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Vol. 3 No. 46 DECISIONS RELEASED MARCH 10, 1995 ADMINISTRATIVE LAW AND PROCEDURE 01-2-5121 In the Matter of Theodore C. Aragona, App. Div. (4 pp.) There was substantial credible evidence in the record to support the Merit System Board’s conclusion to remove petitioner’s name from an eligiblity list for firefighters where there were indications of the petitioner’s “impulsivity, moralistic and rigid thinking, defensiveness and attitudes toward authority.” FAMILY LAW 20-2-5122 Donna Doman v. Joseph R. Doman, Jr., App. Div. (4 pp.) The trial judge was correct in determining that the changes in the parties respective incomes were not sufficient to warrant a change in a child support order, since the time and effort that the custodial parent expends in supporting the child justifies recognition of an in kind contribution which is not incorporated into the child support guidelines and, while no dollar amount is placed on these efforts, a court should not reduce support with every minor variation of the parties’ incomes. HEALTH 22-2-5123 Betty Bacharach Rehabilitation Hospital v. Paul R. Langevin Jr., et al., App. Div. (9 pp.) Since an existing health care facility may expand to provide new services without obtaining a certificate of need if its existing license permits it to do so, the health commissioner was required to inquire into the authorized health services under the scope of the facility’s existing license as supported by its initial certificate and, since he did not, the dismissal of a competitor’s complaint seeking to enjoin the expansion, must be reversed and the matter remanded. INSURANCE – AUTOMOBILES 23-2-5124 Liduvina Alonso v. Paul Tomastik, App. Div. (4 pp.) Ordinarily, reversal would be required where, in an automobile negligence matter, the motion judge vacated a default judgment against the defendant without resolving a controversy over service of the complaint, but where defendant then went on to prevail on a motion for summary judgment based upon plaintiff’s failure to cross the verbal threshold, reversal would serve no purpose since plaintiff’s case has already failed. LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT – CONTRACTS 25-2-5125 Griffith T. Parry v. The Continental Corp., App. Div. (7 pp.) Where employee, an attorney, knew from the terms of a stock option agreement how and when stock options had to be exercised, his failure to properly complete the exercising of the options after he resigned cannot be equitably estopped and blamed on the employer’s failure to provide forms since attorney did nothing further to follow the specified procedures. 25-2-5126 Richard S. Homesley v. Bd. of Review, App. Div. (8 pp.) Where employee was first found eligible to receive unemployment benefits and employer appealed, later prevailing, the benefits paid pending the appeal must be refunded by the employee, despite the fact that he did not receive a notice of employer’s appeal containing a refund warning, since employee was ultimately adjudicated not to be entitled to the benefits. NEGLIGENCE 31-2-5127 James A. Ruberton, et al. v. Charles W. Gabage, et al., (App. Div.) Statements made by a defense attorney during a settlement conference–that his client intended to file criminal charges against the plaintiff–did not constitute an abuse of process and, even if a prima facie case of abuse of process had been made, statements made in the course of judicial proceedings are absolutely privileged and wholly immune from liability. NEGLIGENCE – LANDLORD/TENANT 31-2-5128 Jose Vasquez v. Mansol Realty Associates, App. Div. (5 pp.) A commercial landowner is liable to an innocent third party injured as a result of the negligent failure of its tenant to remove snow and ice, even though the landowner has allocated that responsibility by contract to the tenant. WORKERS COMPENSATION 39-2-5129 Anna Eichhorn v. Eastern Christian School, App. Div. (9 pp.) Where, on employee’s way home from attending a work- related conference, her car broke down and, as she was walking to get help, she was struck and injured by a car, her injuries occured in the course of her employment as her travel was part of a special mission and the circumstances of her accident do not qualify as an interruption of that special mission. 39-2-5130 Joe Hugh Scott v. Capital Cities/WABC, App. Div. (28 pp.) The compensation judge correctly found that employee, who was television network’s state bureau chief and weekend anchor, was not entitled to disability due to occupational disease, since his depression arose, not from objectively stressful work conditions peculiar to his workplace, but from his subjective (and unfounded) fear that he would be replaced in his anchor position. OPINION APPROVED FOR PUBLICATION: 45-2-4630 P.P. v. N.J. Dept. of Human Svcs., et al. (Dec. 29, 1994). - A

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