Recent News and Articles from Russo & Kieck Law Office

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Employment Law: Wavier of Jury Trial

Posted by on 6:13 pm in Employment Law, News | 0 comments

By: Donna Russo, Esq. In Noren v. Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (App. Div. 2017), the Appellate Division, in a reported decision on February 6, 2017, ruled that a waiver of a jury trial does not need any magical language in a contract but that “the provision must be grounded in ‘plain language that would be clear and understandable to the average’ person that statutory rights are being waived.” In this case, the plaintiff was denied a jury trial on a CEPA claim.  The employment contract contained a jury-waiver provision.  The provision...

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Nursing Home Agreements and Arbitration Clauses

Posted by on 6:21 pm in News, Nursing Home Abuse & Assisted Living | 0 comments

By: Donna Russo, Esq. Many nursing home agreements have clauses which attempt to limit the right to sue and the right to recover when a resident is injured due to negligent abuse and neglect.  These clauses are  commonly called an “arbitration clauses”. Always read the agreements very carefully and do your best to strike out the arbitration clauses.   If you are executing the agreement under a durable power of attorney, consult with an elder law practitioner about limiting your powers when signing these types of agreements. However, if you...

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Employment Law:  New Supreme Court Opinion Rules That Statute of Limitations May Not Be Reduced by Language in Job Application

Posted by on 5:22 pm in Employment Law, News | 0 comments

By: Donna Russo, Esq. On June 15, 2016, the NJ Supreme Court reversed the Appellate Division’s opinion in Rodriguez v. Raymours Furniture Company, Inc. which had held that the statute of limitations for  filing a discrimination claim can be limited by language set forth in a job application.  The Appellate Division’s opinion of June 19, 2014 is discussed in a prior article. The employer, Raymours Furniture Company, Inc. had language in its employment application which limited the statute of limitations for filing discrimination claims to six...

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Insurance Law – Erisa Subrogation Liens

Posted by on 8:01 pm in Insurance Law, News | 0 comments

By: Donna Russo, Esq. Employee health insurance plans are governed by federal law known as “ERISA”.  It is typical for these policies to contain a provision that requires repayment from a personal injury settlement for health benefits paid to treat the injuries sustained in the accident.  Many times, insurance companies use a third party to collect the lien. In Aetna, Inc. Aetna Health, Inc, (a NJ corp.), Aetna Health Insurance Co., Aetna Life Insurance Co., and the Rawlings Company, LLC,, (Civil No. 13-1377 3/1/16), Judge Hillman of the NJ...

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Personal Injury: New “Mode Of Operation” Opinion

Posted by on 7:58 pm in News, Personal Injury | 0 comments

By: Donna Russo, Esq. On April 1, 2016, the Appellate Division issued a new reported opinion further refining the “mode of operation” jury charge.  Walker v. Costco Wholesale Warehouse, et. als, A-2493-14T2. The mode of operation charge is only applicable in slip and fall cases when plaintiff establishes that the store created a hazardous condition by its mode of operation such as ‘self-service retail activities’.  The significance of this charge is that the plaintiff does not have to establish that the proprietor had actual or constructive...

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Important New Legislation: Memory Group Homes And Dementia Facilities To Be Governed By The Nj Department Of Health

Posted by on 3:31 pm in News, Nursing Home Abuse & Assisted Living | 0 comments

By: Donna Russo, Esq. You may ask why this legislation is so important? Prior to this legislation, memory care homes were governed by the Department of Community Affairs and were treated as boarding homes with very little, if any protection, for the vulnerable adults suffering from alzheimers, dementia and related disorders.   I litigated against one of these memory group homes because the resident was simply not an appropriate resident given the minimal care being afforded by the group home. Assembly Bill 1102 (identical Senate Bill S-1145)...

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Employment Law: Dispute Arbitration Compelled In Handbook

Posted by on 7:17 pm in Employment Law, News, Recent News | 0 comments

By: Donna Russo, Esq. Since 1985, the law is clear that employee handbooks do not create an implied contract if the handbook clearly and prominently states that it is not a contract.  For example, language prominently displayed at the beginning of the handbook that the rules, regulations, procedures and benefits contained in the handbook are not promissory or contractual is sufficient to deem that the handbook is not an implied contract. In Morgan v. Raymours Furniture Company, Inc. et. als., A-2830-14T2 (1/7/16), the Appellate Division, in a...

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Appellate Division Rejects Expansion of Mode of Operation Rule

Posted by on 8:30 pm in News, Personal Injury | 0 comments

By: Donna Russo, Esq.   The Appellate Division, in a reported decision on January 26, 2016, Annette Troupe v. Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corporation, A-1687-14T4, rejected expansion of the mode of operation rule beyond self service facilities. The Court, citing the Supreme Court’s decision in Prioleau v. Kentucky Fried Chicken, Inc., 223 N.J. 245 (2015), explained: “To begin with, the mode-of-operation rule is a “special application of foreseeability principles” because of risks posed by self-service and “not a general rule of...

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Lawyers Divided on Impact of Mode-of-Operation Ruling

Posted by on 5:39 pm in News, Recent News | 0 comments

By: Donna Russo, Esq. A recent ruling by the New Jersey Supreme court could have a significant—and lamentable—impact on slip-and-fall cases. I was quoted in a  December 11 2015, New Jersey Law Journal article on the ruling, which generally restricts the use of the “mode-of-operation” doctrine by plaintiffs in slip-and-fall cases to self-service areas of fast-food and grocery establishments. Established decades ago, the doctrine eliminates the need for an injured customer to prove notice of an unsafe condition in instances where the way in...

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Employment Law: Disloyalty and Remedy of Disgorgement

Posted by on 8:51 pm in News | 0 comments

By: Donna Russo, Esq. In Bruce Kaye et. als. v. Alan P. Rosefielde, et. als., 223 NJ 218 (2015), the NJ Supreme Court decided the issue of whether the equitable remedy of disgorgement of the compensation paid to a disloyal employee is available when the employer did not sustain damages as a result of the disloyalty.  The Court held that under the facts of the case, disgorgement of compensation, without employer loss, is an appropriate remedy. In Kaye, the employee committed serious misconduct by action on his own behalf instead of acting for...

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