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Vol. 2, No. 53 DECISIONS ISSUED MARCH 29, 1994 BANKRUPTCY 42-2-2950 General Electric Capital Corp. v. Midlantic National Bank, App. Div. (8 pp.) Where plaintiff-creditor sued defendant-creditor for negligent or fraudulent inducement to lend debtor money, claiming that it relied on erroneous information from defendant that debtor had satisfactory credit rating before lending debtor money, and debtor later filed for Chapter 11, appellate court stayed the state court action to allow the bankruptcy court to decide whether plaintiff’s recourse was included in bankruptcy action under the Supremacy Clause, if not case would proceed in state court. INSURANCE – HEALTH 23-2-2952 Benjamin & Philomena Fratantuno v. Div. of Medical Assistance & Health Servs., App. Div. (6 pp.) State director of Division of Medical Assistance & Health Services properly determined that plaintiffs were not eligible for Medicaid for 24 months under N.J.S.A. 30:4d-3i because they transferred assets for less than fair market value around Oct. 2, 1989, even though the transfer occurred prior to April 1, 1990 — the statute’s effective date in New Jersey — since federal guidelines provide that each state must apply the new rules to all transfers occurring on or after July 1, 1988. LANDLORD/TENANT – TORTS 27-2-2953 Amir Bigdeli v. Silver Ridge Apts. and Phil Rizzo, App. Div. (3 pp.) Where plaintiff-tenant’s car was damaged when a tree branch fell on it during a windstorm while parked near plaintiff’s apartment, and apartment-complex manager regularly inspected trees on apartment grounds, trial court erred in holding that apartment-complex manager should have hired a tree expert to check the trees, since no one testified that an expert inspection would have yielded an observable defect. PRODUCTS LIABILITY 32-2-2954 Judith Karpova v. C-Team, Inc., Fountain Technology, et al., App. Div. (19 pp.) Where plaintiff contended that a fire in her apartment was caused by her computer, trial court erred in finding defendant manufacturer liable for the fire, since plaintiff did not provide adequate proof of a defect in the computer. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE 14-2-2955 State v. Francisco Geraldo, App. Div. (9 pp.) Where state trooper (1) pulled over defendant driver for failure to maintain lane in the center, (2) before searching vehicle asked defendant and his passenger to consent to search because both acted very nervous after being pulled over and (3) found drugs in the glove compartment and then in luggage in the vehicle, defendant’s request for post-conviction relief — on ground that consent was unlawfully obtained or that the search exceeded the scope of consent — was properly denied, since defendant never indicated that he wanted to stop the search and neither party answered arresting officer’s direct question about whose luggage it was. 14-2-2956 State v. Arthur S. Sandora, App. Div. (3 pp.) Where defendant, whose driver’s license was suspended twice, contended that driving car after the suspension period expired but before he had his driver’s license reinstated did not violate N.J.S.A. 39:3-40, under State v. Somma, 215, N.J. Super. 142 (Law. Div. 1986), trial court properly held that defendant’s position was unfounded, since appellate court reached an opposite conclusion in State v. Zalta, 217 N.J. Super. 209 (App. Div. 1987). [Decided March 2; approved for publication March 28.] 14-2-2957 State v. Rahjon Smith, App. Div. (15 pp.) Where witnesses’ testimony and lack of physical evidence corroborated defendant’s trial testimony that he did not have a gun during altercation with victims, trial court’s jury instruction demanded trial reversal, since court (1) failed to incorporate defendant’s theory of case into charge, and (2) specifically told jury that defendant fired a weapon but missed the victim. 14-2-2958 State v. Warren Williams and David Lee, App. Div. (9 pp.) Where during separate trials both defendants were found guilty of second-degree robbery, trial court properly instructed jury regarding element of force, since jury instruction for each defendant was carefully tailored to arguments each defendant’s attorney had advanced, and neither attorney objected to charge.

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