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VOL. 3, NO. 1 DECISIONS RELEASED JANUARY 3, 1995 AUTOMOBILES – NEGLIGENCE 05-2-4637 Joseph Bocchino, et al. v. State of New Jersey Dep’t of Transp., et al., App. Div. (12 pp.) In suit by husband of driver killed when her car struck a utility pole, trial judge properly dismissed claims against a utility company for allegedly placing poles in unsafe locations for motorists, since poles were placed with the state agency’s authority having jurisdiction over the highway location. CORPORATIONS – TORTS 12-2-4638 Marshall Laurer, M.D. v. M.E.D.S. Rolling Med. Servs, Inc., et al., App. Div. (7 pp.) Where, in shareholder’s suit against officers for breach of fiduciary duty, jury exonerated one of the officers based on interrogatories and instructions it was given, trial judge erred in molding the verdict to reimpose “equitable” considerations of corporate shareholder and corporate creditor interests, which claims were dismissed before trial. FAMILY LAW – INSURANCE 20-2-4639 Jason Miller, et al. v. Prudential Ins. Co., App. Div. (6 pp.) Where property settlement agreement entered in divorce proceedings provided that proceeds of life insurance policy be paid to the insured’s children, life insurance policy’s face value should have been distributed according to the agreement but the increase in value of the policy should have been awarded to the named beneficiaries. INSURANCE – AUTOMOBILES – NEGLIGENCE 23-2-4640 Patricia Jordan v. Richard Dennison, App. Div. (7 pp.) Since Legislature intended that amendment of N.J.S.A. 39:6A-8 be retroactive, injured passenger who did not own a vehicle and was not an immediate family member of the insured driver was eligible for the no-threshold option, even though accident occurred before the date of amendment.[Available online in N.J. Full-Text Decisions] MUNICIPAL LAW – AUTOMOBILES – NEGLIGENCE 30-2-4641 Joanne Eason v. NJAFIUA and Township of Montclair, et al., App. Div. (5 pp.) Where sole basis for liability in suit by driver injured at uncontrolled intersection is the emergency or “trap” liability provision of N.J.S.A. 59:4-4, suit was properly remanded in light of state Supreme Court’s ruling in Civalier v. Estate of Trancucci, 138 N.J. 52 (1994), that municipality may be liable for failure to provide emergency signals or signs necessary to warn of dangerous condition not reasonably apparent to person exercising due care.[Available online in N.J. Full-Text Decisions] PRODUCT LIABILITY – NEGLIGENCE 32-2-4642 Dorothy Richter v. Owens Corning Fiberglas Corp., App. Div. (20 pp.) Where an electrician died from lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure, there was no error in trial judge’s refusal to instruct the jury that proof of regular and frequent asbestos exposure was a prerequisite for contracting the disease, since the medical expert testified that the disease could be caused by short, intense exposure. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE 14-2-4643 State of New Jersey in the Interest of K.A., App. Div. (6 pp.) Where defendant punched someone in the mouth but the evidence did not demonstrate that there was a serious permanent disfigurement, trial judge erred in finding that the conduct engaged in, if committed by an adult, would constitute aggravated assault, and thereby adjudicating defendant a delinquent. 14-2-4644 State v. John Dozier, App. Div. (15 pp.) In prosecution of defendant as the leader of a narcotics trafficking network, the jury was properly charged, since the judge set forth the elements of the offense and was not required to relate the legislative history of the statute to the jury. 14-2-4645 State v. Dwain Ford and Michael Pratt, App. Div. (17 pp. incl. dissent) Where defendants were charged with cocaine possession after an officer seized a bag of cocaine stashed by the side of a house, trial judge erred in granting suppression motion on grounds that the seizure was a warrantless entry inside a home, since defendants’ privacy rights were altered when an officer observed a narcotics transaction and the stashing of the narcotics.[Available online in N.J. Full-Text Decisions] 14-2-4646 State v. W.L., App. Div. (12 pp.) Where defendant was convicted of sexual abuse, trial judge erred in not giving the jury a limiting instruction as to the use it could make of Child Abuse Accommodation Syndrome.[Available online in N.J. Full-Text Decisions] 14-2-4647 State v. Deborah Miller, App. Div. (12 pp.) Where defendant was indicted for cocaine possession, trial court erred in holding that it had no authority to review a prosecutor’s failure to enter into a post-conviction agreement to waive the mandatory-minimum sentence, required by N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7, since in State v. Vasquez, 129 N.J. 189 (1992), the Court held prosecutor’s decision subject to judicial review. 14-2-4648 State v. Tariq Muhammed, App. Div. (6 pp.) Where, during a trial for aggravated sexual assault, a victim was unresponsive to questions and volunteered information beyond the scope of questioning, trial court properly did not order a medical examination of the victim to determine her mental state at the time of the incident and trial, since defense counsel was not limited in his ability to cross-examine her. 14-2-4649 State v. Philmore Robinson, App. Div. (5 pp.) Where defendant ran as officers approached him and cocaine was found on him during a pat-down search, trial court erred in granting a suppression motion, since it was proper to subject the defendant to a pat-down search after he fled.

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