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INSURANCE LAW — Agents/Brokers — Hospitals — Medical Malpractice A-1790-01T5 and A-1824-01T5; Appellate Division; opinion by Parrillo, J.A.D.; partial dissent by Landau, J.A.D. (retired and temporarily assigned on recall); decided and approved for publication February 6, 2003. Before Judges Newman, Parrillo and Landau. On appeal from the Law Division, Union County, UNN-L-4828-99. [Sat below: Judge Weiss.] DDS No. 23-2-2759 Plaintiff Deborah President experienced undiagnosed eclampsia during labor and delivery of her child and, as a result, sustained brain damage, partial paralysis and seizure disorder. She and her husband sued her attending obstetrician, Dr. Reginald Jenkins, the hospital where he had admitting privileges, St. Barnabas Medical Center, and two of its resident physicians, Drs. Lamberto Flores and Francine Hughes, alleging professional negligence in plaintiff’s care and treatment on January 3 and 4, 1998. Eventually, the malpractice claims were dismissed against all defendants except Jenkins. At the time of the incident giving rise to the medical-malpractice claim, Jenkins was in the process of securing new insurance coverage, changing from “occurrence” to “claims made” protection. (Ordinarily, in a “claims made” policy, the coverage is effective if the negligent or omitted act is discovered and brought to the attention of the insurance company during the period of the policy, no matter when the act occurred. In an “occurrence” policy, the coverage is effective if the negligent or omitted act occurred during the period of the policy, whatever the date of discovery. Therefore, the “occurrence” policy provides unlimited prospective coverage and no retroactive coverage at all, while the “claims made” policy usually provides unlimited retroactive coverage and no prospective coverage at all.) Jenkins had been insured by Princeton Insurance Company since 1987 under an “occurrence plus” malpractice insurance policy that was renewed for successive one-year periods through February 1998. However, Princeton canceled the most recent renewal policy, effective October 26, 1997, because Jenkins repeatedly failed to make his premium payment. In fact, throughout the fall of 1997, Jenkins received notices from Princeton advising that unless he paid his premium, the insurance policy would be canceled. Eventually, in a letter dated January 9, 1998, Princeton canceled Jenkins’ insurance policy retroactive to October 26, 1997. Despite these notices, Jenkins never advised St. Barnabas, whose bylaws require all admitting physicians to maintain professional liability coverage, of the cancellation of his insurance policy. Instead, he negotiated with an insurance broker, C&R Insurance Agency, to obtain medical malpractice coverage under a “claims made” policy underwritten by the Zurich Insurance Company. Jenkins advised C&R, both orally and in writing, that his policy with Princeton would expire on February 1, 1998 and, therefore, he needed coverage with Zurich commencing February 1, 1998. Accordingly, his premium was calculated based on a policy period of February 1, 1998, through January 1, 1999. Zurich, through C&R, issued Jenkins a binder, a certificate of insurance and an “additional insured physician’s endorsement” naming him as an additional insured to the master policy of the Garden State Physicians’ Alliance (GSPA), effective as of February 1, 1998. Zurich does not issue medical-malpractice insurance directly to individual physicians. Accordingly, C&R created GSPA for the express purpose of procuring liability insurance for its member health-care professionals on a group basis. GSPA is registered and licensed with the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance as a recognized “Risk Purchasing Group” as defined in � 3901 of the Liability Risk Retention Act, 15 U.S.C.A. �� 3901 to 3906. GSPA had a “master policy” with Zurich. When a new physician would be added to the policy, an endorsement would be issued containing a “retroactive date,” identical to the effective date of the endorsement, on which the additional insured physician would be entitled to insurance under the master policy as an additional insured. In other words, the effective date of coverage for the “additional insured” is the “retroactive” date applicable to each insured physician. On the other hand, a physician who joins the policy on a date after the effective date of the GSPA policy is charged a prorated premium to account for the fact that the physician is not receiving the benefit of coverage for “errors and omissions” that occur prior to the “retroactive” date. The effective date and the expiration date of the master policy are previously established, as the policy was purchased by the GSPA purchasing group prior to the addition of the “additional insured physicians.” The policy under which Jenkins was insured was denominated a “claims made” policy. As the binder, certificate of insurance, and each of the four policy endorsements issued to Jenkins plainly indicate, the effective date of coverage applicable to the individual “additional insured” was February 1, 1998, which was also designated the “retroactive” date in those