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Vol. 3 No. 228 — DECEMBER 4, 1995 STATE COURT CASES WORKERS’ COMPENSATION — MALPRACTICE RECOVERY 39-1-7202 Christopher Frazier v. N.J. Manufacturers Ins. Co., Supreme Ct. (28 pp.) Because a workers’ compensation lien is imposed upon third-party recoveries that are the functional equivalent of a recovery against the direct tortfeasor, regardless of whether the worker has been fully compensated for his or her injuries, the lien attaches to the proceeds of a malpractice action to recover damages from an attorney who failed to institute an action against a third-party tortfeasor. [Companion case to Utica Mutual, below.] 39-1-7203 Utica Mutual Ins. Co. v. Maran, et al., Supreme Ct. (10 pp.) A workers’ compensation lien attaches to the proceeds of a legal malpractice action against an attorney who failed to institute an action against a third-party tortfeasor, and the compensation carrier does not preclude itself from asserting the lien by failing either to sue the third party on its own or to give earlier notice of the lien. [Companion case to Frazier, above.] CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE — MEGAN’S LAW 14-2-7204 In the Matter of the Registrant E.A., etc., App. Div. (14 pp.) (1) On registrant’s challenge to notifying community organizations that, to date, have not yet registered as required by the Attorney General, thereby preventing registrant from evaluating whether the organizations are entitled to notification, the matter is remanded to allow the prosecutor to present proper proof to allow for resolution of this issue. (2)Challenge to the geographical scope of the proposed notification is denied. [Approved for publication Dec. 1, 1995.] FEDERAL COURT CASES CIVIL RIGHTS — JURISDICTION 46-7-7205 Patricia A. Boeglin v. Home Care Management Services, Inc., etc., et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (6 pp.) Although nursing employment agency is regulated by the state of N.J. — in that the state requires fee schedules of the agency to be approved, filed and followed — the agency’s decision to deviate from these fees does not implicate state action, and plaintiff’s Section 1983 property deprivation claim for alleged underpayment and incorrect calculation of commissions is dismissed. COMMERCE — TRADE NAMES 08-7-7206 ENSR Corp. v. Environmental Services of America, Inc., et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (31 pp.) To the extent the marks of two environmental service companies are similar at all, they are not confusingly so, and since the plaintiff has not established the requisite trademark infringement necessary to support its application for injunctive relief, the application is denied. DEBTOR/CREDITOR — E.C.O.A. 15-7-7207 Sony Electronics, Inc. v. S.G. Putnam, Jr., et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (5 pp.) Since the statute of limitations bars an independent action to declare a note guaranty void and to seek damages, defendants’ counterclaim for that relief is dismissed, but since the statute does not bar the use of an alleged ECOA violation as an affirmative defense to note holder’s collection suit, the dismissal is without prejudice to amending the answer to couch the ECOA claim as a defense to the collection suit, requesting declaratory relief rather than damages. [For publication.] INSURANCE — AGENTS’ DUTIES 23-7-7208 Minnesota Mutual Life Ins. Co. v. Marc Picchierri v. O’Brien Financial Group, et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (8 pp.) Where, in a prior order, the court ruled that insured’s failure to cancel one disability policy was a material breach of another, and insured now brings a third-party action against his insurance agent — for negligence in advising him to continue the former coverage — the third parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment are both denied, since the present record is insufficient to allow the court to determine whether agent failed to meet the standard of care expected of a reasonably prudent agent. (For prior opinion, see DDS No. 23-7-6169 in the July 17, 1995 Alert.) PRODUCT LIABILITY — VENUE 32-7-7209 National Property Investors VIII v. Shell Oil Co., et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (20 pp.) In a suit relating to failures from an allegedly defective plumbing system installed in an apartment complex located in North Carolina, the court grants defendant’s motion to transfer venue there, since, inter alia, (1) the majority of the operative facts underlying plaintiff’s claims occurred there, (2)several non-party witnesses reside there and would be amenable to compulsory process, (3)the premises would be available for viewing by the jury, and (4) failure to transfer could lead to piecemeal litigation adversely affecting the efficient administration of justice.

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