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Assisted Suicide Law Effective in New Jersey

Posted on: August 29th, 2019 by Dana O'Donnell No Comments

An Article By; Scott P. Borsack, Esq. 

On August 1, 2019, New Jersey became the eighth state in the country to pass legislation that allows terminally ill patients to end their own lives.  In his signing statement, Governor Phil Murphy acknowledged that the law was the product of more 10 years of debate and consideration and challenged his own religious beliefs.

In order to seek the benefits of the statute an adult must be a “qualified terminally ill patient” who closely follows the requirements of the law. An adult is qualified if they are (1) capable, (2) a resident in the State of New Jersey, and (3) satisfy the requirements to obtain a prescription for medication which will end their life.  Only an adult, 18 years or older can be qualified under the law. In order to be found capable, an adult must be able to make health care decisions and share those decisions with a health care provider. Those who cannot communicate verbally but are able to make their choices known through other channels must do so through “person’s familiar with the patient’s manner of communicating”.  The patient has to be in the terminal stage of their illness, disease or condition with a life expectancy of six months or less. The diagnosis and prognosis must be established by an attending physician and confirmed by another consulting physician. The attending physician is responsible for verifying New Jersey residency.

The decision of the patient must be “informed” which requires that the attending physician convey to the patient not only the diagnosis and prognosis, but also of the risks of taking the medication to be prescribed, the probable results of taking the medication and alternatives to the medication including palliative and hospice care. If there is any question about whether the patient is truly capable of understanding the consequences of the request, it is the responsibility of the attending physician to refer the patient to a mental health care professional.

The patient must make several requests for a prescription for the lethal medication, at least one of which must be made in writing on a specific form required by law and must be witnessed by someone other than a relative, the physician, employee of the health care facility and is someone not entitled to receive any portion of the patient’s estate upon his or her death. The attending physician must recommend that the patient inform their next of kin of their decision to administer lethal medication and there is a 48 waiting period after the written request to release the medication.

The drafters of the legislation took great care to make sure that a patient contemplating an end of life decision has the benefit of medical advice, an evaluation of competence, involvement of family members and a cooling off period to deal with potentially hasty decisions.  There is a lot of responsibility placed on an attending physician in directing the process. A physician who acts in accordance with the statute cannot be prosecuted for a criminal act.

New Tax on Short Terms Property Rentals Threatens Shore Communities

Posted on: April 22nd, 2019 by Dana O'Donnell No Comments

An Article By; Scott P. Borsack, Esq. 

While most of us were distracted by the potential for a New Jersey government shutdown over Governor Murphy’s demand for revisions to the so-called millionaire’s tax this past fall, one tax provision found its way into the compromise legislation without much attention. Dubbed the “Airbnb” tax, the New Jersey legislature has adopted a tax of 11.6 percent of the fee paid for rentals of less than 14 days completed without a realtor. The tax applies to rentals statewide but its likely impact will be greatest felt in the shore communities from Stone Harbor to Barnegat. Though there are several ways to avoid the tax, such as renting for two weeks or avoiding websites that broker rentals without a realtor, the furor over the tax is likely to boil over as more owners become aware of its application.

A recent article in the New York Times highlighted the experiences of many owners of property on Long Beach Island who in years past reported that their properties were fully rented for the coming summer season by March each year.  As word of the tax spread, many summer beachgoers made other plans and rental owners reported a significant decrease in volume.

The new tax is levied at the rate of 11.6 percent, which is nearly equivalent to the 5 percent state tax on hotel rental income when added to the state sales tax of 6.625 percent that hotel occupancies are subject to. Many municipalities charge local occupancy fees as well. The state-wide rental tax is seen as a way of collecting taxes similar to what the typical hotel guest pays throughout New Jersey.

Once the summer rental season kicks off in late spring watch for protests from organized groups of rental owners as they seek to demonstrate that this new tax, which promises to raise millions in additional revenue statewide, has an adverse impact on tax revenue from Jersey shore communities during the all too important summer season. New Jersey is likely not the last state to consider such income to fill revenue-strapped state coffers.

Anthony Parrillo Joins Szaferman Lakind

Posted on: October 2nd, 2014 by Bill Gibbs No Comments

Lawrenceville, N.J. Mr. Anthony James Parrillo, P.J.A.D. (ret.), a former Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, has become Of Counsel to the law firm of Szaferman, Lakind, Blumstein & Blader, P.C.

