Bathgate Wegener & Wolf, P.C. would like to congratulate our newest associate, Nicholas L. Leider, Esq. on his recent selection as a Top 40 Under 40 civil trial lawyer in New Jersey by The National Trial Lawyers.
Brian W. McAlindin, Esq. successfully challenged a late-stage Will of a 94-year-old woman wherein the decedent had left nearly her entire estate to her two best friends in a prior Will. The decedent suffered a fall and deteriorating health requiring a home health aide. Another acquaintance’s daughter became her caretaker, and a new Will was executed less than two months before her demise resulting in nearly her entire estate (valued at approximately $800,000) being left to the caretaker. A Caveat was filed challenging the Will. Mr. McAlindin filed a Verified Complaint seeking to have the late-stage Will declared invalid and not admitted to Probate based upon the suspicious circumstances surrounding the late-stage Will and the undue influence placed upon the decedent by the caretaker. The case settled with the friends receiving two thirds of the estate shortly after the deposition of the caretaker. Brian W. McAlindin, Esq. successfully challenged a late-stage Will of a 94-year-old woman wherein the decedent had left nearly her entire estate to her two best friends in a prior Will.
Brian W. McAlindin, Esq. successfully obtained a settlement totaling $415,000 on behalf of a couple involved in a motorcycle accident following arbitration. Plaintiffs were travelling on a motorcycle when a motor vehicle operator failed to observe a Stop sign at a “Y” intersection causing the motorcycle operator to lose control and dump his motorcycle in an effort to avoid defendant’s vehicle. Defendant asserted no liability because no impact between the car and the motorcycle occurred. The motorcycle operator was airlifted to a local trauma center with a trimalleolar ankle fracture requiring open reduction and internal fixation surgery and multiple dermal “road rash” abrasions. His fiancé passenger sustained soft tissue neck and back injuries with an unoperated lumbar disc herniation, as well as road rash abrasions on her arms and legs.
We were successful in obtaining summary judgment on contributing liability on behalf of the motorcycle operator and his case settled for defendant’s per person policy limit of $250,000. His passenger’s case settled for $165,000.
A group of Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf attorneys led by partners, Lawrence E. Bathgate, II, Esq., William J. Wolf, Esq., Dominic J. Aprile, Esq. and Ryan S. Malc, Esq., along with colleague Daniel J. Carbone, represented a shareholder in a family-owned private corporation dispute, which resulted in the sale of the company for a total consideration in excess of $200,000,000.00. The firm’s clients realized more than of $65,000,000.00 in cash, in addition to 100% ownership of a real estate portfolio with a value of approximately $40,000,000.00.
A team of Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf attorneys, led by partners, Lawrence E. Bathgate, II, Dominic J. Aprile, Ryan S. Malc, and colleague Daniel J Carbone, represented (with other out-of-State firms) a resident of Monaco in a multi-jurisdictional estate claim. The claim involved assets in New Jersey, Florida and Europe. The case resulted in a settlement of almost $50,000,000.00 in cash to our client in December 2021.
In December 2021, Lawrence E. Bathgate, II represented the ocean front property owner of the Joey Harrison Surf Club in Ortley Beach, Toms River, Ocean County, N.J. on the sale of the property to the State of New Jersey and the Township of Toms River. The large ocean front property valued at more than $10,000,000.00 will be managed by the Township of Toms River and will be the first publicly owned oceanfront park purchased in more than thirty (30) years. The property will be preserved as public open space in perpetuity.
In mid-2021, Lawrence E. Bathgate, II represented the property owner of a 145-acre vacant parcel of land in Monmouth County contiguous to the Manasquan River Reservoir Park in the sale of the property to the County of Monmouth for a sum in excess of $10,000,000.00. The Manasquan River Reservoir is the largest park in terms of attendance of any County Park in Monmouth County. The land will be preserved as public open space in perpetuity.
The Honorable Thomas E. O’Brien, P.J. Cv. (ret.) of Ocean County settled a motorcycle accident case on January 26, 2022 for $1.250,000.00. Plaintiff suffered a left mid tibia displaced fracture of his left leg that was repaired with an open reduction internal fixation surgery. He also had four (4) toes on his left foot repaired with pins. Repair of his left ankle open wound was partially effectuated after four (4) plastic surgeries. The ankle wound remains unhealed to this date since plaintiff is a diabetic. He also suffered a mildly displaced left clavicle fracture. The 60-year old plaintiff handyman is now unable to work.
The liability portion of the case was originally in dispute, but a thorough review of the police report and traffic light sequencing revealed that while the defendant/operator did see two (2) green lights thinking he had the right-of-way, there was a controlling green left-turn arrow that had not activated hence giving the motorcycle operator the right-of-way. So, when the defendant proceeded to make the left-hand turn through the intersection the motorcycle was unable to stop and crashed into defendant’s car with the plaintiff being thrown ten (10) feet into the air and on to the roadway. Thankfully, plaintiff only suffered lower extremity injuries because he was wearing a helmet.
Defendant was insured with both a primary policy of $300,000.00 and an excess policy in the amount of $1,000,000.00. The plaintiff’s settlement reflected his recovery for pain and suffering, loss wages of approximately $82,800.00 and medical expenses. Medical expenses were incurred in the amount of $3,840,451.35. However, plaintiff’s personal automobile insurer paid $250,000.00 in PIP benefits towards the medical expenses and after fee scheduling the remaining and outstanding medical expenses were reduced to $362,000.00.
Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf, P.C. recently represented the beneficiary of a life insurance policy. Upon the death of the insured, the life insurance carrier refused to pay the death benefit to the beneficiary. Plaintiff filed suit, seeking entitlement to the death benefit. Through mediation efforts, Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf, P.C. was able to obtain a favorable settlement in the amount of $65,000.00 for the client.
