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Vol. 2, No. 39 DECISIONS ISSUED MARCH 9, 1994 CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 10-2-2783 Thomas Patzau, et al., v. New Jersey Department of Transportation, et al., App. Div. (19 pp.) Where plaintiffs brought suit contending that the Air Safety and Zoning Act of 1983 and the Airport Safety Act of 1983 are unconstitutional, trial court properly dismissed plaintiffs’ complaint, since plaintiffs failed to provide convincing evidence supporting their claims. FAMILY LAW 20-2-2784 Jewel K. Brown v. H. William Brown, App. Div. (15 pp.) Where, during marriage husband and wife had financial difficulties and, after divorce, house fell into disrepair because of neglect of both parties, who eventually lost the house through foreclosure action, trial court properly dismissed wife’s complaint for husband’s dissipation of marital residence, since no evidence was presented that husband used money for his own use that should have gone toward mortgage payment. 20-2-2785 B.C. v. K.H.R., App. Div. (3 pp.) Where father who never married mother had supported and held daughter out as his own for 12 years, until he questioned paternity, and found out that he was not the natural father and then stopped child support, trial court properly dismissed mother’s claim for child support on principles of equitable estoppel, since this principle has never been applied to a stranger. 20-2-2786 Miriam Cohen v. Alan I. Cohen, App. Div. (12 pp.) Where father sued for termination of all child support after unemancipated daughter received substantial settlement in medical negligence claim, trial court properly dismissed father’s claim, since investment income from settlement funds could not become sole source of daughter’s support, where her parents were financially able to provide for her. GOVERNMENT – NEGLIGENCE 21-2-2787 Mark Baker and Robbin Baker v. Evesham Township Board of Education, et al., App. Div. (4 pp.) Where plaintiff was injured while playing football on property that board of education had obtained from developer and on which township had constructed baseball fields, trial court erred in dismissing plaintiff’s claims under N.J.S.A. 59:4-8, which immunizes a public entity for injuries sustained on unimproved property, since the installation of baseball fields is improvement, which precludes immunity. INSURANCE 23-2-2788 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey, Inc. v. Hubbs Chiropractic Center and Gerald L. Hubbs, individually, App. Div. (4 pp.) Where insurer sued doctor for submitting false and misleading insurance claims, trial court erred in granting doctor’s summary judgment motion, since question of fact existed on whether insurer detrimentally relied on doctor’s false statements. INSURANCE – AUTOMOBILES 23-2-2789 Laura W. Hinton v. Kathleen I. Morris and New Jersey Automobile Full Insurance Underwriting Association, App. Div. (10 pp.) Where plaintiff’s back, neck and shoulder were injured in an automobile accident, trial court erred in dismissing plaintiff’s complaint for failure to meet verbal threshold criteria, since a question of fact existed on whether injuries plaintiff sustained significantly affected her life. 23-2-2790 Diane Meehan and Michael Meehan v. Nathan Theeman, App. Div. (7 pp.) Where plaintiff’s neck and back were injured in an automobile accident, trial court properly dismissed plaintiff’s complaint for failure to meet verbal threshold criteria, since plaintiff’s X-rays showed that accident affected a pre-existing arthritic back condition and plaintiff only suffered from temporary neck and back spasms. LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT – CIVIL PROCEDURE 25-2-2791 Bartholomew W. Catalane v. Gilian Instrument Corp., App. Div. (30 pp.) Where employee who began to work for company at age 71 helped company develop products and locate international suppliers, trial court’s jury charge was reversible error, since jury was required to determine whether a certain statement–that employee “was 78 years old and it was time for him to step down”–was the reason for employee’s termination and not just a comment on employee’s retirement. LANDLORD/TENANT 27-2-2792 Lillian Seril, et al., v. Estate of Nathan Mager,App. Div. (9 pp.) Where decedent was a personal guarantor on daughter’s lease agreement with plaintiff landlord for her New York City apartment, and landlord was involved in multiparty litigation with daughter in New York where daughter had not paid rent for 11 years due to litigation, trial court erred in dismissing landlord’s complaint against father’s estate because of landlord’s failure to timely sue for back rent, since plaintiff landlord had sued for back rent and therefore had been protecting plaintiff landlord’s rights in multiparty New York City suit. PRODUCT LIABILITY 32-2-2793 Ross Watkins v. Silvi of Englishtown, Grand Street Hardware and Domestic Broom & Brush, App. Div. (14 pp.) Where employee was injured when heavy equipment fell on him because either wood framing or chain hoists collapsed, trial court properly submitted question to jury as to whether lack of warning regarding proper use of chains constituted a defect, since such issues are routinely submitted to juries. TORTS 36-2-2794 Charles S. Gormley and Lisa Gormley v. Exxon Co., U.S.A., App. Div. (13 pp.) Where contractor was injured when flames shot out of furnace he had serviced because of excess fuel in boiler combustion chamber as he was trying to make emergency exit because he was afraid that flames would ignite nearby barrels of kerosene, and fire extinguisher was not readily available, trial court erred in finding Exxon 50 percent negligent for contractor’s injuries, since company had no duty to protect contractor from dangers inherent in work contractor’s employer had hired him to perform. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE 14-2-2795 State v. Samuel George Bibby, App. Div. (13 pp.) Where defendant was convicted of possession of cocaine, trial court properly denied defendant’s motion to proceed pro se, since defendant did not truly want to represent himself indicated by the fact that his request arose over a disagreement with his attorney on defense strategy.

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