same documents. And as made equally clear in the “coverage” section of the insuring agreement, the “retroactive” date of February 1, 1998, was the inception date on and after which acts of negligence committed by Jenkins, as the additional insured, would be covered provided they were reported during the policy period. Unlike the standard “claims made” policy, Zurich’s policy provided Jenkins no retroactive coverage during its first year. In that year, the coverage provided by the policy applied only to errors and omissions that occurred during the policy year commencing February 1, 1998, and reported to the company within the policy year. Of course, during the renewal years, the policy afforded “retroactive” coverage for negligence that occurred subsequent to February 1, 1998. Jenkins remained an “additional insured” under the GSPA group policy for the renewal year for the policy period January 1, 1999, through January 1, 2000, with the same “retroactive” date of February 1, 1998. It was during this renewal period that Jenkins made his claim for coverage for the January 3 and 4, 1998, incident involving plaintiff. Zurich denied coverage after Jenkins reported the claim because the acts of professional negligence alleged against him occurred prior to the February 1, 1998, “retroactive” date applicable to him. I. Jenkins argues that the coverage limitations in Zurich’s “claims made” policy, restricting coverage to claims reported to Zurich during the policy year for incidents occurring after the effective date of coverage, should not be enforced as violative of public policy and inconsistent with his reasonable expectations. Jenkins relies exclusively on Sparks v. St. Paul Ins. Co., 100 N.J. 325 (1985), wherein the Court held that provisions of a policy limiting coverage to claims brought for negligence committed during the policy term and providing only limited retroactive coverage were unenforceable as violating public policy absent factual circumstances that would render such limited retroactive coverage both reasonable and expected. Sparks, however, did not set a precise standard by which the reasonableness of retroactive coverage is to be measured in every instance where coverage is claimed to be unreasonably narrow. On the contrary, it expressly recognized certain factual circumstances and contexts that would render such limited retroactive coverage both reasonable and expected. Thus, for instance, “claims made” policies with no retroactive coverage “might be appropriate” where “offered at a reduced premium to the professional in his very first year of practice, or to the professional who changes from ‘occurrence’ to ‘claims made’ protection.” Id. at 340 n.4. Such is the case here. Based on both the oral and written representations of the insured, Zurich insured Jenkins as an additional insured on its group policy as of February 1, 1998. The predecessor policies issued by Princeton to Jenkins since 1987 were “occurrence plus” policies, the most recent of which was scheduled to terminate on February 1, 1998. Such “occurrence” policies typically provide unlimited prospective coverage, that is for acts occurring during the period of the policy whatever the date of discovery and whenever reported. Thus, had the Princeton policy been in effect, as represented by Jenkins and reasonably understood by Zurich and C&R, there would have been seamless, uninterrupted coverage provided by both Princeton and Zurich covering, respectively, acts of negligence occurring prior to the inception of the Zurich policy, and claims made and reported after termination of the Princeton policy. Also, unlike Sparks, the Zurich policy offered Jenkins unlimited “extended reporting” coverage. Thus, unlike the situation in Sparks, here there would have been no gap in coverage in the transition from “occurrence” to “claims made” protection but for the premature cancellation of the Princeton policy due to Jenkins’ failure to pay premiums due. It is solely this lapse on the part of the insured, due exclusively to his own actions, that has created the break in protection. Held: Therefore, Jenkins should not now be heard to complain that Zurich’s limited retroactive coverage was neither reasonable nor expected. Thus, the coverage limitations of the policy are enforceable and preclude coverage of Jenkins’ claim in this instance, arising as it does from alleged negligence occurring before the policy’s effective date. Jenkins argues, alternatively, that even if the policy’s coverage restrictions are enforceable, his claim is nevertheless covered since it arises from an alleged act of negligence occurring after the effective date of the policy, which, because of an ambiguity, he construes to be January 1, 1998. The policy language is clear and unambiguous. It plainly indicates that Zurich is “legally obligated to pay because of a claim first made during the policy period arising out of a medical incident which occurred on or after the retroactive date and which is reported to [Zurich] during the policy period.” (Emphasis added.) The policy equally makes clear that the “retroactive date” is February 1, 1998. Item No. 1b of the declarations page addresses “additional insured physicians” and refers