Ocean County Wins Appeal Versus Injured Motorcyclist

Toms River, NJ – The Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division overturned a lower court’s ruling on July 25, 2012, instead agreeing with Ocean County’s appeal that an injured motorcyclist had failed to provide proper notice of tort claim within the required 90-day period.

The plaintiff was injured while driving his motorcycle at the intersection of Mantoloking Road and Hooper Avenue in Brick Township. In his lawsuit against Brick Township, the man alleged that the accident was caused when his motorcycle struck a pothole in the roadway. Upon discovery that the road was owned by Ocean County and not the township, the man belatedly filed suit against the County and the state. Because this subsequent filing occurred beyond the 90-day period, the county filed a motion for reconsideration based upon his late notice of claims. This motion was denied by the court.

In overturning this decision to deny, the Superior Court found that the man had not executed due diligence in determining who owns the road, nor had shown that he had in any way been thwarted in his investigation as to its ownership. Thus, his late filing was due to his own (and those of his attorneys) actions. This precluded his claim to receive damages from Ocean County, the only liable defendant in the matter. Based upon the man’s injuries, that amount could well have been $500,000 or more.

The County was represented Berry, Sahradnik, Kotzas & Benson, a full-service law firm with offices in Toms River. The firm represents both individuals as well as government entities throughout Ocean County.