News Archive: July 2011

July 31, 2011

Trial Results: July 2011

Ed Thornton tried a matter in Mercer County, in which the judge directed a liability verdict against the insured, who caused a rear-end hit with a loaded dump truck. It was agreed that the plaintiff has suffered a herniated thoracic disc, but the issue was whether the plaintiff could prove that the herniated disc came from the accident or not. By getting each and every medical record of the plaintiff , including her chiropractor’s records from California, notations as to pre-existing back difficulties were uncovered, which plaintiff conveniently forgot to show to their examining physician. The jury awarded the plaintiff ’s husband no money and awarded the plaintiff less than the arbitration award, which had been rejected by the plaintiff .

Timothy Fonseca has been successful in securing two summary judgments for public entities this summer, one for the Vineland Board of Education based on the argument that they were not negligent and if they were negligent, such negligence was not a proximate cause of the accident in June. In the second, he secured a summary Judgment for the Woodbridge Board of Education in July based on a Brooks analysis of the significance (or lack thereof) of plaintiff ’s injuries.

Jennifer Herrmann received the Commissioner’s approval of a school district disciplinary policy. The district had implemented a policy wherein students could be suspended from extracurricular activities for conduct that occurred off of school grounds and outside of school activities. Previously, the Commissioner had determined the policy to be overly broad in violation of statute. The district therefore revised the policy to add the language of the statute which in essence stated that the conduct occurring outside of school must be sufficiently related to the orderly functioning of the school in order to be punishable by the school district. The Administrative Law Judge ruled in favor of the petitioner, finding that the policy was still overly broad. We appealed with the Commissioner who found that the policy was statutorily compliant.