Sunday, January 31, 2016
ANNETTE TROUPE VS. BURLINGTON COAT FACTORY WAREHOUSE CORPORATION
Plaintiff, a customer of a retail clothing store, slipped and fell on a berry on the floor. Applying principles recently clarified in Prioleau v. Kentucky Fried Chicken, 223 N.J. 245 (2015), we affirm the trial court's grant of summary judgment dismissing plaintiff's personal injury action. We hold that the mode-of-operation rule does not apply because there was no clear nexus between the berry and the clothing store's self-service
component. Nor did plaintiff show any breach of duty by the store to its customer.
IN THE MATTER OF PAUL WILLIAMS, TOWNSHIP OF LAKEWOOD
In this case of first impression in New Jersey, we considered the issue of whether an employer's order that an employee undergo a psychological examination to determine his continued fitness for duty was reasonably justified under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C.A. §§ 12101-12213. The employer ordered the examination after receiving a letter from an anonymous source complaining of the employee's disruptive behavior. The employer failed to take any action to investigate the allegation and waited over eight months to require the evaluation. When the employee refused to undergo the examination, citing the protections provided under the ADA, the employer terminated him from employment. The Civil Service Commission upheld the termination.
After reviewing the applicable provisions of the ADA, together with the EEOC's regulations and interpretative Enforcement Guidance, we concluded that the termination was improper and provided guidance to employers on how these provisions should be applied in future cases.
Christina Silviera-Francisco v. Board of Education of
Elizabeth (A-28-14; 074974)
The Commissioner’s September 2012 decision, which rejected the ALJ’s Initial Decision and remanded to the OAL for calculation of tenure and seniority rights, was an interlocutory order. Until the calculation was complete and adopted by the Commissioner, all of the issues presented by the petitioner remained unresolved. The order became a final decision from which an appeal could be filed as of right only when the Commissioner adopted the decision of the ALJ following the remand proceedings.
Sunday, January 24, 2016
JOSEPH A. BERKOWITZ VS. SUSAN J. SOPER
Defendant rear-ended plaintiff’s car while stopped at a traffic light. Plaintiff's damages were based on his account of the severity of his back pain and diagnostic tests that showed disc compression and bulges in the lumbar region of his spine. The jury awarded plaintiff $2,000,000 for pain and suffering. The trial court denied defendant's motions for a new trial and for remittitur.
We reverse. The trial judge committed reversible error when he denied defense counsel’s request to adjourn the trial without applying the standards codified in Rule 4:36-3(b). Reversal is also warranted because plaintiff’s counsel made material misrepresentations in his opening statements, in violation of an attorney’s duty of candor established by our Supreme Court in Passaic Valley Sewerage Comm'rs v. Geo. M. Brewster & Son, Inc., 32 N.J. 595, 605 (1960). Finally, the judge also erred in denying defendant’s motion for a new trial under Rule 4:49-1(a). The jury’s award of compensatory damages shocked our collective judicial conscience, was not supported by the evidence, and constitutes a clear miscarriage of justice.
JOHN WELSH VS. BOARD OF TRUSTEES, POLICE AND FIREMEN'S
We affirm the determination of the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Police and Firemen's Retirement System denying petitioner's request to reactivate and merge his former PFRS pension account with his current PFRS account.
We distinguish our decisions in Sellers v. Board of Trustees of the Police & Firemen's Retirement System, 399 N.J. Super. 51 (App. Div. 2008), and Francois v. Board of Trustees, Public Employees' Retirement System, 415 N.J. Super. 335 (App. Div. 2010), where an equitable remedy was appropriate. Unlike those cases, the petitioner was unable to demonstrate detrimental reliance on the actions of either his employer or the Board.
IN ENFORCEMENT SUPERVISORS ASSOCIATIONTHE MATTER OF STATE OF NEW JERSEY AND NEW JERSEY LAW A-3111-13T2
IN ENFORCEMENT SUPERVISORS ASSOCIATIONTHE MATTER OF STATE OF NEW JERSEY AND NEW JERSEY LAW
In this appeal, appellant challenged an interest arbitration salary award rendered pursuant to N.J.S.A. 34:13A-16.7(b), the "2% salary cap." We held that PERC did not err in affirming the arbitrator's acceptance of the State's scattergram and methodology to calculate the costs of the salary award to establish that it would not violate the 2% salary cap, and PERC's decision fully comported with Borough of New Milford and PBA Local 83, P.E.R.C. No. 2012-53, 38 N.J.P.E.R. ¶340, 2012 N.J. PERC LEXIS 18 at 13 (2012) and its progeny.
DIAL, INC., A NEW JERSEY NONPROFIT CORPORATION VS. CITY OF PASSAIC AND STATE OF NEW JERSEY A-2106-13T2
DIAL, INC., A NEW JERSEY NONPROFIT CORPORATION VS. CITY OF PASSAIC AND STATE OF NEW JERSEY
Invoking various federal and state anti-discrimination laws, plaintiff, a disability rights organization, challenges the validity of a portion of a state statute, N.J.S.A. 39:4 197.7. The provision authorizes municipalities to charge a permit fee to disabled persons who request a personally assigned, exclusive parking space on the street in front of their residences.
On the same legal grounds, plaintiff challenges an ordinance adopted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:4-197.7 by the City of Passaic. The ordinance imposes an annual fee of $50 for a disabled person to obtain, upon request, a personally-assigned handicapped parking spot in front of his or her residence. The City conceded, however, that a separate provision within the ordinance that had imposed a fee for obtaining "generic" (i.e., not personally-assigned) handicapped parking spaces on residential streets was invalid.
Plaintiff contends that fees imposed for personally assigned parking spaces represent an illegal surcharge that discriminates against the disabled. The trial court rejected this argument, finding that no federal or state anti-discrimination laws or regulations require public entities to provide such personally-assigned handicapped parking spaces on public streets.
We affirm the trial court's rejection of plaintiff's facial challenge to the fee provisions within the statute and ordinance. The City is not precluded from charging a reasonable fee for a parking benefit that is not required under the anti-discrimination laws and which is not otherwise made available to non-disabled persons.