Monthly Archives: February 2019

Can Alimony Payments Be Terminated When You Retire?

NY and NJ divorce lawyer Paul Goldhamer, Esq. is a founding partner of Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, with office locations in Bergen County, New Jersey and Rockland County, New York.  Among many other awards and citations Mr. Goldhamer has accrued over the years, Superlawyers.com honored Paul with its prestigious “Super Lawyer” designation in 2014. When not practicing law, Mr. Goldhamer keeps busy with speaking engagements, media outreach and charitable services.

From Paul Goldhamer, Esq.:

RETIREMENT: Do you wonder if your support obligations can cease upon retirement?

Another good job by KGG:

“The motion judge considered that defendant was seventy-five. He also considered defendant’s health, and noted he had cardiac problems, a pacemaker, was hospitalized for cardiac arrhythmia, and required thirteen different medications. Plaintiff did not rebut this evidence. In her certifications, plaintiff provided the judge a description of her recurring health conditions. She stated she had a “decreased level of energy which accompanies the age of [seventy,]” suffered from arthritis for the past forty-five years, had been hard of hearing since the age of five, and suffered from depression since her forties. Plaintiff also certified she had other long lasting issues, including sleep apnea, diabetes, a thyroid-condition, and memory loss….The decision to terminate alimony on the basis of defendant’s retirement was supported by sufficient credible evidence in the record. The motion judge’s application of N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(j)(3) was not an abuse of discretion….Affirmed.”

Frangipani v. Frangipani, New Jersey App. Div., February 19, 2019

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Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The death of someone who is close to you can be emotionally devastating. The emotional impact of that death is especially traumatic when it was caused by another person’s negligence or malfeasance.

The wrongful death attorneys at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman have prepared this brief guide to help anyone who is experiencing that emotional trauma to determine if they can bring a suit against the negligent party.

A wrongful death claim is not the same as a survival action

The decedent’s family members will typically initiate a wrongful death lawsuit to recover the financial losses they suffer as a result of their loved one’s death. Survival actions are intended to recover the decedent’s medical expenses and to provide compensation for his or her pain and suffering prior to his death. The two actions might overlap to the extent that they require proof of similar matters to justify a damages award, but  the damages awarded in each action will be different. 

Who is eligible to file for a wrongful death?

The decedent’s spouse and his or her minor children will generally be part of a wrongful death lawsuit. Nieces and nephews, adult children, grandchildren, and other persons who relied on the decedent for financial support may also have causes of action for wrongful death. 

Any damages awarded will be based on elements such as the financial support and the value of household services provided by the decedent over his or her lifetime, funeral and burial expenses, and the value of the decedent’s companionship and parental or other skills that are lost as a result of his or her death. The individuals who incur these expenses and who suffer these losses are generally eligible to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. 

Personal representative may be appointed 

A probate court will first appoint that representative based on the decedent’s will or other estate plan, and then that representative will have the authority to proceed with the wrongful death action. In both New York and New Jersey, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the decedent’s death. Any delays in a probate court’s appointment of a personal representative can create a risk that this two-year deadline will not be satisfied. The decedent’s family members should therefore be careful not to delay the initiation of the probate process.

Damages awarded will go to the decedent’s estate 

Multiple parties may be entitled to different amounts of wrongful death damages. The court will consider factors such as the age of the persons who were financially dependent on the decedent, the state of their physical and mental health, their educational level and whether they are entitled to compensation for further education, other means of support available to them, and other relevant legal and equitable factors. Attorneys well-versed in wrongful death actions will provide the best guidance on the dispursment of funds.

Insurers generally have no claim for wrongful death damages

Insurance companies that paid out compensation for a decedent’s medical expenses may well have a claim for reimbursement from damages awarded in a survival action, but they will not have an analogous claim against wrongful death damages.

Legal guidance in New York and New Jersey

A wrongful death can occur as a result of medical malpractice, negligent driving, excessive use of force by law enforcement authorities, and a host of other causes. The attorneys at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman represent family members in wrongful death lawsuits throughout Bergen County, NJ and Rockland County, NY.

For sound legal guidance in sensitive wrongful death matters, we invite you to reach out for a private consultation today.

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In-Flight Injuries on Airplanes: Who Is Responsible?

Interior of airplane with passengers on seats waiting to taik offPeople are injured every year due to events that happen during their flight. One of the most common causes of injury, for example, is a passenger being hurt by an overhead bin opening and the contents falling out. As airline travelers know, the contents of bins can be heavy luggage. Another frequent cause of injury is caused by food carts. Turbulence also causes injuries every year.

Who is responsible for these injuries? The answer can be complex.

Airlines Have a Duty of Care

Airlines are called “common carriers,” which means they have a duty to carry the public. They are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Federal Aviation Act, which requires airlines to have a very high standard of care toward their passengers. They need to ensure that all aspects of air travel under their care is safe, including maintenance, inspection, operation, loading, and boarding of an airplane.

In practice, this means that the airline boarding and exit procedures must be safe for passengers. It means that all facilities, from restrooms to coffee cups, should be safe to use.

Airline employees should be well-trained and able to fulfill their duties.

Given their duty of care, it is possible to conclude that an airline could be responsible for an injury sustained in the middle of a flight. If an attendant does not fasten a bin properly, for example, and it springs open, the airline could be responsible if inadequate training could be proven.

But Manufacturers and Other Parties Can Also Be Responsible

However, it is also possible that manufacturers are to blame. If an airline’s toilet malfunctions and causes injury, for example, an investigation may be necessary to determine whether the toilet itself was faulty, or whether inadequate maintenance was to blame.

If defects in the airplane itself cause an accident, the manufacturer or the sales agent may be held responsible, unless the defect should have been discovered by routine airline maintenance. If an airplane has been repaired in such a way that didn’t cure defects or introduced defects, the repair company can be responsible.

Acts of God

Finally, passengers can sustain injuries due to what insurance companies call “Acts of God.” The term generally applies to an act that couldn’t have been anticipated or planned for. Unexpected turbulence from say, geese running into a plane may fall under the “Act of God” definition, because the pilots could not reasonably have forecast such an event.

Turbulence caused by weather may also be an Act of God if it’s unexpected. But most weather is forecast, and the airline can be responsible if they didn’t plan for the forecast and urge people to stay in their seats.

Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney in New York or New Jersey?

If you or a loved one has been injured or even killed in an in-flight accident, please contact our law firm to discuss your case. The causes of an in-flight injury can be complex, and an experienced personal injury lawyer can be of invaluable assistance in determining whether you have a case, and against whom.

The NY & NJ personal injury lawyers at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman have years of experience fighting for the rights of victims of negligence. Call us at (800) 711-5258 or fill out the form on our website. We will be happy to meet you at our Rockland County, NY or Bergen County, NJ offices. The personal injury consultation is free, and there is never any obligation.

Additional Resources:

  1. U.S. Department of Transportation. Federal Aviation Administration. A Brief History of the FAA. https://www.faa.gov/about/history/brief_history/.
  2. U.S. Department of Transportation. Federal Aviation Administration. Safety: The Foundation of Everything We Do. https://www.faa.gov/about/safety_efficiency/.
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