Jay Barry Harris (1955-2016)

Representative Matters

  • Represented a tractor-trailer company in a personal injury case in a New Jersey federal court. The plaintiff’s car struck the rear of the tractor-trailer as the operator was turning left across a four-lane highway. The plaintiff, who had pre-existing medical problems, underwent back surgery and suffered from neck and leg pain as a result of the accident. Using an accident reconstruction expert, the defense proved that the plaintiff was partially responsible for the accident. The case settled through mediation for an amount significantly lower than the plaintiff’s initial claim of in excess of $1 million
  • Represented a tractor- trailer company in a personal injury case in which the plaintiff was allegedly injured because the tractor-trailer company driver blocked the entranceway to his employer’s store.   Plaintiff, who had to move some boxes, claimed that he injured his back incurring significant medical treatment and loss of time from work.  The plaintiff also contended that he lost his job as a store manager because of his injuries and claimed a continuing loss of earning capacity.   In less than thirty minutes, the jury returned a defense verdict.
  • Represented an insurance carrier that was sued for breach of contract and bad faith arising out of the insurer’s denial of coverage for a civil law suit in which the insured allegedly accidently killed the decedent.  The insured pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter admitting that he had an imperfect claim of self-defense, when he struck the decedent with a loaded pistol that accidently discharged, killing the decedent.  Agreeing with our interpretation of the criminal acts exclusion in the insurance policy, the court found that the insurer acted properly in denying coverage because it was the criminal nature of the act, not the degree of criminal culpability, which triggered the applicability of the exclusion.
  • Represented an insurance carrier in a case in which police officers sought a defense and indemnity in response to plaintiffs’ claims that the officers sent anonymous harassing text messages. Plaintiffs sued the officers alleging defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence per se for violations of two criminal statutes – harassment and disorderly conduct – invasion of privacy and conspiracy.   The trial court ruled in the insurer’s favor, finding that there was no duty to defend and indemnify the police officers as there was no occurrence to trigger coverage and that the allegations of intentional conduct fell outside the scope of their employment.