Recent News and Articles from Russo & Kieck Law Office

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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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Personal Injury: Update on Mode of Operation Rule

Posted by on 2:44 pm in Personal Injury | 0 comments

By: Donna Russo, Esq. On September 28, 2015, the N.J. Supreme Court affirmed the Appellate Division’s opinion in Prioleau v. Kentucky Fried Chicken, Inc. (A-99-13) (074040). As reported in an earlier article, the Appellate Division held that the mode of operation rule does not apply in a situation where a plaintiff fell by the restrooms while her family was ordering her dinner at the counter. It was a rainy evening. The plaintiff contended that she fell on a liquid substance that was greasy. The restaurant had admitted that sometimes grease...

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Insurance Coverage – Denial Letter In Erisa Plans Must Set Forth Statute of Limitations

Posted by on 8:40 pm in Insurance Law | 0 comments

By: Donna Russo, Esq. ERISA claims are typically litigated in the federal courts. ERISA is federal law. Although state courts can decide ERISA claims under federal law, very few claims proceed in state court because the insurance carrier’s attorneys frequently make an application to remove any state court action to the federal courts. On August 26, 2015, the Third Circuit Federal Court of Appeals issued a “precedential” opinion, Dr. Neville M. Mirza, MD. v. Insurance Administrator of America, Inc. (No. 13-3535). The issue decided was whether...

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Employment Law: Change Of Policy To Mandatory Arbitration

Posted by on 7:07 pm in Employment Law | 0 comments

By: Donna Russo, Esq.             In a reported decision, the Appellate Division answered the issue of whether an employee can be bound to a change of policy if the employee did not sign agreement but received notice of same by electronic distribution.  Jaworski et. als. Vs. Ernst & Young US LLP et. als, A-5359-13T2 decided July 23, 2015.  In this case, the employer had changed its policy to mandatory arbitrary.  The employee received notice by electronic mail but did not sign his consent.  The Court held:  “if the policy states assent is...

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Comparative Negligence Defense in Claim by Injured Worker Against Third Parties

Posted by on 7:03 pm in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Donna Russo, Esq.  It is well settled law that there cannot be a comparative negligence defense in worker’s compensation cases.  In Rolando Fernandes v. DAR Development Corp. (A-37-13, decided July 28, 2015),  the N.J. Supreme Court decided the issue of whether third parties can assert the defense of comparative negligence in civil actions against third parties. The injured worker had an accident on a construction site. In addition to a worker’s compensation claim against his employer, the injured worker filed a civil lawsuit against  third...

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Personal Injury: Update on Sidewalk Law

Posted by on 6:55 pm in Personal Injury | 0 comments

By:  Donna Russo, Esq. I. Condominiums             In Luchejko v. City of Hoboken, 207 N.J. 191 (2011), the New Jersey Supreme Court held that a condominium association and management company were immune from liability for a slip and fall on the sidewalk abutting a residential condominium building.  On August 12, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court decided the issue of liability for falls caused by snow and ice on the condominium’s private sidewalks.  Cuiyan Qian v. Toll Brothers, Inc. (A-95-13).  The Court held:  “Residential public-sidewalk...

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Donna Russo Recognized as Top Best Lawyer in Bergen County 2015

Posted by on 7:54 pm in News | 0 comments

(July 2015, Hackensack, NJ): Russo and Kieck Law Firm of Hackensack, NJ, has announced that Donna Russo was recognized on (201) Magazine’s Top Lawyers Listing in Bergen County 2015 in the areas of personal injury. Donna Russo and Patricia Kieck engage in cases involving insurance law, nursing home and assisted living abuse, personal injury, real estate, estate planning, employment law, litigation and appeals and probate and administration. The law firm provides one-on-one, attorney-to-client attention for these complex and often...

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Employment Law: Anti-Harassment Policy Defense

Posted by on 8:50 pm in Employment Law | 0 comments

By: Donna Russo, Esq. The New Jersey Supreme Court has settled the issue of when an employer can be held liable for the discriminatory actions of its supervisor.  Ilda Aguas v. State of New Jersey, Ai35-13 (February 11, 2015).  The Supreme Court’s earlier decision, Lehmann v. Toys ‘R’ Us, Inc.  , 132 N.J. 587, 592 (1993) held that an employer may be vicariously liable, in accordance with the principles of agency law, for sexual harassment committed by a supervisor that results in a hostile work environment. In Ilda Aguas, the Supreme Court...

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