The New Jersey Supreme Court, on January 18, 2012, released their opinion in the case of Polzo v. County of Essex.

M&K partner Jeffrey B. Beacham had petitioned the New Jersey Supreme Court on behalf of his client, the County of Essex, to hear the case after his summary judgment was overturned by the Appellate Division. The Appellate Division had also ruled that the County of Essex created a dangerous condition by having no routine inspection program in place to discover road surface defects.

Mr. Beacham argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court on September 26, 2011 and the New Jersey Supreme Court reversed the Appellate Division and reinstated the dismissal of the plaintiff’s complaint. The Court ruled that even if the County had notice that the depression was a dangerous condition, a reasonable jury could not find that the failure to repair it was “palpably unreasonable” under the New Jersey Tort Claims Act.

The Court ruled that the County could not be found to have “created” a dangerous condition by having no routine inspection program in place to discover road surface defects.

The plaintiff, Mathi Polzo had been riding her bicycle on the shoulder of Parsonage Hill Road in Millburn when she rode over a depression on the shoulder, lost control and fell.  She died from her injuries 26 days later.  The plaintiff argued that the County of Essex should have inspected the roadway and found the depression and repaired the depression.

The Court ruled that even if the County had notice that the depression was a dangerous condition, a reasonable jury could not find that the failure to repair it was “palpably unreasonable.” Essex County is responsible for an extensive network of roads and there were no prior complaints or reports of injuries from the depression on the shoulder of Parsonage Hill Road.

Covenant House is one of the largest privately funded agencies in the world providing shelter, food, crisis care, and many other services to homeless and runaway youth. In addition to meeting basic needs, Covenant House provides support services and care designed to help homeless youth aged 16–21 transition into an independent adulthood, one that has minimal risk of future homelessness.

This was the third year that McGivney & Kluger, PC in conjunction with the Marquette Council 588 of the Knights of Columbus had sponsored a Christmas party at Covenant House, Newark, NJ. McGivney & Kluger employees, in conjunction with the Knights, spent the evening with Covenant House residents while preparing and serving them a Christmas dinner and provding them with gifts consisting of basic necessity items.

Gary Intoccia obtained a no cause of action on behalf of his client in a matter tried in the United States District Court, Camden Vicinage, New Jersey. Mr. Intoccia represented a WaveRunner rental facility in New Jersey that rented the WaveRunners. Plaintiff was a passenger on a Waverunner involved in a collision with another WaveRunner rented by the same establishment. Plaintiff filed suit against both operators and the rental facility. Both operators were uninsured and in default.    

Plaintiff alleged that Mr. Intoccia’s client negligently instructed and supervised the operators and caused the accident. As a result of the accident, plaintiff, who was 16 years old at the time, sustained a serious leg injury requiring several surgeries and permanent hardware and scarring. After a full trial, the court found that plaintiff had not met his burden in proving that the rental facility was negligent by either providing deficient instructions or supervision of the WaveRunner renters. Rather, the court found the uninsured codefendants negligent and the ultimate cause of the accident.

On October 26, 2011 Jeff Beacham was selected by Chartis Insurance as one of their top ten Attorneys in the country.

Chartis annually honors ten attorneys who provide excellent legal services to the Chartis companies and their insureds. Attorneys are selected by Chartis claims representatives based on their support of the company and their legal abilities.

Mr. Beacham was named a top ten attorney during the 2011 DRI annual meeting held in Washington D.C. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and former President Bill Clinton were two of the speakers at this event.

Mr. Beacham recently spoke on the topic of Construction Defect Law at the McGivney & Kluger Product Liability and Environmental Law Seminar held in New York City on October 21, 2011.

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