Between 1976 and 1990, prior to his service on the bench with the Superior Court of New Jersey, Judge Parrillo served multiple roles with the New Jersey Attorney
General including Executive Assistant, Director, Deputy and Deputy Chief.Judge Parrillo became a Superior…

Family Law Attorney Brian Paul Named 2015 Lawyer of the Year

Posted on: August 18th, 2014 by Bill Gibbs No Comments

Lawrenceville, NJ: New Jersey Certified Matrimonial Attorney Brian G. Paul, Partner and Executive Committee member of the law firm of Szaferman, Lakind, Blumstein & Blader, P.C., has been designated as Best Lawyers in America’s 2015 Family Law “Lawyer of the Year” in the Princeton-Metro area. According to Best Lawyers,“Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the ‘Lawyer of the Year’, making this accolade particularly significant.”…

$90 Million Awarded to Asbestos Injured Families

Posted on: July 2nd, 2014 by Bill Gibbs No Comments

New Brunswick, NJ – A judge in New Brunswick has awarded 11 families from Manville more than $90 million for their pain and suffering caused by losing loved ones to an asbestos-related cancer.

After a week of hearings, Superior Court Judge Ana Viscomi issued her ruling today, awarding the families $90.5 million, to be paid by Anova Holding, AG, and Becon, AG, the companies that supplied asbestos to Johns Manville from the 1950’s into the 1980’s, according to attorney Lea Kagan with Levy Konigsberg, one of two law firms that represented the families. The other was Szaferman Lakind. Kagan said the lawsuits stem from the mesolthelioma-related deaths of 11 people, including a mother and daughter. Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer of the lungs that is linked to asbestos exposure.

She said the lawsuits were filed between 2008 and 2011, but the legal process lasted as long as it did because the two defendant companies are foreign. Both are based in Switzerland.Kagan said neither Anova nor Becon appeared or answered the complaints filed against them. She said the families sought and obtained default judgments against the companies, leading to hearings in New Brunswick to determine damages.

Kagan said the judge rendered her decision today after hearing testimony from family members and others, beginning June 20.“Our clients are grateful that their call for justice for their loved ones was answered,” the attorney said. The awards ranged from $4 million for the late Virginia Stansley, who died in 2009 at age 81, to $15 million for John Ketchum, whose wife, Deborah Ann died in November 2009, at 49 years old.

Several of the victims, including Ketchum, Stansley, her daughter, Patricia Lindsay, 58, Donald Greene, 70, Sharon Durlester, 54, and Louise Upshaw, 63, did not work at Johns Manville, but family members—with whom they lived—did. The family members brought asbestos into the homes on their clothing.Other victims such as Peter Danysh, 64, Francis DiTolvo, 63, Rose Koshinsky, 78, Francis Swinick, 64, and Paul Troth, 76, all worked at Johns Manville.

Anova and Becon are successor companies to the Eternit group, which mined asbestos in South Africa and sold it throughout the world, including to the Johns Manville Company, the nationally-known maker of insulation that included asbestos. Johns Manville was headquartered in Somerset County at one time. Asbestos was used in everything from brake linings to ceiling tiles because of its fireproofing and insulating capabilities, but medical studies linked exposure to asbestos to lung disease and mesothelioma in the 1960s. Lawsuits quickly followed.

For many years, New Jersey was the hub of asbestos litigation. By 1982, with more than 16,000 lawsuits pending against Johns Manville, the Manville company filed for bankruptcy protection. Thousands of other companies that once sold or distributed asbestos products also have been named in lawsuits in New Jersey and around the country.Most, if not all, of the asbestos cases in New Jersey are heard in Middlesex County, one of three counties that handle mass tort- or class action-type lawsuits.

In 2005, a jury in Middlesex County awarded a Hawthorne man, who was dying of mesothelioma at the time, and his wife $10 million. The victim, William Rhodes, was a boiler repairman and used parts insulated with asbestos to repair boilers, according to testimony during the lawsuit’s week-long trial.

Szaferman Injury is experienced in helping individuals and families who are victims of automobile accidents and defective products. Szaferman Injury has the experience to investigate your case, determine what negligence was involved and fight to protect your right to full and fair compensation.

If you or a family member has suffered in an accident, contact the experienced, caring attorneys at Szaferman Injury. The experienced Lawrenceville, New Jersey Injury lawyers will work hard to investigate the facts surrounding your situation, get to the truth and see that justice is served.

Contact Szaferman Injury at 609-275-0400 to speak with an experienced attorney for free. One of our experienced lawyers will work hard to protect your rights and handle all of the details surrounding your case. If someone was at fault, we will fight to get you the compensation and the justice you deserve.

To find out more about your rights, please contact the experienced and knowledgeable Personal Injury lawyers at Szaferman Injury.

Non-Profit Board of Directors’ Workshop

Posted on: June 10th, 2014 by Bill Gibbs No Comments

United Way of Greater Mercer County (UWGMC) in partnership with Szaferman Lakind and Borden Perlman has organized a free, 2nd annual, non-profit breakfast workshop designed to provide the region’s non-profit executives and non-profit Boards of Directors with guidance and evaluation methods to identify and mitigate potentially troublesome situations for boththemselves and their non-profit organizations.

This free, annual breakfast event will be held at Greenacres Country Club, Lawrenceville, NJ, from… …8:00am –10:00am, Thursday, July 10, 2014…