On May 22, 2002, the Supreme Court decided Shelcusky v. Garjulio, 172 N.J. 185 (2002).  That was a personal injury case in which a forklift driver at a plant where aerosol products were made suffered severe burns when defective or damaged cans that he was carrying on the forklift exploded.  When he learned that the model of forklift he had driven was unsafe for use in connection with aerosol cans, he and  his wife sued the forklift manufacturer for failure to warn. read more

Templin v. Independence Blue Cross, ___ F.3d ___ (3d Cir. 2015).  “A party seeking attorney’s fees under ERISA [the Employees Retirement Income Security Act] must show ‘some success’ on the merits.  Here, the District Court incorrectly defined ‘some success’ by requiring evidence of judicial action.”  So began Judge Nygaard’s opinion for the Third Circuit in this case.  The panel reversed the denial of attorneys’ fees to plaintiff and remanded to the District Court for consideration of the fee application under the proper criteria. read more

Beyer v. Sea Bright Borough, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2015).  The New Jersey Tort Claims Act, N.J.S.A. 59:8-8, requires anyone who wants to bring a tort claim against a public agency to file a notice of tort claim within 90 days of when his or her claim accrues.  Only in “extraordinary circumstances” will that timeframe be extended.  Today’s decision by Judge Waugh represents a relatively rare case in which extraordinary circumstances were found, seemingly properly so. read more

Estate of Grieco v. Schmidt, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2015).  Today’s decision by Judge Fisher is another example of an appellate ruling involving hearsay rules.  In this wrongful death case, plaintiffs’ decedent allegedly died as a result of defendants’ medical malpractice in connection with laparoscopic gastric banding surgery.  The appeal involved an interlocutory order that barred plaintiffs from adducing testimony from the decedent’s husband, children, and others as to what the decedent said that the doctor’s staff told her in response to her complaints of chest pain after the surgery. read more

On May 18, 1896, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896).  This is another of the Court’s “Supreme Mistakes,” as voted by legal scholars.  The decision was 7-1, with Justice Brown writing the majority opinion and Justice Harlan authoring the dissent.  Justice Brewer did not participate. read more

In re Denial of Application of Z.K. for a New Jersey Firearms Purchaser Identification Card and Permit to Purchase, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2015).  Yesterday, while many of us were attending the New Jersey State Bar Association Annual Meeting in Atlantic City, the Appellate Division released a short opinion by Judge Accurso that stands for a simple principle:  because a state statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3f, prescribes the requirements for applications for permits to purchase handguns (forms created by the Superintendent of the State Police), and because another provision, N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3g, says that a “licensing authority” may not add any “conditions or requirements” to the application, a municipality cannot require an applicant to complete another form as part of the application process. read more

Daniels v. Hollister Co., ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2015).  Readers of this blog have gotten their fill (including, most recently, here and here) of discussion and analysis of the notion that there is some sort of “class ascertainability” requirement that is implicit in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23.  Today, the Appellate Division weighed in on this issue in connection with a state court class action.  In an opinion by Judge Fisher, the panel emphatically and correctly rejected the idea that New Jersey Court Rule 4:32, the class action rule, contains any such class ascertainability requirement. read more

Electronic filing in the New Jersey appellate courts has been on the way for several years.  Previous steps toward that end were discussed here and here. read more