A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of January 28-February 3.


Diane Allen Retiring From NJ Senate; 5th Senator Not Seeking Re-Election

Michael Symons | NJ101.5

State Sen. Diane Allen is retiring from the state Senate at the end of her current term, the latest in a line of veteran lawmakers opting not to seek re-election.

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Man Sues After Tripping Over Discarded Christmas Tree

Anthony G. Attrino | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

A New Milford man has filed suit against the owners of an apartment building, claiming he suffered serious injuries after tripping over a Christmas tree left for trash collectors.

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Ex-Accutane User’s Time Limit Win May Draw Drug Suits To NJ

Jeannie O’Sullivan | Law360

The New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision this week to reinstate a $25 million verdict for a former Accutane user by applying the state’s statute of limitations could drive up the number of product liability suits in the Garden State from out-of-state plaintiffs hoping to avoid timeliness challenges, some attorneys say.

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Port Authority Sued Over ‘Suicide Magnet’ George Washington Bridge

Emily Saul | NY Post

The widow and daughter of a Brooklyn man who killed himself by jumping off the George Washington Bridge have filed a $10 million lawsuit against the Port Authority, saying the agency should have installed suicide-prevention barriers to stop him and the other troubled souls who have flocked almost daily to the span to kill themselves.

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New Jersey Supreme Court Turns Back The Clock on Statute of Limitations

Steven Boranian | Drug & Device Law Blog

We thought we understood statutes of limitations and choice-of-law rules in New Jersey.  Until yesterday.  That was when we read the New Jersey Supreme Court’s opinion in McCarrell v. Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc., No. 076524, 2017 WL 344449 (N.J. Jan. 24, 2017), which unhinged that state’s statute of limitations and choice-of-law jurisprudence from its own precedent and placed statutes of limitations in a special class without much explanation.  And the court did all of this for the stated purpose of preserving plaintiffs’ claims and not “discriminating” against an out-of-state plaintiff’s ability to sue a New Jersey company in New Jersey, after the suit would be barred in the plaintiff’s home state.

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N.J. Senator: Pay Equity Debate Is About Remedies, Not Merits

Michael J. Doherty Opinion | NJ.com

Everyone agrees that women deserve equal pay for equal work.  Thankfully, both state and federal law already prohibit wage discrimination on the basis of an employee’s gender, as they rightly should.

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Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Time on Bench: Several Opinions Favor Businesses Over Consumers

Sara Randazzo | Wall Street Journal

During his decade on the bench, U.S. Circuit Court Judge Neil Gorsuch has penned several opinions that favor businesses over consumers in disputes about arbitration clauses, labor and employment issues, and class-action venues.

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New Jersey Named the No. 5 Judicial Hellhole in the U.S.


For the past two years, the American Tort Reform Foundation (ATRF) has listed New Jersey—or Atlantic County specifically—on the watchlist of their annual report examining the top nine courts or areas that have developed problematic legal reputations. But in the 2016-2017 ATRF report, New Jersey was bumped up to a full-blown judicial hellhole, no. 5 on the list.

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The Met Wins Admission Charge Lawsuit, But Lawyer May Rack Up $350K

Julia Marsh | NY Post

The big winner from a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Museum of Art over its recommended $25 admission charge is the plaintiffs’ lawyer — who is seeking a staggering $350,000 fee for handling a case that resulted in a nonmonetary settlement.

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The Flood of Class Actions Under NJ’s TCCWNA

Christopher Dalton and Jinkal Pujara of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney | The Legal Intelligencer

Enacted over three decades ago, New Jersey’s Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act, N.J.S.A. 56:12-14 to -18 (TCCWNA), sat largely unnoticed by the plaintiffs bar until recently. But in the past couple of years, scores of putative class actions have been filed alleging violations of TCCWNA against a broad array of businesses such as Wal-Mart, Target, J. Crew, Select Comfort, Burlington Coat Factory, Toys “R” Us, Bed Bath & Beyond, TGI Friday’s, Johnston & Murphy, Whirlpool, and Bob’s Discount Furniture.

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Court Orders Review of Target Security Breach Settlement

David Pitt | Associated Press

A Minnesota federal judge must hold hearings to determine whether a proposed settlement for about 100 million Target customers who were victims of a 2013 security breach treats all customers fairly, a federal appeals court says.

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