If you are the victim of a professional negligence or an insurance carrier’s refusal to pay a benefit owed to you, Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf, P.C. has the experience, knowledge, and expertise necessary to obtain a favorable result on your behalf. Contact Daniel J. Carbone at 732-363-0666 Ext. 211, or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your case today.
On December 1, 2021 the Honorable Thomas E. O’Brien, P.J.Cv., (retired), mediated a case that arose out of a fight between two patrons in an Atlantic City bar. At approximately 12:30 a.m., two (2) males about 30 years of age got into an argument and physical altercation. The two were not friends but were both Atlantic City residents who were remotely acquainted. The bar had three (3) security people on duty that night. A security guard then escorted one patron (defendant) out of the bar through the front door and instructed the other patron (plaintiff) to remain inside the bar until the other walked home. Defendant was walking home and was on the sidewalk at the rear outside patio bar. At that point, the plaintiff ignored the instruction and left the main bar, entered the patio bar, ranting and raving and approached the rear fence adjoining the sidewalk and punched the defendant in the head. The plaintiff then stepped back approximately seven (7) feet from the fence and launched a second attack, which was thwarted when the Defendant punched plaintiff in the face with such force that the plaintiff fell straight back and hit his head on the patio floor. Plaintiff was unconscious for approximately 5 minutes. Security called the police and EMT’s but before they arrived the plaintiff fled the scene.
The entire event was videoed by a patron, which confirmed, as did multiple witnesses, that the plaintiff was the aggressor. The defendant was initially charged with aggravated assault, but the charges were subsequently dismissed.
The plaintiff then brought suit against the defendant patron for intentional tort and the bar for negligence in that the plaintiff patron was not provided with a safe business space or adequate security.
The liability aspect of this case was extremely challenging for the plaintiff because in this intentional tort case comparative negligence of the defendant, bar and plaintiff would have to be assessed by the jury. The plaintiff could have easily been held over 50% comparatively negligent. The defendant patron never answered in this case and was not insured and is probably insolvent. By this settlement, the defendant patron was dismissed from the case.
However, the damages aspect was a “slam dunk” in that the plaintiff suffered a very traumatic brain injury. Plaintiff had a craniotomy and a catherization to remove an arterial embolism. Plaintiff suffered typical TBI permanent injuries and aggravation of pre-existing conditions.
The case was settled at Mediation for $150,000.00. with the plaintiff being responsible to pay back a $15,000 medical lien. The bar had a $250,000.00 assault and battery, self-reducing, policy rider that necessitated a speedy resolution. Counsel quickly and wisely sought mediation in hopes of resolving the case before all was potentially lost to both litigants. Legal and expert fees were kept to a minimum.
Judge O’Brien suggests to all litigants in considering mediation that they reflect on the realities surrounding their cases since often “half of a loaf is better than none.” Please feel free to contact him if you want to discuss the propriety of electing mediation early in a case. The Courts are reopening so now is the time to schedule mediations.
Contact Judge O’Brien at 732-363-0666 Ext 223, or send him an email at email@example.com.
Mr. Malc represented a client who received two commercial loans totaling $930,000.00. The loans were insured by the Small Business Administration (“SBA”). When the client’s up-and-coming business fell victim to extraordinary challenges, the business shuttered, and the loans could not be repaid. Mr. Malc’s client did all it could to mitigate damages to the Bank, including selling assets to repay a portion of the debt. Despite those efforts, the Bank filed a foreclosure complaint to foreclose the mortgages that secured the two loans, and also filed a separate complaint to collect the unpaid balance of the loans.
Mr. Malc challenged both lawsuits in court and was able to hold them in abeyance while settlement discussions ensued. Mr. Malc spent approximately two years negotiating with the lending bank, the SBA, and the United States Treasury. With accrued interest, the bank was seeking to collect nearly $1.2 million dollars from Mr. Malc’s client.
In the end, using multiple litigation and settlement strategies, Mr. Malc was able to get the bank and the SBA to forgive the debt, release the personal guarantors, and discharge the mortgages. With the mortgages discharged, Mr. Malc’s client was able to sell his home for a sizable profit and get out from under crippling debt.
If you are facing foreclosure or a collection lawsuit, whether it is related to residential, commercial or SBA-backed debt, Ryan S. Malc, Esq. has the knowledge and experience to guide you through that process and to assist you in achieving the best possible results.
COVID-19 has slowed down the adjudication of cases and the active Mediation of the more substantial ones. Now that the court system is in the process of moving cases again, it is more important than ever that you move your case to Mediation immediately and that we all get back to pre-COVID mediation levels.
On November 12, 2021, Judge O’Brien, a retired Presiding Civil Judge from Ocean County settled an Ocean County Dram Shop case for $325,000.00. Plaintiff was driving the second car in a three car accident. Plaintiff’s vehicle was rear-ended and pushed into the vehicle ahead of his. The Defendant drunken driver had a $15,000.00 policy that was offered immediately. He also had one prior DUI. Defendant’s BAC was .22 at the time of the crash which occurred one mile from the bar where the Defendant had been drinking. Plaintiff’s claim was that the Defendant was “visibly intoxicated” at the time he was served at the Defendant’s bar. The 30-year old Plaintiff with no pre-existing conditions suffered herniated discs at C2-3, 4-5, 5-6, 6-7 and T2-3 as well as herniated discs at L3-4, 4-5 and L5,S-1. His treatment consisted of epidurals, trigger points, branch blocks and radio frequency ablation. He also had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. His treating doctors projected possible anterior cervical fusion/discectomy and a knee replacement. Plaintiff was self-employed and has no lost wages.
Judge O’Brien will conduct mediations either live or by Zoom