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Vol. 3 No. 44 DECISIONS RELEASED MARCH 8, 1995 FAMILY LAW 20-2-5102 Anne M. Corrente v. John D. Corrente, App. Div. (10 pp.) The trial judge’s domestic-violence finding was incorrect where husband called wife at work and threatened drastic measures if she did not supply him with money to pay bills and then, after she refused, stopped telephone service to her home, since, even if there was a finding of intent to harass in turning off the phone, no course of repeated behavior and no history of threats, harassment, physical or mental abuse existed. [Approved for publication March 8, 1995.] INSURANCE – AUTOMOBILES 23-2-5103 Orlando Crespo v. Ada Laguer, et al.., App. Div. (11 pp.) Summary judgment should not have been granted to defendants since, even though plaintiff failed to meet the verbal threshold on most of her soft-tissue injuries, there was sufficient objective and subjective proof of TMJ dysfunction to defeat the motion. NEGLIGENCE 31-2-5104 Sandra Meta v. Jim’s Auto Body, et al., App. Div. (14 pp.) Summary judgment in favor of defendant was proper since, even though she may have been negligent in hitting the car in front of her, it was not proved that that impact was the proximate cause of the impact between two other vehicles, the accident in which plaintiff sustained her injuries. PRODUCTS LIABILITY 32-3-5105 Dorothy Thornton v. General Motors Corp., et al., Law Div. (10 pp.) Although, in a second-impact/crashworthy/enhanced injury case, the plaintiff has the burden to prove design defect, availability of a safer design and proximate cause, the burden of apportionment of damages must be imposed upon the defendant. [Approved for publication March 7, 1995.] 32-2-5106 Terry Ouellette v. R.D. Werner Co., Inc., et al., App. Div. (6 pp.) It was not the function of the trial judge to weigh the relative worth and probative value of the respective expert’s opinions and therefore he was incorrect in granting defendant’s in limine motion to bar the testimony of plaintiff’s expert and dismiss her case since the expert possessed the requisite knowledge, education and experience to render an opinion on the cause of a collapse of a ladder. WILLS AND TRUSTS 38-2-5107 Carmine Vistocco, Executor v. Robert Bazzani, et al., App. Div. (4 pp.) Where the plain language of decedent’s will clearly showed his intent that his residuary estate be distributed to his beneficiaries and not to their spouses or heirs, and distribution to his sister was not completed before the sister died, the trial judge correctly held that the undistributed balance of the sister’s share passed to the other residuary beneficiary, not to the sister’s heirs. WORKERS COMPENSATION 39-2-5108 George V. Gulick v. H.M. Enoch, Inc., et al., App. Div. (24 pp.) When a pre-existing loss of function is established by competent evidence, whether compensable or not, a subsequent employer is only liable for that portion of the disability arising out of employment with that employer; therefore, it was error for the compensation judge to disregard the prior disability and to impose the entire burden of total disability on the last employer. [Approved for publication March 8, 1995.] CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE 14-2-5109 State of New Jersey in the Interest of R.V., a Juvenile, App. Div. (7 pp.) Although the amount of restitution ordered by a juvenile-court judge in the case was appropriate, a hearing should be held with respect to the juvenile’s ability to pay, his prospects for future employment, how the restitution will be paid, and what impact the payment would have on the juvenile. [Approved for publication March 8, 1995.] 14-2-5110 State of New Jersey v. Westley Rourk, App. Div. (5 pp.) Defendant’s contention that he was denied due process or the effective assistance of counsel as a result of the trial judge s hostility toward his attorney is without merit since the record reveals that the judge showed remarkable restraint in the face of the arrogance and antics of defense counsel and conducted the trial fairly and impartially.

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