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News & Events

Brielle Elementary kids give thank you speeches to Vietnam Veterans under the guidance of Dan Jahnsen

Dan Jahnsen once again volunteered his time to Brielle Elementary School to teach 8th graders the art of giving a speech. This year, instead of a debate type format, Dan choose to have the kids write a speech and delivery it to Veterans of the Vietnam War. This was a touching event for the kids, the Veterans and those in the audience. On this Memorial Day, we would like to not only remember those who died serving, but thank surviving Veterans and all those who chose to serve in the armed forces. Thank you for your service.

Bolan Jahnsen partners Dan Jahnsen and Tom Walters presentation you won’t want to miss…

Dan Jahnsen and Tom Walters are looking forward to the Retail, Restaurant & Hospitality Conference, conducted by The CLM (Claims and Litigation Management) Alliance on February 7-9, 2018 in Dallas. They and a few industry leaders will be presenting “Beyond the 5-Second Rule: Serving for the Win in Food Poisoning Cases.” It’s sure to be a savory treat!

Appellate Division Deems Excess PIP “Boardable”

The Appellate Division just declared that medical expenses above PIP limits chosen in a standard auto policy are recoverable from tortfeasors. The consolidated decision of Haines v. Taft and Little v. Nishimura involved plaintiffs who selected policies with $15,000 PIP limits under N.J.S.A. 39:6A-4.3(e). Before this decision, there were conflicting trial court opinions as to whether excess medicals could be recoverable, or whether any bills between the selected limit and the $250,000 statutory limit would be barred. The court in Haines/Little ruled that evidence of medical expenses between the $15,000 selected limit and the $250,000 statutory limit is admissible against a tortfeasor as “economic loss” defined by N.J.S.A. 39:6A-2(k).

Hopefully the legislature and/or the Department of Banking & Insurance will act to mitigate this threat to the cost-saving measures of the limited policy legislation. Meanwhile, defense counsel and insurers will have to proactively contain excess medical expenses by applying bill reviews and other methods typically used by PIP carriers to evaluate reasonableness and necessity of medical expenses.

Give us a call with any questions or for assistance in defense of your New Jersey claims.

Claims Litigation Alliance welcomes Dan Jahnsen as a Member

The firm is proud to announce that Daniel S. Jahnsen has been nominated and accepted into the Claims & Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) The Alliance’s mission is to promote an inclusive, cooperative organization that furthers the highest standards of claims and litigation management and brings together the thought leaders in both industries. Through education and collaboration the organization’s goals are to create a common interest in the representation by firms of companies, and to promote and further the highest standards of litigation management in pursuit of client defense. Selected attorneys and law firms are extended membership by invitation only based on nominations from CLM Fellows.

We are proud of our affiliation and look forwards to our role advancing the Alliances objectives.

Stop Suing 11 Year Olds, So Says The Appellate Division

As Judge Sabatino writes in his opinion, it was a close game, with only 20 seconds left on the clock and, up by one goal, the Medford youth lacrosse player cradled the ball attempting to run out the clock. Along came an 11 year old opposing player, who struck the arm of the Medford player and, in the ensuing collision, both players fell to the ground. With play whistled dead, the Medford player was taken to the sideline, then eventually to the ER where he was diagnosed with a fracture significant enough to require open reduction and internal fixation. Incredibly, that check formulated the basis of a lawsuit filed against, among others, the opposing 11 year old lacrosse player.

Even in New Jersey, thankfully, logic sometimes prevails. The Appellate Division in a published opinion upheld the trial court’s dismissal of the lawsuit against the boy. In formulating its opinion, the court took judicial notice that children “will inevitably commit fouls in sporting activities out of inexperience, youthful exuberance, lack of self-discipline, clumsiness, immaturity, frustration, or some combination of those traits.” While I thought the judge was referring specifically to my son, he was actually citing to the 2014 Boys Lacrosse Youth Rule Book. As the court concluded, the prospect of a lawsuit should not crop up every time the referee calls a foul.

