DiProspero to Get Pipeline Retroactive Treatment – Beltran/Pungitore

In two companion decisions today, the Appellate Division determined that the Supreme Court’s June decision in DiProspero v. Penn, ____ N.J. ____ (2005) and Serrano v. Serrano, ___ N.J. ____ (2005) are to be given so-called “pipline retroactivity”. That is to say that the holding of the Supreme Court will apply to all prejudgment matters pending in courts today and all those matters on direct appeal. In the more significant of these two cases, Beltran v. DeLima, the Appellate Division acknowledges the possibility of a “tsunami effect” that retroactivity may have on the administration of justice due to the overwhelming number of cases that will now have to be reconsidered. The panel in Beltran also makes it clear that the rule of law announced in James v. Torres, 354 N.J. Super. 586 (App. Div. 2002) and that was widely followed by the personal injury bar is clearly dead as a result of DiProspero and Serrano.

The Appellate Division’s decision in the companion case of Pungitore v. Brown is interesting in that it gives an example of how a typical case that would have been dismissed on summary judgment grounds under James is now viable and “triable” under DiProsepero and Serrano.

Download a copy of Pungitore v. Brown

Download a copy of Beltran v. DeLima

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