the insured to the “additional insured physician’s endorsement.” The “additional insured endorsements” applicable to Jenkins under both the original 1998 and renewal 1999 Zurich policies state in bold letters “THIS ENDORSEMENT CHANGES THE POLICY. PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY.” The endorsement under the original 1998 policy shows a retroactive date of “2/1/98″ and an effective date of “2/1/98.” Moreover, Jenkins was issued a binder and a certificate of insurance that, similar to the “additional insured physician’s endorsement,” named Jenkins as an additional insured with an effective policy date of February 1, 1998. Similarly, the endorsement under the 1999 renewal policy repeats the retroactive date of “2/1/98″ and lists the effective date of renewal as “1/1/99.” Furthermore, it is undisputed that a C&R representative explained to Jenkins that the retroactive date of February 1, 1998, was the effective date of coverage. Admittedly, the “declarations” page of the 1998 Zurich group policy refers to a January 1, 1998, inception date, however, this policy was issued to GSPA and GSPA is the only insured mentioned in the declarations page. Jenkins’ name does not appear anywhere on the declarations page of either the 1998 or 1999 group policy and therefore the January 1, 1998, inception date governing GSPA simply does not apply to Jenkins as an additional insured. Rather, a simple reading of the declarations page directs the insured’s attention to the individual endorsement that clearly reflects both a “retroactive date” and effective date of February 1, 1998. The clarity of this provision belies any contrary claim of ambiguity or confusion. The insured specifically understood the terms of the policy and got exactly what he bargained for. In fact, the “retroactive date” of February 1, 1998, was set because of representations made by Jenkins both orally and in writing. Jenkins told the C&R representative that he was presently insured with Princeton under an “occurrence plus” policy, and that his coverage with Princeton would expire on February 1, 1998. Jenkins also requested an effective date of “ 2/98.” Along with this form, Jenkins forwarded, among other things, a claims and coverage history form from Princeton dated April 19, 1996, documenting policy periods beginning and ending February 1 of every year from 1987 through 1997. After meeting next with the C&R agent on January 8, 1998, the following day Jenkins prepared, signed and dated an “Individual Physicians Application” for insurance, which represented that his current policy would expire on February 1, 1998. In response to a specific inquiry on the application, Jenkins represented that his professional liability insurance had never been denied, canceled or nonrenewed. The application also contained the following language above Jenkins’ signature: I understand that the coverage offered is provided by a claims-made policy and that incidents that occurred prior to the prior acts or retroactive date are not covered and claims reported after the expiration date are not covered unless I purchase or otherwise obtain an extended reporting endorsement provided by Zurich. And on January 12, 1998, in his application for financing of the premium, Jenkins again represented a policy effective date of February 1, 1998. II. Summary judgment in favor of C&R is also affirmed. Jenkins claimed that C&R was professionally negligent in breaching its duty to procure insurance adequate to meet his needs, namely retroactive coverage to bridge the gap between Princeton’s cancellation of its policy and the Zurich’s policy inception of February 1, 1998. The motion judge found no liability as a matter of law: It seems more than reasonable that an — that a broker and insurer rely on the customer’s assertion that its professional malpractice insurance would expire on 2/98; and, therefore, [C&R] could not be negligent. There was no evidence that C&R misled Jenkins, incorrectly explained the policy, knew the insured misunderstood the coverage requested and provided, or failed to procure insurance in accordance with the client’s needs after being informed about them. In other words, there was no evidence from which a jury could reasonably conclude that the gap in Jenkins’ insurance coverage for claims arising from the events of January 3 and 4, 1998, was attributable to C&R’s failure to exercise the requisite skill and diligence. On the contrary, the insurance coverage gap was created solely by the intentional actions of the insured of which C&R was not notified. Although aware of the notices of pending cancellation issued by Princeton and the insurer’s eventual termination of coverage, Jenkins never advised C&R of these events, affirmatively representing exactly the opposite in his application for insurance with Zurich. Singularly aware of Princeton’s threatened cancellation, Jenkins failed to make the necessary arrangements to continue the Princeton policy in effect or to secure another policy with retroactive coverage to bridge the gap created by Jenkins’ own willful nonpayment of insurance premiums. Under these circumstances, in the absence of any expert proofs establishing an industry norm or customary