On behalf of all Soccer (and Lax) Moms, thank you Judge Sabatino.

Supreme Court Confirms Adverse Inference Charge Improperly Applied to Expert

The Supreme Court in Washington v. Perez clarified application of the adverse inference charge as applied to a party’s failure to call an expert. In that case, the defense had named two experts who provided opinions as to the extent of the plaintiff’s alleged injuries. However, for reasons not elaborated upon by defense counsel, neither of whom were called to testify at the time of trial. The plaintiff’s attorney sought and the judge agreed to issue an adverse inference charge. Moreover, in closing plaintiff’s counsel alluded to some nefarious concealment on the part of the defense in their failure to call the experts. The Supreme Court reversed the trial court finding error in issuing the adverse inference charge to the jury, explaining that, in regards to experts, the charge is appropriate in only the rarest of circumstances.

$450,000 Demand Reduced to $6000 Net Judgment

Plaintiff alleged to have fallen off of a defective chair while at McDonalds.  Following a two week trial, Dan Jahnsen fielded a verdict on behalf of McDonalds wherein the jury awarded the plaintiff a total of $8,000 finding her 25% comparatively fault.  Notably, the plaintiff boarded nearly $200,000 in medicals following a series of three surgeries to different areas of her body, despite the fact that the emergency room records immediately following the incident noted only minimal injury.  As for liability, the defense admitted that the chair that caused plaintiff to fall wobbled due to a missing bolt.  Defense also did not dispute the plaintiff’s claim that she fell due to the condition of the chair.  Notwithstanding, the jury found comparative negligence on the part of the plaintiff and the judge molded the $8,000 award accordingly.

Shoplifters Beware — Motion for Summary Judgment for Merchant Accusing Plaintiff of Shoplifting Offense

The Federal District court dismissed the plaintiff’s case in its entirety following our motion for summary judgment made on behalf of the client, a national retail store.  Plaintiff, a minor, had claimed emotional injuries following his arrest for suspicion of shoplifting in the store.  The plaintiff’s friend with whom he was shopping ultimately admitted to taking the item in question.  However, the plaintiff had been arrested along with his friend after fleeing the store when approached by the manager.  Both were ultimately located and the police drafted complaints against the two teenagers, which the complaining manager then signed.  Plaintiff claimed that the manager should have known he did not steal the item from the store as his friend fessed-up to the crime prior to the arrest.  The court agreed with the argument on summary judgment that the merchant had a reasonable basis to suspect the plaintiff had committed an act of shoplifting and therefore was not liable for any “damages.”  Any client who would like more information on this case, please feel free to contact vconnolly@bolanjahnsen.com

Court Enters Summary Judgment for Singles Dance Party Organizer

The music was hopping and the the singles were doing The Hustle to the beat of the Black Eyed Peas. All was good until the plaintiff went down mid-spin, ostensibly due to a spilled drink on the dance floor, sustaining a significant wrist fracture. The dance party organizers had rented a banquet hall and supplied a DJ for the singles event. The plaintiff filed suit against the banquet hall owners, as well as the singles dance party organizers. On our motion for summary judgment at the close of discovery, the trial judge agreed that the dance party defendants did not breach any duty of care owned to the dance party attendees with respect to a transient hazardous condition in the premises rented. So put on your dance shoes ’cause I got a feelin’… and contact Vicki Connolly for more information on this case.

Terry Bolan selected Lecturer for Continuing Education Course “It’s All About the Alcohol”

The Institution of Continuing Legal Education requested Terry Bolan to provide a lecture on Dram Shop liability issues in a seminar entitled, “It’s All About the Alcohol” No, that’s not a joke. The lectures were even preceded by a lovely wine tasting event, and thank you pregnant Amy Papa for the extra wine chips. Terry has a developed a power point presentation that can be tailored to your needs, just give us a call if you are interested.

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