Insurers Be Ready: New Jersey’s Two-Year Window Reviving Time-Barred Sex Abuse Suits is Open

On December 1, 2019, the two-year look-back period created by New Jersey Senate Measure S477 went into effect, reviving claims of sexual abuse that would otherwise be barred under the statute of limitations.

In March 2019, S477 passed in the New Jersey State Senate by a vote of 32 to 1, followed by passage in the New Jersey State Assembly by a vote of 71-0, with five abstentions. The bill was signed into law by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on May 13, 2019.

One …

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New Jersey Appellate Court Prohibits Unlicensed Drivers From Collecting PIP Benefits

The New Jersey Appellate Division has ruled that an unlicensed driver may not recover PIP benefits for their own medical expenses sustained in an auto accident, even if they had permission from the vehicle’s owner to drive the vehicle.

In Blanco-Sanchez v. Personal Service Insurance Company, A-5393-16 (Feb. 28, 2019), plaintiff, who was the daughter of the named insured, was injured in an accident that occurred while the plaintiff was moving her mother’s car to avoid getting a parking ticket. Her mother had asked …

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No Sympathy: Injured Claimant Without Auto Insurance Due to Fraud Barred From Bringing Personal Injury Claim

In Bencosme v. Kannankara, no. A-1672-14T3 (App. Div. Mar. 22, 2016), the New Jersey Appellate Division concluded that the apparent harshness of the decision was not a sufficient basis for it to refuse to affirm a trial court’s ruling that dismissed a personal injury lawsuit against a claimant who failed to carry statutorily required auto insurance, even though the claimant was uninsured as a result of fraud.

Federico Bencosme was involved in an auto accident with Joseph Kannankara in which Bencosme allegedly sustained injury. …

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Not So Fast: Despite Policy Rescission, New Jersey Supreme Court Holds Auto Insurer Liable to Injured Third-Party

The New Jersey Supreme Court considered whether the issuer of a basic automobile insurance policy, voided due to a fraudulent application, is still on the hook for liability claims of innocent third parties in Citizens United Reciprocal Exchange v. Sabrina Perez, et al. (A-67 September Term 2013)(073384) 2015 N.J. LEXIS 871 (N.J. Aug. 13, 2015).

Sabrina Perez applied for an automobile insurance policy with Citizens United Reciprocal Exchange (CURE), choosing a “basic” coverage policy with an optional $10,000 coverage limit for third-party bodily injury …

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After Hours: New Jersey Superior Court Holds Definition of Employee and Exclusion for Employee’s Criminal Acts Both to be Unambiguous

In Union Hill Supremo Pharmacy v. Franklin Mut. Ins. Co., No. L-705-13 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div., March 4, 2015) the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division decided that an insurance policy’s definition of “employee” was unambiguous. The court further held that a part-time employee fell within the definition of “employee” and that a policy exclusion based on an “employee’s” criminal acts applied even when the employee was not working at the time of the crime’s commission.

The insured, a pharmacy, incurred a …

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