practice, a broker breaches no duty to an insured to affirmatively ascertain the existence of any gaps in the insured’s coverage and to advise him accordingly. Without proof establishing C&R’s liability, the motion judge’s grant of summary judgment in its favor was proper. The application signed by Jenkins on January 9, 1998, expressly advised him of the policy’s limited retroactivity and, in fact, offered “prior acts coverage” that, in any event, typically excludes coverage for prior acts if the insured, as here, reasonably should have foreseen the claim. Holmes’ Appleman on Insurance, � 111.2 at 116-17 (Holmes and Rhodes ed., 2d ed. 1996). And the policy itself unambiguously repeats the qualification. For some reason, the dissent finds this unpersuasive, finding more significant the fact that the actual policy may not have been received until April 1998. However, the claim was not reported by Jenkins to Zurich until 18 months later, in October 1999, when the renewal policy, issued on January 1, 1999, was in effect for more than nine months. Although properly recognizing that the extent of the duty owed a plaintiff is a matter of law to be determined by a court, the dissent goes on to expand that duty beyond any heretofore recognized in the law to effectively make insurers and their agents guarantors against any gaps in coverage. Even under this expansive view, however, the dissent is forced to acknowledge that Jenkins may have come up far short by virtue of his own actions or negligence. III. In light of Zurich’s denial of coverage, plaintiff brought a direct action against Jenkins’ predecessor insurer, Princeton, alleging negligence for failing to notify St. Barnabas of its cancellation of coverage. The motion judge dismissed this count of plaintiff’s complaint finding that she could not maintain a direct cause of action against her tortfeasor’s insurer prior to recovery of judgment against the latter. As to plaintiff’s negligence claim against Princeton, it is well recognized that an injured person possesses no direct cause of action against the insurer of the tortfeasor prior to recovery of judgment against the latter. Thus, plaintiff’s direct action against Princeton fails to state a claim on which relief could be granted and was therefore properly dismissed. Even if such a cause of action were recognized, however, the existence of a duty is a question of law to be determined by the court and may appropriately be resolved on a motion for summary judgment, as was done here. In the absence of an explicit statutory, regulatory or contract provision that otherwise requires, neither the insurer nor its agent has a legal duty to give notice of the expiration of a policy. There is no authority in this state imposing on medical-malpractice liability carriers the duty to notify hospitals of cancellation of insurance coverage for physicians with admitting privileges therein. Neither notions of basic fairness, nor public policy considerations, nor the factual circumstances of this case dictate the judicial creation of such a legal duty, a decision best left to the legislative or executive branches of government. In the absence of any duty on the part of Princeton as a matter of law, the grant of summary judgment in its favor was proper. Finally, plaintiff sought to impose liability on St. Barnabas for failing to ensure that physicians with admitting privileges have malpractice insurance. Here, plaintiff seeks to impose a duty on the hospital on the dual basis that (1) St. Barnabas voluntarily assumed a duty by adopting bylaws requiring physicians with admitting privileges to maintain adequate insurance coverage, and (2) as a matter of fairness and policy given the foreseeability of harm from physicians practicing without malpractice insurance. Neither basis, however, supports the imposition of a duty as formulated by plaintiff. In the first place, individual physicians are not required to carry medical-malpractice insurance in New Jersey. Nevertheless, courts have upheld the right of a hospital to require members of its medical staff to be covered. It is one thing to say that hospitals should have the right to determine the qualifications of its staff members and to impose conditions on physicians with admitting privileges. It is quite another thing to say that such a right, which inures to the hospital’s benefit, gives rise to a corresponding duty on the part of hospitals to monitor and enforce the physician’s compliance with such requirements for the benefit of patients that the physician admits to the institution. St. Barnabas’ bylaws clearly placed the burden of compliance on the shoulders on those uniquely situated and in a superior position — the physicians — as a rightful condition for initial appointment and continuing privileges. For obvious reasons, the hospital assumed no concomitant affirmative responsibility for monitoring the level of physician compliance, confirming the insurance coverage as represented, verifying that no cancellation or lapse has occurred, or ensuring that its staff and admitting physicians continue to make timely premium payments on an ongoing basis. Indeed, the record is devoid of proof of any proactive steps taken by St. Barnabas