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Vol. 3 No. 87 DECISIONS RELEASED MAY 10, 1995 ADMINISTRATIVE LAW AND PROCEDURE — UTILITIES 01-2-5581 In the Matter of Competitive Bidding Solicitations of Jersey Cent. Power and Light Co., et al., App. Div. (19 pp.) The Board of Regulatory Commissioners had insufficient justification, on the evidence presented, to unilaterally modify the deadline in power purchase contracts between Crown Energy and Vista Energy and JCP&L and therefore the order granting an extension of the deadline is reversed. ARBITRATION AND MEDIATION 03-2-5582 The Newman Co. v. St. Paul’s Church, App. Div. (3 pp.) Because an arbitration award may only be vacated for fraud, corruption, or similar wrongdoing on the part of the arbitrators, and plaintiff does not contend that the arbitrator was guilty of such wrongdoing, the dismissal of the award in favor of defendant is reversed, and the fact that the contract between the parties specified a choice-of-law provision indicating their intent regarding judicial review of any arbitration award does not suggest an intent to expand the scope of the review of an award. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW — CONDEMNATION — REAL PROPERTY 10-2-5583 State, by the Comm’r of Transportation v. ALAC Developers Group, App. Div. (5 pp.) Defendant’s contention that a fair rate of interest on the value of his property as a result of the “taking” of condemnation can be no less than the mortgage rate he was actually paying to the lender for the property in question is erroneous, as there is no proof that the mortgage proceeds were used exclusively to finance the property of which the taken parcel was a part, and the calculation used by the judge was fair and just under the circumstances. CONTRACTS 11-2-5584 John R. Rushton, III, M.D. v. Leonard H. Martin, et al., App. Div. (6 pp.) Although the trial judge found the doctor’s testimony credible (that patient’s father had agreed to be responsible for his adult son’s medical bills), the judge also correctly found that this agreement was not enforceable under the statute of frauds as it was a “promise to answer for the debt, default, or miscarriage of another person.” INSURANCE — VERBAL THRESHOLD 23-2-5585 Linda Iero v. Lisa Vitale, et al., App. Div. (4 pp.) The trial judge misperceived his function when he stated that he was the one to determine whether offered objective evidence of injury was credible, and whether the injury was serious, and, as these were questions for the jury, the entry of summary judgment in favor of the defendant is reversed. 23-2-5586 Patricia A. McLaughlin, et al. v. Stratton C. Lee, Jr., et al., App. Div. (4 pp.) Where plaintiff’s doctors found evidence of spasm in the early stages after the accident, but the spasm resolved and was not found again, and where plaintiff’s school life was virtually uninterrupted, her injuries did not satisfy the verbal threshold and summary judgment was properly granted to the defendants. LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT — UNFAIR COMPETITION 25-2-5587 Leshore Calgift Corp. v. Red Sail Merchandising, et al., App. Div. (14 pp.) In distributor’s case alleging conspiracy against another distributor, as well as a former employee of plaintiff and independent sales contractors, for pirating of accounts, while the record contains sufficient evidence to support summary judgment in favor of the independent contractors, there was sufficient proof that former employee of plaintiff conspired with competitor distributor in order to pirate plaintiff’s entire New Jersey sales office, who took with them not only the clients of the office’s sales representatives, but certain other “targeted” accounts which were “house” accounts of plaintiff, and summary judgment should not have been entered against former employee and competitor. LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT 25-2-5588 Alice Guthrie v. Bd. of Review, et al., App. Div. (4 pp.) Where claimant left her job for health reasons but had informed her co-workers and supervisor that she was suffering stress from marital difficulties and presented no medical evidence to show that her health condition was caused by her job, she was correctly denied unemployment benefits because she did not leave work for good cause related to that work. 25-2-5589 Patricia E. Freiler v. Camden County Council of Girl Scouts, Inc., et al., App. Div. (6 pp.) Plaintiff was nothing more than an at-will employee, and her claim that she was terminated in breach of an employee manual was properly dismissed because none of the three handbooks she received supported a reasonable belief that she could be discharged only for cause. PHYSICIAN/PATIENT 29-2-5590 Jane M., et al. v. New York Blood Center, et al., App. Div. (12 pp.) Where there was expert testimony regarding the two distinct standards of care applicable to a blood center’s responsibility to screen blood received and then given to patients, the jury had sufficient background to support its decision finding blood center negligent in its failure to discover HIV-contaminated blood which was later administered to the plaintiff. TORTS — MALICIOUS PROSECUTION 36-2-5591 Timothy L. Wilson v. Erwin Michaelson, et al., App. Div. (16 pp.) Where former employee was wrongfully accused of stealing and prevailed in the criminal action brought against him, while summary judgment was properly entered in favor of defendants on the former employee’s claims of abuse of process, slander and wrongful discharge, there was sufficient evidence produced to raise genuine issues of fact as to whether defendants’ criminal prosecution of former employee was malicious and whether there was probable cause for the criminal prosecution, since employee prevailed, and defendants failed to exclude all reasonable doubt as to the existence of these critical elements; therefore the court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of the defendants on this count. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE 14-2-5592 State v. Louis Abronski, App. Div. (16 pp.) Since the factors of reliance by police personnel and disruption of administration of justice substantially outweigh any general potential of the old law enunciated under Moran (475 U.S. 412 (1986)) to impair the reliability of the fact-finding process, the new law enunciated under Reed (133 N.J. 237 (1993)) is not to be applied retroactively, and the fact that defendant was denied the opportunity to speak with a lawyer, who was hired by defendant’s mother, and telephoned defendant during his interrogation, does not require suppression of defendant s statements made during that interrogation. [Approved for publication.] [Available online in N.J. Full-Text Decisions.] 14-2-5593 State v. James L. Tarver, App. Div. (10 pp.) Since the trial judge’s instruction on third-degree theft omitted discussion of the essential element of the meaning of theft “from the person,” the charge constituted plain error and the conviction must be reversed.

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