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Albert Buzzetti & Associates, L.L.C.

New Jersey Legal Issues Blog

You may not have to foot the bill for bedbug bites

Bedbugs are downright gross. Even though you may not be able to see these tiny critters, they can cause some painful sores. Even worse, you may carry insects home with you after staying at a hotel or private rental property. If you have suffered an injury or financial loss from bedbugs, you may be able to receive compensation

In New Jersey, landlords, hotel operators and store managers have a duty to provide safe conditions. When it comes to bedbugs, these individuals must work to prevent a bedbug infestation. If one occurs, they must act diligently to address the problem. If you have had a run-in with bedbugs at a rental property, store or hotel, you may not have to foot the bill for your damages. 

USPS settles with family for $4.9 million

Crosswalks can be dangerous hazards, both for pedestrians and drivers, especially in urban areas such as Elizabeth, New Jersey. In 2015, a grandmother was attempting to cross a street in Elizabeth while carrying her two-year-old granddaughter and four-year-old grandson. The three stepped in front of a United States Postal Service truck with tragic consequences.

The grandmother was attempting to cross Rahway Avenue, a major thoroughfare in Elizabeth. She was carrying her granddaughter and guiding her grandson by holding his hand. A mail truck turning into Rahway Avenue struck the three while they were in the crosswalk. The granddaughter was killed, and the grandmother and grandson suffered injuries.

Sale of Westminster Choir College triggers all-out opposition

Westminster Choir College in Princeton is one of the most famous musical schools in the world. Since its founding in 1920 and its move to Princeton in 1932, the college has trained thousands of musicians, conductors and scholars. In the 1990s, the college was facing financial problems, and it merged with nearby Rider University. Rider has now created a hornet's nest of a dispute by announcing the proposed sale of the choir college to a firm located in China and partially owned by the Chinese government.

Many people do not want the sale to close. Two business lawsuits are pending in state court that would have the effect of barring the sale. One lawsuit has been commenced by the Westminster Foundation, a group of alumni, donors and other stakeholders, and the other has been commenced by Princeton Theological Seminary. The Westminster Foundation is asserting that Rider has no power to sell the choir college to any business entity or government-controlled entity because the college is a private nonprofit entity.

Understanding motor vehicle accident reconstruction

Many newspaper reports on traffic accidents in New Jersey describe the chronology of the accident in great detail, but many such reports end with the words, "The cause of the accident is under investigation." What is being investigated? Who is doing the investigation? Why is the investigation still underway? The answers to these questions depend upon the number of vehicles involved, where the accident happened, how many people were injured or killed and which police department has jurisdiction.

Most police departments in New Jersey have departments that specialize in investigating accidents and determining their cause. A number of private engineering firms are also trained in accident investigation, and they provide services to police departments that do not have an independent accident investigation unit and to attorneys who may be representing parties seeking damages. All these entities refer to what they do as "accident reconstruction." Reconstructing a motor vehicle accident involves a careful study of the scene, preservation of evidence, evaluation of weather conditions and application of scientific principles.

Understanding New Jersey's comparative fault law

Personal injury law in New Jersey and elsewhere is based on the concept of "negligence." The law expects people to use reasonable care in their daily activities. A person who fails to use reasonable care is deemed to have been negligent, and that person is liable for the damages caused by their negligent act or omission. But what happens if both parties are negligent? Prior to the 1950s, a person whose negligence contributed to a motor vehicle accident could not recover damages from any other negligent person, even if the second person's negligence far exceeded that of the plaintiff.

In the mid-1950s, state legislatures began to revise this rule -- called contributory negligence -- because of its often harsh and unfair effect. New Jersey enacted a law that requires comparing the degree of negligence of each party at fault for the accident and awarding damages to the parties whose fault was less than the other parties. The new rule is often referred to as comparative fault.

Honeywell says it's moving its HQ to North Carolina

Honeywell International, Inc., obtained significant incentives from the state of New Jersey to move its corporate headquarters from Minneapolis to New Jersey. Now, the diversified firm is announcing plans to move its headquarters to Charlotte, North Carolina. Will a business transaction be the result?

After moving its headquarters to New Jersey, Honeywell was purchased by Allied Signal in 1999. The merged company kept the Honeywell name. The company is now in the fourth year of a ten-year deal with New Jersey to receive $40 million in tax credits to remain in the Garden State. The company says that it will keep about 1,000 employees at various locations around the state and doing so constitutes compliance with the agreement.

Multi-vehicle accident kills couple driving to their wedding

State troopers in New Jersey witness a great many fatal traffic accidents in their careers, and most of them develop emotional shields to protect their sanity. Occasionally, however, the circumstances of a particular accident pierce this shield and haunt a trooper's memories for a long time. A motor vehicle accident on I-78 in Berks County had that effect on several troopers that were at the scene.

A young couple was traveling to Pittsburgh, the man's home town, for their wedding ceremony when they slowed for heavy traffic. Unhappily, a tractor-trailer immediately behind them did not slow down. The big rig struck the couple's car and pushed into four other semis that were stopped on the freeway. One trooper said that fire erupted immediately erupted in two of the tractor-trailers and the victims' car. The trooper said that the victims had no chance to escape their burning car. Both were killed in the collision.

What is a wrongful death action in New Jersey?

According to multiple news reports, a woman and a child were killed in Chester, New Jersey, when a tractor-trailer smashed into an SUV driven by a third person. The accident is still being investigated by law enforcement officials, but it appears that the truck driver was at fault. If that proves to be the case, the injured SUV driver may have a claim for medical expenses, lost wages, and permanent injuries. But, what about the woman and the child who were killed?

Many decades ago, people who died in motor vehicle accidents as the result of another's negligent acts had no claim against the party at fault because their cause of action was deemed to have died when they did. As industrialization spread across America, state legislatures began to realize the unfairness of this rule, and virtually all of them, including the New Jersey Legislature, passed laws giving survivors the right to sue negligent parties to recover damages caused by the wrongful death of the family member. The law states that any person whose wrongful act causes the death of another shall be liable for damages caused by the death.

Bar pays $1.5 million to settle wrongful death case

New Jersey law requires bars and other establishments that serve intoxicating beverages to assume liability if they serve someone who is obviously intoxicated and that person then becomes involved in a traffic accident. A bar in Belmar recently agreed to pay $1.5 million to the estate of a young woman who was killed in an motor vehicle accident caused by a person served by the bar.

Witnesses in the bar said that the driver was visibly drunk before he and the victim left in his car. The driver admitted to having at least eight or nine drinks containing vodka and orange juice. He called his girlfriend to pick him up, but he forced himself into the driver's seat and wound up driving the vehicle. The driver's blood alcohol level after the accident was 0.207, more than twice the legal limit. After two minor collisions, his vehicle hit a curb and became airborne. When the vehicle landed on the roof of a nearby structure, the victim was ejected from the vehicle and thrown into the river. The woman was killed when she was thrown from the car, suffering blunt force head trauma and drowning.

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