on behalf of its patients from which it can be inferred that the hospital owes a duty of reasonable care to patrons to implement its bylaws properly, much less to protect them from physicians without malpractice insurance who admit them through its doors. Simply put, in the absence of an obligation to act, investigate, or “check-up” on its physicians, there is no voluntarily assumed duty. Nor does such a duty arise from the common law. Although a hospital may be liable vicariously for the negligence of a staff physician, and directly for its selection and appointment of an unqualified, unskilled or incompetent physician, tort liability has never been extended to encompass a duty running from hospital to patient as formulated by plaintiff here, namely to ensure that physicians with mere admitting privileges have malpractice insurance. The only two cases discovered that relied on such a theory of liability involved a situation where the hospital granted staff privileges to a doctor knowing he had no medical-malpractice insurance and was otherwise not financially responsible under a state law mandating financial responsibility as a condition of a physician’s ability to maintain staff privileges at a hospital. Here, however, Jenkins is not a hospital employee but merely a physician with admitting privileges. Moreover, there is no claim that St. Barnabas knew his insurance had been canceled and, to the contrary, was assured otherwise by the doctor. Most significant, however, unlike Florida, New Jersey imposes no statutory duty on the hospital to assure its physicians, much less those only with admitting privileges, have malpractice insurance. Recognizing that no such duty exists under the common law either, plaintiff nevertheless seeks to come under the umbrella of those cases finding corporate negligence in the selection or retention of unqualified physicians, arguing that physicians without insurance are “incompetent.” This argument is unpersuasive. There is no reasonable correlation between a physician who does not carry malpractice insurance and his or her professional competency. Neither fairness nor policy dictates judicial imposition of such a duty. Rather, such a determination is left to the legislative or executive branches of government. Therefore, the denial of plaintiff’s motion for leave to amend her pleadings to include a count of negligence against St. Barnabas on this novel theory of liability is affirmed. Affirmed. Landau, J.A.D., retired and temporarily assigned on recall, dissents from that part of the decision affirming summary judgment to both C&R Insurance Agency and Zurich Insurance Company on the claims of Dr. Jenkins and the Presidents, and to the summary judgment afforded to Princeton on Dr. Jenkins’ claim. Portions of the record, if believed, establish that on January 8, 1998, during a final pre-application meeting, Dr. Jenkins informed O’Brien, the C&R representative, that he owed money to Princeton on the occurrence policy. O’Brien merely told Jenkins to pay the money due to Princeton. There is nothing in the record to show that O’Brien ever explained that, despite its “claims made” designation, the Zurich policy would not cover claims made after the effective date that arose from events prior to a “retroactive date.” C&R, Zurich’s agent, must be charged with knowledge on January 8, 1998, that Jenkins’ occurrence policy with Princeton was then in jeopardy. It is also not at all clear that Dr. Jenkins knew on January 8, 1998, that the Princeton policy would be canceled or the date that would ultimately be selected by Princeton as the date of cancellation. Although the malpractice alleged by the Presidents occurred on January 3 and 4, 1998, no claims were made until more than a year later when Zurich’s second policy period with Dr. Jenkins was in effect. On the date that O’Brien and Jenkins met, Jenkins probably would not yet have received notice of the Princeton cancellation effective October 26, 1997. That notice was dated January 9, 1998, presumably received several days later. However, the record discloses existence of a prior Princeton notice dated January 8, 1998, date of receipt unknown, that stated a policy cancellation effective February 1, 1998. In fact, notwithstanding the October 26, 1997, retroactive cancellation date in the final notice dated January 9, 1998, it appears that Princeton had issued a renewal certificate as of December 30, 1997, and issued a bill for a policy beginning February 1, 1998. The January 8 and January 9 notices followed. While Princeton may indeed have been entitled to cancel the Jenkins’ policy for nonpayment, its authority for effecting a retroactive cancellation is not clear, and particularly so where the notice of such cancellation does not appear to have been provided until after the incident of January 3-4. O’Brien admittedly solicited and later convinced Dr. Jenkins to switch to the Zurich claims-made policy. There is no indication of a timely oral or written explanation of the effect of the words “retroactive date,” which qualify the Zurich policy. On January 8, 1998, both O’Brien and Dr. Jenkins each knew of the premium payment problem with Princeton. The proofs tend to show, however, that