A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of Aug. 2-8.


Roche Wins Reversal of $2 Million Accutane Trial Verdict

David Voreacos and Jef Feeley | Bloomberg

Roche Holding AG (ROG) won reversal of a $2.1 million verdict by a New Jersey jury in favor of a California woman who blamed the company’s Accutane acne drug for her inflammatory bowel disease.

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Roche Win Upheld In ‘Twin Peaks’ Star’s Accutane Case

Sindhu Sundar | Law 360

The New Jersey Appellate Division on Monday affirmed a jury verdict in favor of pharmaceuticals giant Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. in a suit over the alleged inflammatory bowel disease risks of its acne drug Accutane that had been brought by James David Marshall, who starred in the cult classic television show “Twin Peaks.”

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Lender Hit With Treble Damages for Approving Ill-Fated Home Loan          

Mary Pat Gallagher | New Jersey Law Journal

A New Jersey trial judge has found a mortgage lender liable under New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act for providing a home refinance loan to a 70-year-old borrower it should have known would be unable to make the payments.

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Lagana Introduces Bill to Ease Court Backlog Exacerbated by Judicial Vacancies

Bergan Dispatch

Assemblyman Joseph A. Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic) has introduced a bill that would allow more retired judges to be temporarily brought back to the bench to help ease backlogs created by judicial retirements that are threatening to delay family and civil trials in Bergen County.

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Suit Claims Unemployment Applicants Being Denied Counsel           

David Gialanella | New Jersey Law Journal

A putative class action recently filed in New Jersey court accuses the Department of Labor of purposely confounding those seeking unemployment benefits—including by failing to advise them of their right to counsel.

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Judicial Vacancies Spur NJ Court To Restrict Civil Trials

Martin Bricketto | Law 260

New Jersey’s Bergen County Superior Court will soon limit civil division trials to grapple with judicial vacancies that are expected to grow next month, the vicinage’s top judge said in correspondence posted Monday.

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Rival gas station sues Hamilton zoning board over approval of ‘super’ Wawa

Mike Davis | Times of Trenton

Walter Steele believes a brand new Wawa that would be built within shouting distance of his own service station would force him out of business. Now, he’s filed suit against the township zoning board in an attempt to shut down the project.

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Port Agency Tells Store to Drop 9/11 Items

David W. Dunlap | New York Times

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has a “great concern.” It is not about the state of the region’s airports. Or the difficulties of rebuilding the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. Or the growing perception that politics has driven the agency’s decision making. No, what is troublesome is that Fishs Eddy, a well-known housewares store at Broadway and 19th Street, is “unfairly reaping a benefit from an association with the Port Authority and the attacks” of Sept. 11. How? By selling two lines of goods — “212 New York Skyline” and “Bridge and Tunnel” — that are adorned with fanciful, cartoonish depictions of the twin towers, the new 1 World Trade Center and the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, labeled with their names, all of which the agency claims as its own assets.

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