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Appellate Victory for Zarwin Baum Shareholder, Lisa Slotkin

March 2, 2011

The Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, recently issued an Opinion in an appeal argued by Lisa S. Slotkin, the managing shareholder of Zarwin Baum’s Jersey City office.  This action arose out of a forklift accident at a warehousing facility.  On appeal, Ms. Slotkin represented defendant trucking company which had delivered a shipment of timber to the warehousing facility where the plaintiff was injured while assisting with breaking down the shipment.  Plaintiff attempted to hold the defendant trucking company vicariously liable for the warehouse’s alleged negligence based on the warehouse company’s contractual business relationship with the trucking company. The trial court entered a directed verdict in favor of the trucking company. The directed verdict dismissed plaintiff’s complaint seeking to hold the trucking company vicariously liable for the negligence of the warehouse and its employee and plaintiff appealed.  Ms. Slotkin persuaded the court that her client owed no duty to the plaintiff because the contract between the trucking company and the warehouse facility was limited to the facility’s acting as the trucking company’s agent in connection with the trucking business only, and not in connection with the independent warehousing business. The Appellate Court affirmed the trial court’s directed verdict, holding that plaintiff was injured during an activity being conducted in relation to the facility’s independent warehousing business and Zarwin Baum’s client did not have or breach any legal duty to the plaintiff under the circumstances.

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