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VOL. 2, NO. 190 DECISIONS RELEASED OCTOBER 28, 1994 BANKING – TORTS 06-3-4208 James A. Kinzig v. First Fidelity Bank, N.A., et al., Law Div. (8 pp.) Where plaintiff sued a bank for cashing checks for that were made out to a contractor plaintiff hired and one of the contractor’s employees, trial court held that the checks were properly paid by the bank, since the use of the slash between the contractor’s name and the employee’s name permits payment to either of the payees, and proper payment requires the indorsement of only one of the payees. [Approved for publication Oct. 24, 1994.] FAMILY LAW 20-2-4209 Laura Bayer v. John W. Bayer, App. Div. (8 pp.) Where husband, a self-employed plumber, seeking a reduction in alimony and support payments, claimed that because of the economy his salary was reduced and he did not want to seek other employment, trial judge properly ordered the husband to pay all expenses of the marital home, since the husband was underemployed and his income was understated. INSURANCE – AUTOMOBILES 23-2-4210 Karen Crisfulla v. Rosalie Brill, App. Div. (3 pp.) Where a nurse injured her back in an automobile accident, trial court properly dismissed the case for failure to meet verbal-threshold criteria, since she only missed one week from work, and was able to perform most of her daily tasks. 23-2-4211 Apolonia Zienkiewicz, et al. v. Zdzislaw Cholinski, et al., App. Div. (5 pp.) Where plaintiff injured her back in an automobile accident, trial court properly dismissed the complaint for failure to meet verbal-threshold criteria, since she did not submit objective credible medical proof that the injury had a serious impact on her life. LAND USE 26-2-4212 Dixon Family Assocs., et al. v. Green Spring Estates, Inc., and Jolen Realty Co., App. Div. (8 pp.0 Where developer terminated a land-sale contract in writing because subdivision approval was not obtained within a year pursuant to contract terms, trial court properly found that the developer had breached the contract, since it delayed in seeking approval because sales in another development were slow. 26-3-4213 Carol Somol v. Bd. of Adjustment of the Borough of Morris Plains and the Borough of Morris Plains, Law Div. (17 pp.) Where land owner was denied variances to build a single-family home on an undersized lot, and a prior owner owned the lot and an adjacent undersized lot for about 19 years, trial court found that land owner was improperly denied variances since (1) the land owner met the hardship variance requirements, and (2) the doctrine of merger in Loechner v. Campoli, 49 N.J. 504 (1967), did not apply, because the prior owner and the town always treated the lots as separate units. [Approved for publication Oct. 24, 1994.] WORKERS’ COMPENSATION 39-2-4214 James Masterpol v. Mountaineer Mining Constr., App. Div. (5 pp.) Workers’ compensation judge properly raised an earlier compensation award to 22.5-percent permanent partial total disability, from a five-percent permanent partial disability, since the disk herniation was caused by a twisting movement that exacerbated a previous work-related injury. 39-2-4215 Richard A. Wiggins v. The Port Auth. of New York and New Jersey, App. Div. (13 pp.) Workers’ compensation judge erred in awarding an employee 100 percent total permanent disability for aggravation of pre-existing multiple sclerosis, since there was insufficient proof to link exposure to chemicals and temperature variation with the exacerbated condition. WILLS AND TRUSTS 38-2-4216 In the Matter of the Estate of Dorothy R. Piechota, App. Div. (4 pp.) Where beneficiary claimed that a document was a contract to make a will, trial court properly ordered the surrogate to issue letters of administration to the decedent’s known heirs, since the document was neither a contract to make a will nor a will. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE 14-2-4217 State v. Mark D. Danik, App. Div. (5 pp.) Trial court properly admitted the defendant, who was convicted of possessing a semi-automatic weapon, into a pretrial intervention program over the prosecutor’s objection, since the prosecutor based his opinion on the offense, not on defendant’s background. 14-2-4218 State v. Gustavo Herrera, App. Div. (10 pp.) Where defendant was convicted of cocaine possession, trial court properly limited the cross-examination of a detective regarding the detective’s indictment for official misconduct, since the jury had the opportunity to consider the effect of the indictment when weighing his testimony. 14-2-4219 State v. Jammie Lewis Wiggins, App. Div. (5 pp.) Where defendant was found guilty of cocaine possession, trial court properly did not consider as a mitigating factor that his imprisonment would entail excessive hardship on his family, since the purported hardship would not shift the balance of the aggravating factors or require sentence modification.

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