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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

ESTATE OF MYROSLAVA KOTSOVSKA, BY OLENA KOTSOVSKA VS. SAUL LIEBMAN

ESTATE OF MYROSLAVA KOTSOVSKA, BY OLENA KOTSOVSKA
 ADMINISTRATOR VS. SAUL LIEBMAN
 A-5512-11T4

In this appeal from a $565,806.37 final judgment in a wrongful
death action, we consider whether the question of the decedent's
status as an employee or independent contractor, which the jury
determined adversely to defendant, should have been decided in the
Division of Workers' Compensation.

We conclude that the Division was the proper forum for
resolution of that issue pursuant to Kristiansen v. Morgan, 153 N.J.
298 (1998), modified on other grounds, 158 N.J. 681 (1999).
Notwithstanding the superior court's concurrent jurisdiction to
decide the question of decedent's employment status, we reverse the
liability verdict because we also conclude that the jury
instructions on the issue were seriously flawed. Rejecting
defendant's remaining points of error, however, we affirm the jury's
damages verdict and preserve it pending remand to the Division to
determine decedent's employment status. 12/26/13