Not A Trespasser, And Not Drunk

In Olsen v. Sandax, Inc., No. A-2553-09 (App. Div. Mar. 15, 2011), the jury returned a verdict of $1,281,755.50 against the defendant because it determined that it failed to properly maintain its parking lot, which led to an accident in which the plaintiff was injured.  On appeal, the defendant asserted that the verdict should be reversed because the plaintiff was a trespasser and because the trial court erred in excluding evidence that the plaintiff was intoxicated.  The Appellate Division rejected both arguments and affirmed because the plaintiff was an invitee and a blood test taken of the plaintiff was negative for alcohol.


Digging Behind The Veil: New Jersey Supreme Court Decision Threatens To Impose Increased Liability On Home Improvement Contractors

Eric L. Probst represented several non-profit home improvement associations as amicus curiae on an important issue of first impression before the New Jersey Supreme Court.  The question before the Court was whether a homeowner has to pierce the corporate veil to hold individual shareholders of home improvement contractors personally liable for violations of New Jersey’s Home Improvement Practices regulations under the State’s Consumer Fraud Act.  In his article,  New Jersey Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument On Whether To Impose Personal Liability Against Corporate Shareholders Of Home Improvement Company For Violating New Jersey’s Home Improvement Practices Regulations, published in Community Builders and Remodelers Association newsletter, Eric reviews the oral argument from the case, Allen v. V and A Brothers, Inc., and predicts that the Supreme Court will likely uphold the Appellate Division's decision imposing personal liability against individual shareholders.  Eric further predicts that such a decision will cause an increase in lawsuits against corporate shareholders for violations of the CFA and HIP.  Stay tuned to the blog for more information about the Supreme Court's decision in this case, which should be handed down in the next 60-90 days.