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Reported Decisions And Articles

Zahiry Pension Decision

Board of Review Murillo decision Docket No. DKT00155065(Mailing Date: 21/12/2018)

Superior Court Of New Jersey Law Division: Bergen County Docket No. BER-L-6570-17

The Superior Court agreed with my position that the defendant’s vocational expert does not have the right under the New Jersey rules of court to interview the plaintiff.

S.T. v. 1515 Broad Street, (App. Div. Aug. 6, 2018) 2018 WL 3715815

The Appellate Division held that the trial court could appoint a guardian ad litem if there is good cause to believe a party lacks mental capacity to participate in the litigation and that a finding of general incapacity under R. 4:86 was not required.

Jay’s Shoe box v. Selective Insurance, Superior Court, Law Division, Essex County

The trial court granted plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment denying defendant’s defense to coverage for water damaged property as being personal property rather than insured business personal property.

Mc Kay Pension Decision

The U.S. District Court granted my motion for summary judgment finding that my client had not engaged in disqualifying employment and was entitled to be paid his pension for the period in question.

Guy Whitlock v. Board of Trustees of the Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund, OAL DKT. No. TYP 04687-15

In this decision, the ALJ reversed the decision of the board of trustees finding petitioner to be entitled to ordinary disability retirement benefits as he was physically incapable of performing the material and general duties of his occupation.

Feltington v. Hartford Life Insurance Company. (E.D.N.Y 2016.)

This decision lays out the criteria for discovery outside the administrative record when seeking to reverse the decision of the plan administrator who had terminated payment of long-term disability benefits under an ERISA covered plan.

FINRA Arbitration — The bank’s in-house investigator caused my client to be terminated on the basis that she was dishonest in answering questions and so stated on her from U-5, which records the reason for any termination in employment of persons licensed by FINRA, and is publicly available. I brought a defamation action to expunge the description of her conduct as being dishonest and prevailed.

The Appeal Tribunal reversed the decision of the deputy finding that poor judgment was not willful misconduct, and that a decision of the Appeal Tribunal must be based on competent evidence.

Silver v. Board of Review, 430 N.J. Super 44, 53 (App. Div. 2013)

The Appeal Tribunal reversed the decision of the deputy finding that termination for poor judgment was not misconduct and that therefore claimant was entitled to her unemployment benefits.

Carrie B. Johnson v. Public Employees Retirement System Docket No. A-3882-13T3, decided June 12, 2015

The Appellate Division held that board of trustees of the Public Employees’ Retirement System could not reduce a pension benefit for dishonorable conduct without findings of fact that it had addressed each of the factors in N.J.S.A. 43:1-3(b). Appellant had asked prisoners where she had worked as an assistant commissioner with the Department of Corrections to provide silk and live flower arrangements to her sorority in connection with the Restorative Justice Program, which helps teach prison inmates various job skills.

North Jersey Media Group v. IC System Solutions, Inc. BER-L-2791-13

My client, a deceased former employee, had been accused of fraud and conspiracy with vendors to cause his employer to enter into business transactions that were not favorable to his employer. The action was dismissed on the basis that there was no proof of fraud or conspiracy, and that at all relevant times his employer had the opportunity to review his contracts, vendor relationships and to change course if that is what was considered desirable.

Robert Luongo v. New Jersey Public Employee’s Retirement System, OAL Dkt. No. 08892-11 Nov. 20, 2013

The administrative law judge reversed the decision of the Public Employees’ Retirement System and determined that claimant was entitled to ordinary disability benefits as he had successfully proven his general physical unemployability.

Cunningham v. Jet Aviation Flight Services, Inc. (D.N.J. 4/24/2013) 2013 WL 1758617

Thom Velto v. Dewey Electronics Corporation, Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division #BER-L-5184-11

The court held that my client was able to pursue state law contract and negligence claims against his employer for the payment of long-term disability benefits, and denied the company’s claim of ERISA preemption with respect to these claims.

Connor v. PNC Corp. (D .N. J) Civil Action No. 1140-09 Decided April 24, 2011

This is an important decision. The court held that a plan administrator needed new medical information to terminate payment, that it must provide a rational for not following a Social Security Disability decision, and that it must give meaningful advice as to how to perfect one’s appeal to the carrier.

Ascencea, L.L.C., successor in interest to Affiliated Mortgage Protection, L.L.C. (Plaintiff) v. Randall J. Zisook, et al (Defendants)

In this matter the court agreed that Ascencea lacked standing as a successor corporation and granted our motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint that had sought to enforce noncompete agreements that the defendants had signed.

Gail A. Connor v. PNC Corp. and Affiliates Long-Term Disability Plan

This is an important decision in that the court expanded the right to engage in discovery beyond the administrative record in an ERISA long-term disability action in the event of a conflict of interest. It allowed me to learn how many times the insurance company’s doctor was found in favor of the insurance company rather than the claimant, and in how many medical specialties he has provided expert opinion.

Brogdon v. Sungard (D. N.J.) Motion to dismiss complaint brought by 19 employees for payment of severance benefits was defeated.

Annette Engel (Plaintiff) v. Jefferson Pilot Financial (Defendant)

The District Court reversed the decision of the plan administrator and found that the claimant had in fact established that she was disabled as result of the chronic fatigue syndrome, and ordered the payment of her long-term disability benefits.

Stuart Weiss v. The Prudential Insurance Company of America (D.N.J. 5121-05)

The District Court granted our motion for summary judgment awarding long-term disability benefits to Mr. Weiss. In a published opinion, the court held that it was arbitrary and capricious for the plan administrator not to actually consider his regular occupation rather than how the duties of his occupation were performed in the national economy.

Kruh and Vort v. Ken Ehrman, 2007 N.J. Super. Unpubl. LEXIS 1883 ( Nov. 28, 2007)

How material breach is to be determined with respect to a breach of warranty in the sale of property.

Maria Veras v. Federal Express Co. & Broadspire Services, Inc. (D.N.J. 06-2241)

The District Court granted our motion that the decision to deny short-term disability benefits was arbitrary and capricious as the administrative record had shown that she was unable to perform the duties of her own occupation. This decision is now on appeal to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.

Lorna Walker v. Metropolitan Ins. (D.N.J. 2499-01)

The District Court granted our motion for summary judgment holding that there was in fact no information in the administrative record that the plaintiff was capable of performing the other occupation that had been identified, and thus continued to be eligible for benefits under the plan.

Don Dent v. Cingular Wireless Co. (D.N.J. 07-552)

The District Court remanded this matter as had been requested, which had been removed on the basis of federal question jurisdiction holding that the claims that had been pled were based on state law and were not covered by the terms of the company’s collective bargaining agreement.

Nassam Inc. v. Masaki Sassa, Superior Court of New Jersey (Chan. Div. C-24-07)

The Chancery Division denied plaintiff’s motion for a TRO and thereafter for a preliminary injunction, which it had sought to enjoin the use of trade secret information that was alleged to have consisted primarily of customer names and manufacturing specifications. The court determined that the customer names were readily ascertainable and not trade secrets, and that the specifications belonged to the customer not to defendant’s employer.

Rainville v. Consupak 407 F. Supp 221 (D.N.J. 1976)

Upheld the right of a patent licensee to proceed as an involuntary plaintiff.

In re imperial “400” Nat. Inc. 333 F. Supp. 742, (D.N.J. 1971) and 324 F. Supp 582 (D.N.J. 1976)

Upheld position of SEC on attorney fee awards in a Chapter X reorganization.

ERISA Law Journal

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