Featured Verdicts

New and noteworthy verdicts and settlements from around the country, selected by VerdictSearch editors.
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New Jersey Verdicts

Find out about the most important recent New Jersey cases, selected by VerdictSearch editors. Coverage includes Essex, Hudson and Middlesex counties.

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No manufacturing defect with exploding jar, jury rules

A jury declined to award damages to a woman who claimed her hand was lacerated by a glass jar that burst when she tried to open it. In 2012, Paula Wirth-Lemunyon, 43, was in her kitchen, in Chesterfield, trying to open a jar of minced garlic. To loosen the lid, she struck the bottom of the jar once with the palm of her right hand. The jar exploded and a glass shard sliced her right index finger, severing the two main tendons and a nerve. She sued McCormick & Co., which she believed made the jar. She brought alleged a manufacturing defect. The company argued the jar lacked an identifying label and because it had shattered it could not be known if there was a defect. The jury found that McCormick made the jar but found no proof of a defect.
Wirth-Lemunyon v. McCormick & Co.
Burlington County

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Cemetery partially liable for sidewalk trip

A cemetery in Fairview was found liable for not properly maintaining an adjacent sidewalk. In 2015, Liliana Arrunategui, 59, was walking by the Fairview Cemetery when she tripped on an uneven sidewalk slab. She broke her right kneecap. She claimed the cemetery negligently maintained the sidewalk. With support from an engineering expert, she argued the sidewalk had been poorly repaired by using asphalt that abruptly rose about three inches to the adjacent slab. The cemetery denied any negligent repair and countered that Arrunategui was comparatively negligent. The jury found that the cemetery was 80 percent liable and Arrunategui was 20 percent liable for her accident. She was awarded $335,000, which was reduced to $268,000, to reflect the apportionment of liability.
Arrunategui v. Fairview Cemetery Co. of NJ
Hudson County

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Prison liable to officer for sex-based harassment

A corrections officer received damages from a jury for her claim that she endured sex-based harassment at the New Jersey State Prison, in Trenton. In 2013, Jennifer Schiavone, 34, heard of a false rumor that she was trying to curry favor with a male superior at the prison by having an affair with him. The rumor, she claimed, generated hostility among co-workers. She alleged the rumor caused a sex-based hostile work environment because it was based on a stereotype about women. The defense denied the rumor was sex-based and argued that any hostility was not severe or pervasive. The jury awarded Schiavone $100,000 for emotional distress and $216,875 in punitive damages. The court awarded $564,907 in attorney fees and $20,107.35 in court costs.
Schiavone v. The State of New Jersey Department of Corrections
Mercer County

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Largest New Jersey Jury Verdicts

(All time; based on cases reported to VerdictSearch)
$787,300,000 Barden v. Brenntag North America Middlesex Co. 2020
$364,228,023 Bondi v. Citigroup Inc. Bergen Co. 2008
$169,932,670 BASF Corp. v. Lyondell Chemical Co. Morris Co. 2007
$165,972,503 Velesquez v. Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Essex Co. 2013
$135,450,000 Verni v. Lanzaro Bergen Co. 2005
$125,000,000 Eagle View Technologies Inc. v. Xactware Solutions Inc. Federal 2019
$119,900,000 Crowley v. Estate of Chait Federal 2005
$117,000,000 Lanzo v. Cyprus Amax Minerals Co. Middlesex Co. 2018
$112,000,000 Globespan Virata Inc. v. Texas Instruments Inc. Federal 2006
$106,700,000 Mylan Inc. v. SmithKline Beecham Corp. Federal 2014