Articles Posted in New Jersey

Now more than ever, victims of sexual abuse and sexual assault can access the civil justice system in New Jersey to hold abusers and the institutions that enabled them accountable.

This page explains how sex abuse victims can bring civil lawsuits in New Jersey and get compensation. Our lawyers will discuss the newly amended statute of limitations for sex abuse civil cases in New Jersey. Finally, we will examine these cases’ potential settlement value and recent settlements and verdicts in New Jersey sex abuse lawsuits.

New Jersey Sex Abuse April 2024 Updates

This page will provide a general overview of the key New Jersey laws that are applicable to personal injury cases including auto accidents, medical malpractice, dog bites, and product liability claims. We will also look at the average settlement value of these cases in New Jersey and provide examples of recent settlements and verdicts from New Jersey injury cases.

New Jersey Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases

Every state has a legal deadline for how long a potential plaintiff can wait before filing a civil lawsuit. This deadline is called the statute of limitations. New Jersey has a general 2-year statute of limitations. This means that prospective plaintiffs in New Jersey must file their case within the two year SOL window or their claim will be legally barred.

The page will discuss negligent security lawsuits in New Jersey.  We look at how these lawsuits work and what negligent security lawyers in New Jersey need to do to prove a claim.  Our lawyers also examine the settlement amounts and jury payouts victims see in these cases.

What are Negligent Security Lawsuits?

Negligent security lawsuits (also known as “inadequate security lawsuits”) are basically premises liability claims brought by individual who are victims of violent crime due to a property owner’s failure to ensure adequate safety to shield visitors from criminal activities such as rape, murder, robbery, rape, or assault.  These lawsuits are filed against security companies, property management companies, property owners, and retail businesses that do not take reasonable precautions to keep people safe.

In Cenni v. Laboratory Corp., a New Jersey appellate decision that came down yesterday takes an interesting look at a lab error lawsuit against Quest and Lab Corp and how the discovery rule and the fictitious party rule work in New Jersey.

Facts of Cenni v. Lab Corp

The plaintiff filed a misdiagnosis against LabCorp, alleging it inaccurately interpreted the plaintiff’s annual Pap smear slides, a critical component of cervical cytology exams. The plaintiff argued that due to this error, her cervical cancer diagnosis for years, by which time the cancer had already progressed to stage four.

New Jersey recently wrestled with a question of interest to all pet lovers. In McDougall v. Lamm, the plaintiff asked the court to decide what her pet was worth.

The facts of the case are simple, and our law firm frequently responds to calls like this. (We don’t handle them but we are glad to talk to you about it because we love animals, too.) The plaintiff’s dog was attacked by a larger dog, who picked it up, shook it, and dropped it to the ground, dead. The plaintiff saw her dog die. She filed a lawsuit against the attacking dog’s owner, who admitted that he was responsible for her damages. The court had to decide what her damages were.

The opinion touches on a number of issues, including the “zone of danger” rule (whether a plaintiff must be physically injured to recover for emotional damages received by watching another person suffer); the legal value of a dead pet; and whether a human can claim emotional damages for the death of a pet.

A few extra facts—the plaintiff told the court that she purchased her half-poodle/half-maltese nine years earlier for $200.00, and that she believed she could purchase a similar new puppy today for about $1,400.00. She of course testified that the dog was loved, knew many tricks, and was with her much of the day, particularly because she did not work out of the house.

The trial court dismissed the plaintiff’s emotional damages claim, noting that New Jersey did not recognize such a claim in the context of a pet’s death. The court rendered a verdict of $5,000, noting that the replacement cost alone would not compensate the plaintiff for the “loss of a well-trained pet.” Even though the court stated that it did not grant emotional damages, I think that’s what it did here. A quick internet review shows that these dogs live an average of 14-18 years, so this dog had another four to eight years of life. It cost $200.00. The purchase of a brand new dog, though untrained, would cost $1,400.00. I bet she could get a trained maltipoo for $2,000 without any trouble. It seems to me that the court awarded her $3,000 in emotional distress damages, without directly calling it that. Now, if the court believed that emotional distress damages were legally proper, maybe it would have awarded more. Sadly, it ruled (as did the appellate court), that such emotional damages were improper.

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The New Jersey state legislature is considering a bill allowing wrongful death beneficiaries to recover damages for emotional harm. The bill, approved Thursday by the New Jersey State Senate Judiciary Committee by a 7-4 vote, would allow the families of those killed in auto accident, by medical malpractice, or other negligence to recover non-economic damages. Family members can only recover economic damages resulting from the death of a loved one.

Retired New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Alan Handler reportedly testified to this Senate committee that New Jersey’s Wrongful Death Act did not fairly and adequately compensate the families in wrongful death cases.

The New Jersey law may reflect common law traditions, but it does not reflect anything resembling the modern view on appropriate compensation for the greatest pain in a wrongful death case–the loss of someone you deeply loved.

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