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Thursday, June 21, 2012

JOYCE QUINLAN VS. CURTISS-WRIGHT CORPORATION A-5728-06T1


JOYCE QUINLAN VS. CURTISS-WRIGHT CORPORATION
 A-5728-06T1

In this employment case brought pursuant to the Law Against
Discrimination, we examine, at the Supreme Court's direction,
various open issues that were not previously resolved on appeal. 
See Quinlan v. Curtiss-Wright Corp., 204 N.J. 239 (2010),
reversing in part Quinlan v. Curtiss-Wright Corp., 409 N.J.
Super. 193, 218 (App. Div. 2008).  

 Although we affirm the verdict in plaintiff's favor on
liability, we conclude that the trial court erred in instructing
the jury that the defendant employer bore the burden of proving
that plaintiff would fail to mitigate her damages in the future. 
In addition, the jury charge should have made clear that
plaintiff bore the specific burden of proving a reasonably
likely period of time that her loss of earnings would continue
into the future.  Because the jury's $3.65 million award in
future economic losses could have been affected by the flawed
instructions, we remand for a new trial on the issues of front
pay and other related damages. 
 
 We also refer to the Model Civil Jury Charge Committee a
request to develop a charge on front pay, including instructions
addressing these particular issues of reasonable duration and 
mitigation. 04-05-12