Kenneth Mr. Vercammen was included in the 2017 “Super Lawyers” list published by Thomson Reuters.

To schedule a confidential consultation, email us at VercammenAppointments@NJlaws.com, call or visit www.njlaws.com

(732) 572-0500

Monday, June 19, 2017

KEYKO GIL, ET AL. VS. CLARA MAASS MEDICAL CENTER, ET AL. A-4034-14T4

KEYKO GIL, ET AL. VS. CLARA MAASS MEDICAL CENTER, ET AL.
A-4034-14T4
In this appeal, the court examined clauses contained in insurance policies covering a hospital to determine, among other things, whether the trial judge erred in rejecting plaintiffs' arguments that an allegedly negligent physician was also covered
page1image20000 page1image20160 page1image20320 page1image20480 page1image20640

because he was the hospital's "employee" or a "leased worker," or because his limited liability company was "affiliated or associated" with the hospital. The court held that the policy language could not be plausibly interpreted to provide coverage to the physician or his limited liability company, and affirmed the summary judgment entered in favor of the insurers.
     Judge Ostrer filed a concurring opinion.

MARC LARKINS, ETC. VS. GEORGE J. SOLTER, JR., ET AL. A-2573-15T2


MARC LARKINS, ETC. VS. GEORGE J. SOLTER, JR., ET AL.
          A-2573-15T2
The legal issue on appeal is whether the State Comptroller is obligated to disclose his reasons for selecting the North Bergen Board of Education for a performance audit before commencing the audit. We held that N.J.S.A. 52:15C-1 to -24 (the Act) does not impose any such requirement. To hold otherwise would undermine the purpose of the Act; render meaningless an auditee's unambiguous statutory obligation to provide full assistance and cooperation with any audit; and unduly delay the conduct of audits. 

THE STOP & SHOP SUPERMARKET COMPANY, LLC, v. THE COUNTY OF BERGEN; THE BERGEN COUNTY PLANNING BOARD; AND THE COUNTY OF BERGEN DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT A-2134-14T1


THE STOP & SHOP SUPERMARKET COMPANY, LLC, v. THE COUNTY OF BERGEN; THE BERGEN COUNTY PLANNING BOARD; AND THE COUNTY OF BERGEN DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT A-2134-14T1/A-4630-14T1(CONSOLIDATED)
(NEWLY PUBLISHED OPINION FOR JUNE 14, 2017)
page2image12144 page2image12304 page2image12464 page2image12624
The published portion of this opinion addresses the Open Public Records Act (OPRA), N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 to -13. The Appellate Division holds OPRA litigation is authorized to allow a party who has been denied access to records to obtain access to those records, and counsel fees are authorized under OPRA if the litigation causes the production of those records. Because plaintiff had already obtained the responsive records before it filed its declaratory judgment action, its action was moot when filed, and plaintiff was not entitled to counsel fees. Plaintiff cannot avoid the proscription against litigating moot issues by bringing a declaratory judgment action. 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

JOSHUA HAINES VS. JACOB W. TAFT, ET AL/ TUWONA LITTLE VS. JAYNE NISHIMURA A-5503-14T4/

JOSHUA HAINES VS. JACOB W. TAFT, ET AL/ TUWONA LITTLE VS. JAYNE NISHIMURA 
A-5503-14T4/ A-0727-15T2(CONSOLIDATED) 
In these automobile negligence actions, plaintiffs were injured in a car accident and incurred more than $15,000 in medical expenses. The PIP coverage in each plaintiff's policy (both plaintiffs had standard automobile policies) was limited to $15,000 per person, per accident. Plaintiffs sought to recover those expenses exceeding $15,000 from the alleged negligent defendants. 
Defendants and amici (interest groups which represented the insurance industry) argued various PIP statutes precluded insureds from recovering medical expenses above the PIP limit. Among other things, they contended permitting the recovery of medical expenses above an injured insured's PIP limit will bring back the days when court calendars were clogged with law suits that required a determination of who was at fault for the accident causing a plaintiff's injuries, a result the No-Fault Act intended to eliminate. 

Whether an injured insured may recover medical expenses above his or her PIP limits has never been determined by an appellate court, and trial courts have been providing conflicting rulings. After examining the subject statutes, including the legislative history for each, and Supreme Court precedent, we concluded the Legislature intended an insured covered with a standard policy may recover from the tortfeasor medical expenses above the PIP limit in his or her policy, up to $250,000. While certain minor medical expenses, such as copayments and deductibles cannot be recovered, the Legislature did not intend to preclude the recovery of the medical expenses at issue here, which exceeded the $15,000 PIP limit by approximately $10,000 in one and $28,000 in the other matter. 

RUCKSAPOL JIWUNGKUL, ETC. VS. DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF TAXATION A-4089-15T2

RUCKSAPOL JIWUNGKUL, ETC. VS. DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF 
TAXATION 
A-4089-15T2 
The surviving partner of a domestic partnership, N.J.S.A. 26:8A-2(d) (DPA), filed New Jersey tax returns on behalf of his partner's estate that were consistent with their status as domestic partners. He claimed the spousal exemption allowed for domestic partners under the New Jersey Inheritance Tax, N.J.S.A. 54:34-2(a)(1), and, because no spousal deduction was permitted for domestic partners under the New Jersey Estate Tax, N.J.S.A. 54:38-1 to -16, he did not claim such a deduction. He later filed an amended estate tax return in which he claimed a marital deduction under the Estate Tax. This deduction was authorized to members of a civil union, N.J.S.A. 37:1-32(n); N.J.A.C. 18:26-3A.8(e), a formal relationship plaintiff and his partner had declined to enter, but was not authorized under the DPA. 
In his appeal from the Tax Court's decision affirming the denial of the marital deduction, plaintiff argues the DPA violates the equal protection guarantee of the New Jersey Constitution, Art. I, Para. 1, and there is no rational basis for the marital deduction to be different under the New Jersey Inheritance Tax Law and the New Jersey Estate Law. We affirm, substantially for the reasons set forth in the cogent and comprehensive written opinion of Judge Patrick DeAlmeida, P.J.T.C., Jiwungkul, as Executor of the Estate of Michael R. Connolly, Jr. v. Director, Division of Taxation, Docket No. 009346-2015 (May 11, 2016). 

05/30/17 KATHLEEN LEGGETTE VS. 

KATHLEEN LEGGETTE VS. GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES INSURANCE COMPANY ("GEICO"), ET AL. A-1911-15T3

KATHLEEN LEGGETTE VS. GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES INSURANCE 
COMPANY ("GEICO"), ET AL. 
A-1911-15T3 

The issue of first impression presented in this matter is whether an out-of-state automobile insurance policy is deemed to provide PIP benefits when the named insured, while a pedestrian, is injured by a New Jersey driver. We conclude medical expenses for injuries suffered while a pedestrian, are not covered by N.J.S.A. 17:28-1.4, commonly known as the "Deemer Statute," which is triggered only when there is a nexus between the out-of-state automobile and the accident.