Four New Cases for the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court announced that it has granted certification in four new matters. Two of the cases are civil appeals and two are criminal matters.

In East Bay Drywall, LLC v. Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the question presented, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s office, is “For purposes of liability for contributions to the state unemployment and temporary disability compensation fund, are the company’s service providers employees or independent contractors under the ABC Test, N.J.S.A. 43:21-19(i)(6)(A) to (C)?” In an opinion reported at 467 N.J. Super. 131 (App. Div. 2021), the Appellate Division affirmed in part and reversed in part a final agency decision that had found some providers to be employees and others to be independent contractors.

Fowler v. Akzo Nobel Chemicals, Inc. presents this question “In this action concerning decedent’s mesothelioma, were the jury instructions on defendant’s duty to warn and on medical causation erroneous, requiring reversal of the jury’s verdict in favor of plaintiff?” In an unpublished per curiam opinion, a three-judge panel of the Appellate Division reversed the jury verdict, holding that jury instructions regarding medical causation and defendant’s duty to warn were flawed.

The two criminal cases, otherwise unrelated, both involved appeals from denials of motions to suppress evidence. In both cases, unpublished per curiam opinions of the Appellate Division affirmed the denial of the motions to suppress and affirmed the convictions.

In State v. Kane, which was a three-judge decision in a case involving drug offenses, the question presented is “Did the detectives have reasonable articulable suspicion to stop defendant?” In State v. Smith, an appeal from a two-judge ruling regarding a weapons charge, the question presented is “Did the detectives have reasonable articulable suspicion of a motor vehicle offense, namely that defendant’s tinted windows violated the motor vehicle code?”