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Vol. 4, No. 244 — December 24, 1996 STATE COURT CASES PHYSICIAN/PATIENT 29-2-0866 Caputa v. Antiles, et al., App. Div. (20 pp.) In a case asserting negligence and lack of informed consent arising out of the care of plaintiff’s kidney stone, plaintiff was entitled to a directed verdict on the issue of defendant’s failure to make adequate disclosure of available options prior to the initial procedure, and the judge’s denial of the motion for the directed verdict was error. The issue of proximate cause — whether the plaintiff, as a prudent person, would have decided differently if adequately informed of the options — must go to a jury on remand because reasonable minds could differ on this issue. [Approved for publication Dec. 24, 1996.] FEDERAL COURT CASES ANTITRUST 59-7-0867 Mita Copystar America, Inc., et al. v. Katun Corp., U.S. Dist. Ct. (8 pp.) Reargument of order denying motion to dismiss (see DDS No. 53-7-0512 in Nov. 12th Alert) is not warranted because, although not specifically cited, the Supreme Court precedent cited by plaintiff was fully considered in the court’s opinion, reflected by the statement that defendant’s failure to plead predatory pricing or illegal tying does not entitle plaintiff to dismissal of eight counts of the counterclaim. [Filed Dec. 11, 1996.] ATTORNEYS — APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL 04-7-0868 Vrettos v. N.J. Manufacturers Ins. Co., et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (4 pp.) Plaintiff’s motion for appointment of counsel is denied because he has not shown that he is indigent, the merits of his claims are dubious (alleging judicial discrimination, insurance fraud, property damage, permanent disability, wage loss, and loss of enjoyment as a result of an on-the-job injury), and plaintiff has shown sufficient litigation experience to handle his own case. [Filed Dec. 4, 1996.] ATTORNEY/CLIENT — CIVIL RIGHTS — WITHDRAWAL — PRO SE REPRESENTATION 04-7-0869 Eden, et al. v Englehardt, et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (6 pp.) The court denies plaintiff’s motion to substitute as counsel for his minor daughters — in action alleging that defendants violated plaintiffs’ civil rights by interfering with court-approved vacation/visitation — since the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has explicitly held that a non-attorney father cannot represent his minor children in a civil action, although he can represent himself. Since withdrawal of present counsel is appropriate under the circumstances of the case, the daughters are given additional time to procure new counsel. [Filed Dec. 3, 1996.] CONTRACTS — ARBITRATION 11-7-0870 Optopics Laboratories Corp., et al. v. Nicholas, et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (19 pp.) In a case dealing with defendants’ alleged fraudulent misrepresentations in connection with plaintiffs’ purchase of defendants’ controlling shares in a corporation, the court finds that plaintiffs’ first two counts are within the scope of the Merger Agreement’s arbitration clause, and further finds that the third count should be stayed pending the outcome of such arbitration. Because the court lacks the authority to compel arbitration in the contractually chosen forum of Pennsylvania, the court transfers the case to that venue. [Filed Dec. 4, 1996.] CONTRACTS — INDEMNIFICATION 11-7-0871 Burlington Northern Railroad Co. v. Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., Ltd., U.S. Dist. Ct. (17 pp.) (1) The court grants issue preclusive effect to the decision in Atlantic Mutual v. OOCL, 1992 WL 226953, 1992 U.S. Dist. Ct. (W.D. Wash.1992) and permits defendant’s claim for indemnity damages to go forward over plaintiff’s objection that the claim is time-barred, since the limitations period prohibiting shipment damage claims presented beyond a specified time cannot start running until the time that liability is determined or a cognizable loss is incurred, since actions in indemnity do not accrue until such time. (2) The Carmack Amendment to the Interstate Commerce Act expressly provides for defendant’s recovery of the expenses of the underlying action, including attorney’s fees, against plaintiff, the initial carrier. [Filed Dec. 11, 1996.] —END— Copyright 1996 by American Lawyer Media, L.P. A Daily Reporter of New Jersey Court Decisions THIS WEEK IN THE … Now that a federal appeals court has affirmed a $75 million civil fraud judgment against financier Robert Brennan,.attorneys for the Securities and Exchange Commission will ask a federal judge to jump-start Brennan’s Chapter 11 reorganization. See page 29 of the Dec. 23 Law Journal.

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