The immunity principle espoused by the Barney’s Furniture court (concluding that the city could not be held liable in damages for floods resulting from a gradually increasing functional incapacity of the sewer system) is codified as the planning and design immunity provision of the TCA. See N.J.S.A. 59:4-6.
Continue Reading Design and Plan Immunity

Subsection (a) concerns the “exercise of judgment or discretion” in making basic policy — the type made at the planning, rather than the operational level of decision-making. Moreover, immunity is contingent upon proof that discretion was actually exercised at that level by an official who, faced with alternative approaches, weighed the competing policy considerations and made a conscious choice.
Continue Reading Discretionary Immunity and Negligent Operation

The New Jersey Tort Claims Act (the “TCA” or the “Act”) provides that “a public entity is not liable for an injury” caused by an act or omission “[e]xcept as otherwise provided by this act.” N.J.S.A. 59:2-1a. Under the TCA, immunity is the rule and liability is the exception. The TCA defines public entities to include counties and municipalities, and therefore townships also fall within the scope of the TCA. N.J.S.A. 59:1-3.
Continue Reading Inside the Tort Claims Act

The law in New Jersey is such that a public entity is not liable for an injury caused by the issuance, denial, suspension or revocation of, or by the failure or refusal to issue, deny, suspend or revoke, any permit, license, certificate, approval, order, or similar authorization where the public entity or public employee is authorized by law to determine whether or not such authorization should be issued, denied, suspended or revoked.
Continue Reading Can Public Entities and Planning Boards Be Held Liable for Negligently Approving Construction Plans or Wrongly Issuing Permits?

Whether you are a general contractor, a sub-contractor, or a supplier, you are uniquely aware of the difficulty of coming by work in these harsh economic times. You are also equally aware that even though work may be available, receiving payment from the owner, the general contractor, or the sub-contractor can be a difficult task. The purpose of this blog is to discuss the best way to ensure that not only does the project proceed properly, but also, that you receive payment for your work and/or materials.
Continue Reading Getting Paid in Difficult Economic Times: What Contractors, Sub-Contractors and Suppliers Need to Know

On Monday, November 15th, 2010, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued its highly anticipated decision in the controversial case of Dean v. Barrett Homes, Inc., 406 N.J. Super. 453 (App. Div. 2009), cert. granted, 200 N.J. 207, 976 (2009). The contested issue in Dean was whether the economic loss doctrine, a judicial construct which bars recovery in tort for damage a product causes only to itself, applied to bar a homeowner’s tort claim for a defective exterior finishing system installed on their home during construction.
Continue Reading New Jersey Supreme Court Reverses Appellate Division in Seminal Economic Loss Rule Case

In a Per Curiam decision, the Appellate Division recently reversed a Trial Judge’s order dismissing several Consumer Fraud Act (“CFA”) claims against the developer of a condominium development and the general contractor for allegedly having filed false affidavits of title in the course of selling several units.
Continue Reading Appellate Division Reverses Trial Judge’s Order in Consumer Fraud Act Claims

Donald B. Brenner, Chair of Stark & Stark’s Construction Litigation Group, presented a seminar at the 2010 New Jersey Cooperator Expo. The expo was held in Secaucus, New Jersey on May 5, 2010. Mr. Brenner presented a seminar entitled, Legal and Legislative Update: Important Decisions, New Laws, and how they Impact Your HOA, Condo. and/or Co-Op, in conjunction with Stark & Stark Community Association Group Co-Chairs, David J. Byrne and A. Christopher Florio.
Continue Reading Stark & Stark Shareholders Present Seminar at 2010 New Jersey Cooperator Expo

Lloyd Medley, chief judge of Orleans Parish Civil District Court, stated that the policy exclusions that insurers have commonly been using to deny claims for drywall damage don’t apply. Medley told Audubon Insurance Co. that the three items in its policy that the company had used to deny the homeowners insurance claim that New Orleans residents Simon and Rebecca Finger had made did not apply.
Continue Reading Louisiana Judge States Policy Exclusions Used to Deny Chinese Drywall Insurance Clams Don’t Apply

Stark & Stark recently joined forces with the consumer advocacy group, Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings (HADD), to file an amicus curiae brief urging the New Jersey Supreme Court to uphold a homeowner’s right to pursue tort remedies against manufacturers of defective building components in Dean v. Barrett Homes, Inc., 406 N.J.Super. 453, 202 (2009) cert. granted, 200 N.J. 207, 976 (2009).
Continue Reading Judicial Doctrine Trumps Plain Language of NJPLA – Third Circuit Predicts Expansion of Economic Loss Rule in New Jersey