be assigned “arising from or related to injuries which are covered under the Workers’ Compensation statutes” (“the “Disclaimer”). read more

The Supreme Court announced late last Friday that it has granted review in three more cases.  Two of those cases involve the long-running Accutane Multi-County Litigation, which the Court has addressed before, in several contexts, in McCarrell v. Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc., 227 N.J. 569 (2017), discussed here, and Kendall v. Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc., 209 N.J. 173 (2012), discussed here.  The third is a criminal case raising multiple evidence issues. read more

The Supreme Court announced today that it has granted leave to appeal in State v. Pinkston.  The question presented, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, is “In this criminal justice reform matter, did the trial court abuse its discretion in denying defendant’s request to call certain police officers as ‘adverse witnesses’ at the pretrial detention hearing?” read more

Jacobs v. Jersey Central Power & Light Co., ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2017).  This opinion by Judge Sabatino today is an abbreviated version of a longer opinion that was not approved for publication.  As a result, the decision sets forth the standards of review for a number of issues, but essentially addresses only one question: whether plaintiff, who was injured when she tripped over or stepped into a hole left on her property by a worker employed by the defendant utility company to remove a street light there, needed to offer testimony from an expert on liability.  Judge Sabatino determined that she did not. read more

Grimes v. New Jersey Dep’t of Corrections, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2017).  This appeal, decided today, had two unusual wrinkles, apart from its substantive outcome.  First, a pro se prisoner plaintiff prevailed over a government agency.  Second, a published opinion was issued per curiam, instead of being signed.  The panel consisted of Judges Messano, Suter, and Grall. read more

Joyce v. Maersk Line Ltd., ___ F.3d ___ (3d Cir. 2017).  Today’s decision by Judge Jordan for a unanimous en banc court began with a pun and continued as follows: “Today we stop swimming against the tide of opinion on an important question of maritime law.  Following the lead of several of our sister circuits, we now hold that a union contract freely entered by a seafarer– a contract that includes rates of maintenance, cure, and and unearned wages– will not be reviewed piecemeal by courts unless there is evidence of unfairness in the collective bargaining process.  In so holding, we overrule our decision in Barnes v. Andover Co., L.P., 900 F.2d 630 (3d Cir. 1990).”  The court applied de novo review to overturn a summary judgment in favor of defendant. read more

The Supreme Court announced that it has granted certification in five more cases.  One of those is a land use matter.  The other four run the gamut from administrative law to criminal law to constitutional law to arbitration. read more