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Vol. 4 No. 115 – JUNE 17, 1996 STATE COURT CASES ENVIRONMENT — WASTE MANAGEMENT — MUNICIPAL CONTRACTS 17-2-9247 Nat l. Waste Recycling Inc., et al. v. Middlesex County Improvement Auth., et al., App. Div. (14 pp.) Summary judgment was proper — holding that individual plaintiff taxpayer had standing to challenge the legality of a contract between defendant MCIA and defendant waste management company — since the matter is of public interest and the taxpayer s status as corporate plaintiff s nominee is immaterial, however, summary judgment holding that the contract was in violation of the Local Public Contracts Law is reversed, since the contract falls within the statutory exemption to public bidding found in that law. [Approved for publication Jun. 17, 1996.] FAMILY LAW — RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT — PALIMONY 20-2-9248 John A. Hartmann III v. Janice Marinuzzi, App. Div. (14 pp.) The trial judge mistakenly exercised his discretion denying defendant s motion to vacate default judgment pursuant to R. 4:50-1(f), since the record indicates that defendant was experiencing a fierce struggle in her life resulting from her alcohol abuse, and, further, absent a complete record concerning the defendant s proofs that plaintiff agreed to support her for life, the judge could not fairly decide the issues in this case. PUBLIC EMPLOYEES — ACCIDENTAL DISABILITY RETIREMENT BENEFITS 33-2-9249 Julia Monaghan v. Bd. of Trustees, P.E.R.S., App. Div. (9 pp.) Plaintiff s exposure to toxic fumes in the workplace constituted a traumatic event such that she should have been granted accidental disability retirement benefits, and the ALJ and P.E.R.S. board took too restrictive a view of the definition of a traumatic event in denying her such benefits. PUBLIC EMPLOYEES — POLICE — DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS 33-2-9250 Michael Kempton v. Dept. of Personnel, Merit Sys. Bd., App. Div. (8 pp.) The court affirms police officer’s termination for his illegal strip search of two juveniles, insubordination in failing to advise his superiors of his undercover narcotics investigation and his refusal to answer superior s questions during a disciplinary hearing, noting that on the latter charge the officer was properly advised, pursuant to the mandate of Banca v. Phillipsburg, 181 N.J. Super. 109 (App. Div. 1981), that there were no criminal charges at stake, that none of his answers would be used against him in a criminal proceeding, and that his refusal to answer could result in his dismissal. PUBLIC RECORDS 52-1-9251 The Home News v. State, Dep’t of Health, et al., Supreme Ct. (16 pp.) In refusing newspaper s request for cause-of-death information redacted from the death certificate of Timothy Wiltsey, a boy who disappeared from his mother’s side at a Middlesex County fair, the Appellate Division erred in failing to take into consideration the circumstances of the information requested, which resulted in a blanket prohibition on access to common law public documents inconsistent with the common law’s balancing approach, and permitting disclosure in this case, where neither AIDS nor any other sensitive medical condition is implicated will not jeopardize the primary confidentiality interest identified in the applicable statutes. WORKERS COMPENSATION 39-2-9252 William Collins v. Deull Fuel Co., App. Div. (6 pp.) Since petitioner s doctor s report does not contain the kind of professional analysis required to satisfy petitioner s obligation to present demonstrable objective medical evidence of a permanent disability which restricts the function of the body or of its members or organs and does not explain the significance of his findings of spasm, petitioner s award of five percent permanent partial total disability is reversed. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE — SEARCH AND SEIZURE 14-2-9253 State v. Trevor Bradley, App. Div. (20 pp.) Where defendant was detained in casino for suspected credit card fraud and challenged the subsequent search of his briefcase, the motion judge should not have analyzed the issues raised by defendant s motion to suppress in the context of principles governing motor vehicle searches — which allow police officers more flexibility — and, applying the correct analysis, the court concludes that the search was too remote in time and place from the arrest and the motion to suppress should have been granted. FEDERAL COURT CASES INSURANCE — ENVIRONMENTAL CLAIMS — CHOICE OF LAW 23-7-9254 NL Indus. Inc. v. Commercial Union Ins. Cos. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd s, et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (47 pp.) Analyzing choice-of-law provisions applicable to plaintiff s suits for property damage and bodily injury allegedly resulting from environmental contamination at various sites, the court determines that (1) interpreting the pollution exclusion clause in the general liability insurance policies, Illinois law applies to the Illinois site and the New Jersey law applies to the Oregon site, and (2) with regard to the issue involving timeliness of notice of an occurrence or notice of claim or suit involving the two sites, the court rules that New Jersey law applies to the Illinois site, and Oregon law to the Oregon site. [For Publication.] LABOR/EMPLOYMENT — L.A.D. — HANDICAP DISCRIMINATION 25-7-9255 William Failla v. City of Passaic, et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (7 pp.) Since, under the Law Against Discrimination, a supervisor who engages in discriminatory conduct while acting within the scope of his employment may be held individually liable as an accomplice for aiding and abetting the employer s unlawful conduct, and since the LAD imposes on employers, in certain situations, a duty to affirmatively act to make reasonable accommodation to handicapped employees, defendants motions for summary judgment in handicap discrimination suit are denied. LABOR/EMPLOYMENT — SEX HARASSMENT — EVIDENCE 25-7-9256 Tammy S. Blakey v. Continental Airlines, Inc., U.S. Dist. Ct. (16 pp.) (1) Defendant s in limine motion to bar certain witnesses from testifying at trial is denied, since those witnesses are qualified to proffer their expert opinions and the proposed testimony — concerning the adequacy of the defendant s response to plaintiff s sexual harassment complaints, and the conducting of an airline industry survey concerning sexual harassment — are relevant and will assist the jury in its search for the truth, however, a determination must be made by the trial judge regarding the survey’s admissibility. (2) Defendant s application for an order directing plaintiff to submit to an additional psychological examination is denied since defendant has not shown good cause. (3) Defendant s motion for reconsideration of prior order barring discovery pertaining to plaintiff s relationship with certain individuals is granted, based on newly discovered evidence. PRODUCT LIABILITY — CASKETS 32-7-9257 Steve Nicholas v. Burns Bros. & McCabe Inc., et al. v. Rouleau Granite Co. Inc.; John Nicholas, et al. v. Batesville Casket Co., et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (15 pp.) (1) Plaintiffs claims for damages for mental anguish and physical damage to their mausoleum — stemming from allegedly defective caskets — fall within the purview of the New Jersey Product Liability Act, which provides plaintiffs with their sole remedy despite the fact that they did not specifically plead it. (2) The PLA does not subsume plaintiffs casket design defect theory, and since there is sufficient evidence to create a dispute of fact on this claim, the parties cross-motions for summary judgment are denied. (3) Since casket s express warranty claim provided that manufacturer would be responsible solely for replacement of a defective casket, and since replacement caskets have been provided, the manufacturer has fulfilled its responsibilities and plaintiffs breach of express warranty claims are dismissed. SECURITIES 50-7-9258 Myron Weiner, et al. v. The Quaker Oats Co., et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (41 pp.) The court grants defendants motion to dismiss purported class action alleging various securities violations in connection with the corporate defendant s proposed acquisition of Snapple Beverage Corp., holding that defendants made no material misrepresentations, nor were they under any general duty to disclose the negotiations or the potential acquisition of Snapple during the class period.

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