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Vol. 3 No. 73 DECISIONS RELEASED APRIL 19, 1995 FAMILY LAW 20-2-5446 In the Matter of A.S., App. Div. (11 pp.) The trial judge’s decision to award custody of child to natural father over temporary caretakers, who argued that they were the “psychological parents,” was sustainable where foster parents concealed natural father’s existence, whereabouts and identity from court in their initial custody application and where father had acknowledged child and searched for her, but natural mother had thwarted his efforts to find child. 20-2-5447 Nancy Roettger v. Kenneth H. Roettger, App. Div. (5 pp.) Trial judge’s order that husband’s support and tuition obligations were “suspended” since daughter was “emancipated” (in that she registered in college only on a part-time basis and worked full-time) was sustainable and is affirmed. INSURANCE — VERBAL THRESHOLD 23-2-5448 Barbara A. Sinkbeil, et al. v. William H. Deats, et al., App. Div. (4 pp.) Although plaintiff’s medical evidence concerning her TMJ injury satisfied the objective prong under Oswin v. Shaw, since the reports did not provide a sufficient nexus between the injury and the accident other than conclusory “net” statements, the plaintiff’s case was properly dismissed on summary judgment. NEGLIGENCE 31-2-5449 Gregory Socoliuc v. Kessler Inst. for Rehabilitation, App. Div. (3 pp.) In a case involving alleged negligence while plaintiff was a patient at defendant’s facility, plaintiff was properly denied the right to amend his complaint to add counts against individual medical service providers three years after the suit had been started, since he knew the identities of these providers long before and, although plaintiff included “John Does” as defendants in the suit, he did not proceed diligently to amend the complaint to substitute the real defendants. PHYSICIAN/PATIENT — DISCOVERY RULE 29-2-5450 Connie Peterson, et al. v. Dr. Raymond Crystal, et al., App. Div. (14 pp.) The trial judge correctly dismissed plaintiff’s complaint on the basis of the statute of limitations since she had failed to file her complaint within two years of the time that she was aware that she had an actionable claim against the defedant doctor, since she testified that she saw a lawyer “to sue the doctors” just over one year after the accident. TAXATION 35-1-5451 N.J. Transit Corp. v. Borough of Somerville, Supreme Ct. (23 pp.) N.J.S.A. 2A:14-1.2, the general 10-year limitations period, is inapplicable to the state and its instrumentalities in challenges to real property tax assessments, since the state falls within the specific and express limitations period provided in N.J.S.A. 54:3-21. [Available online in N.J. Full-Text Decisions.] 35-2-5452 Frank E. Walsh, Jr., et al. v. Director, Div. of Taxation, App. Div. (9 pp.) Charging off a worthless nonbusiness bad debt is not a disposition of property within N.J.S.A. 54A:5-1c, and thus taxpayers were not entitled to subtract this loss from gains on the disposition of other property and the deduction was properly disallowed. WORKERS’ COMPENSATION 39-2-5453 Lisa Gonzalez, et al. v. Toys ‘R’ Us, Inc., et al., App. Div. (10 pp.) Since plaintiff would not have been on the premises and would not have had any contact whatsoever with her co-employee but for her employment, the co-employee’s knife attack on plaintiff “arose within her employment” and was therefore compensable exclusively under the Workers’ Compensation Act. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE 14-2-5454 State v. Ervan Cribb, App. Div. (7 pp.) Detective’s testimony which tended to establish that the defendant was known to the police and that the police believed that defendant was the perpetrator, coupled with testimony of the victim that referred to defendant’s photograph as a “mug shot,” had a substantial capacity to influence the jury in favor of conviction, and reversal of the conviction is required. -

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