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Sunday, December 11, 2016

MARK R. KRZYKALSKI, ET AL. VS. DAVID T. TINDALL A-2539-14T3

MARK R. KRZYKALSKI, ET AL. VS. DAVID T. TINDALL
          A-2539-14T3/A-2774-14T3(CONSOLIDATED)
Plaintiff commenced this personal injury suit against defendant, whose vehicle rear-ended plaintiff's, as well as a fictitious defendant, an unknown driver, who had cut across the lane in which plaintiff was driving to make a left turn. The
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trial judge permitted the jury to determine whether both defendant and the unknown driver were negligent and, if so, to ascertain their respective responsibility for plaintiff's injuries; both were found negligent, and the unknown driver was found 97% responsible. The court held that the trial judge properly allowed the jury to apportion responsibility between the known and unknown defendants, extending Cockerline v. Menendez, 411 N.J. Super. 596 (App. Div.), certif. denied, 201 N.J. 499 (2010), which differed only because, in Cockerline, the plaintiff had already settled with the UM insurer and thereby fixed the unknown driver's contribution, and here no such settlement was reached and no proceedings had occurred with respect to the UM carrier.
     Judge Leone filed a concurring opinion.