Jenkins did not yet know the Princeton policy would be canceled or terminated earlier than February 1, 1998. However, even if Jenkins was aware of an earlier cancellation date, the record does not establish that he was informed of the meaning and effect of the “retroactive date” qualification. “Retroactive date” is surely not synonymous with “effective date.” An expert report is not required for a trier of fact to understand that, absent an explanation that incidents occurring prior to the retroactive date are not covered, a lay person could reasonably believe that claims for such incidents made after the effective date of a claims-made policy would be covered. Here, Dr. Jenkins, who was already insured, was solicited by C&R to change his insurance to a form of policy where the very existence of coverage is intensely fact- and date-sensitive. This presents a compelling basis for charging C&R, and its insurer Zurich, with the duty to make sure that the insured is aware of the significance of crucial terms such as “effective date” and “retroactive date.” As noted in Appleman, the classic claims-made policy would cover a claim that was made after the policy’s effective date if the alleged negligence occurred prior to that effective date. 15 Eric Mills Holmes, Holmes’ Appleman on Insurance, � 111.2 at 116-17 (2d ed. 2000). Surely, there is a duty to communicate the effect of words that qualify the ordinary provisions of a claims-made policy, such as the words “retroactive date.” This duty is owed by the agent, particularly one who has solicited a change in coverage, and by the insurer, who should explain the import of such qualifications in any documents given to the insured in timely fashion. It has been suggested that Dr. Jenkins elected, in effect, to take a chance, by either misrepresenting the date when his Princeton insurance expired, or by simply electing to take his chances on leaving a gap in coverage. Perhaps so, but there is no basis in the record for using this rationale on a motion for summary judgment. In fact, on January 8, 1998, Dr. Jenkins’ last contact with O’Brien prior to submitting his application on January 9, the only documents that appear likely to have been in his possession indicated that the Princeton policy would be canceled as of February 1, 1998. The retroactive cancellation was dated January 9, 1998, and presumably received shortly thereafter. Of course, it might be said that Jenkins should have informed C&R when he received the subsequent retroactive cancellation. However, unless he understood that he would be receiving coverage containing a “retroactive date” and also understood that this would mean that there was no coverage for any losses arising before said date, a reasonable person might well have assumed that he would be covered under a claims-made policy after the “effective date” for claims subsequently made that arose out of events preceding the effective date. If the facts are as above stated, C&R, and indeed Zurich, should be found to have breached an actionable duty to Dr. Jenkins as well as to the Presidents, who are persons within the foreseeable ambit of injury resulting from that breach. Also, although the policy language is not ambiguous, the policy was not sent to Jenkins until April 1998, well after anything could have been done to correct its impact on events of January 3 and 4, 1998. Moreover, the documents provided to Jenkins do not pass muster under Lehrhoff v. Aetna Cas. and Sur. Co., 271 N.J. Super. 340, 346-50 (App. Div. 1994). The only confirmation of Jenkins’ coverage with Zurich until April 1998 were two documents that were effectively comparable to the declarations page considered in Lehrhoff, and that failed to warn the insured of the limitation imposed by the words “retroactive date.” The two documents received by Dr. Jenkins were a binder and a “Certificate of Insurance,” each a one-page document containing a number of somewhat confusing dates. The binder recites January 1, 1998, as the beginning of the “policy period,” but February 1, 1998, as the date of the binder that runs to April 1, 1998. The “retroactive date” is indeed set forth as February 1, 1998, but the meaning of that term as compared to “effective date” is not explained in the documents, and, as indicated by O’Brien’s deposition testimony, does not appear to have been properly explained to Dr. Jenkins. — Digested by Steven P. Bann [The slip opinion, including the partial dissent, is 45 pages long.] For appellants — Larry L. Leifer. For defendant-appellant Dr. Reginald Jenkins — Hugh P. Francis (Francis & O’Farrell; Peter A. Olsen on the brief). For defendant-respondents: St. Barnabas Medical Center — James P. Rhatican (Connell Foley; Rhatican and Jennifer Leigh Barnes on the brief); Princeton Insurance Company — William E. McGrath Jr. (Smith, Stratton, Wise, Heher & Brennan); C&R Insurance Agency — Eric L. Harrison (Methfessel & Werbel); Zurich American Insurance Company — Kevin T. Coughlin (McElroy, Deutsch & Mulvaney; David D. Hess on the brief). For amicus curiae The Association of Trial Lawyers of America-New Jersey — Williams, Cuker & Berezofsky (Kevin Haverty on the brief).

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