Verdicts and Settlements - Javerbaum Wurgaft Hicks Kahn Wikstrom & Sinins, P.C. | New Jersey Certified Trial Attorneys

Exploding Apples! iPhone 7 Explosion Warning

A lot of press has been given to exploding batteries in e-cigarette devices as well as the exploding batteries in Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 smart phone. However, the reports of dangerous batteries does not end with these two devices. Recently, several reports have been made of injuries sustained from the iPhone 7’s battery spontaneously exploding.

In October of 2016, the British newspaper Express reported on iPhone 7’s lithium ion battery catching fire or exploding after it started to overheat. In September of 2015, an Apple iPhone 6 caught fire in California. In China, an Apple smart phone exploded when it was dropped on the ground. Recently, in New Jersey, an iPhone 7 burst into flames causing a house fire.
In response, Apple has began investigations into the spontaneous explosions of its lithium-ion batteries. As reported in Fortune, a magazine dedicated to business, Apple is investigating the incidents amid its main competitor’s recall of its smart phone, the Galaxy Note 7.

What is causing these explosions? This has not yet been determined however, there is one element common in e-cigarettes and smart phones: lithium. The chemical lithium is utilized widely around the world in batteries. Lithium, contains ion particles which accelerate and can heat up with use. This “chain-reaction” is expected. However, the batteries malfunction when there are not sufficient mechanical safeguards inside the battery to prevent a runaway chain reaction. These safeguards are a result of poor manufacturing and testing.

Given the proliferation of IPhones in society, it is important to understand any potential harms. If you have any questions or have been the victim of such battery explosions, call the lawyers at Javerbaum Wurgaft, we are here to help.

New Jersey Personal Injury Attorneys | Find Personal Injury Lawyers in New Jersey


New Jersey is one of the few states in the country where medical bills incurred as a result of a car wreck are paid by the injured persons auto insurance, regardless of fault. However, the amount and percentage of the bill paid depends on the “type” of insurance that the injured person selected. There are many choices consumers must make when selecting their automobile insurance, especially the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage which pays for the injured persons medical bills, loss of income and help they may need at home.
Problems arise when consumers opt for lower amounts of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage for payment of their medical bills than the standard coverage amount of $250,000, or select health insurance to be their primary source of payment of their medical bills. Lower limits of PIP coverage rarely result in significant savings on your insurance premiums but often result in insufficient benefits being available to pay for medically necessary care. Selecting health insurance as primary to PIP coverage also rarely results in savings on the cost of your coverage and often results in your health insurer demanding repayment from you of monies they paid out for medical bills. In some cases, the health insurance policy does not even allow for the payment of auto accident related medical bills.

More often than not, consumers don’t review the coverages set forth on the declarations pages of their auto insurance policy to see if they were provided with the coverages they actually selected. On occasion, the coverage’s provided do not match what they selected. Other times, the coverage is what they asked for but doesn’t provide them the benefits they thought it did. Usually, this is not realized until after they are involved in an auto accident and is often too late to fix. There have been many accounts of consumers not being offered the maximum amount of PIP coverage.
For many years, Javerbaum Wurgaft partner Jeffrey A. Rizika has been educating consumers, medical providers and other attorneys throughout the state about the potential coverage issues that arise when a consumer opts for less than full PIP coverage for the payment of their auto accident related medical bills, as well as other issues that arise when someone is injured in a motor vehicle accident.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, or have a question about your auto insurance coverage, please contact Jeffrey and the other lawyers in the personal injury department at Javerbaum, Wurgaft. We are here to help.



It is that time of year again when US News and World Report rates every nursing home in all fifty states.  This is critical information for anyone who is looking to place a loved one in a long term care facility.  To do so without proper research is akin to playing “Russian roulette”.  The amount of information available makes it impossible to select a nursing home without first checking here.

In addition to the above web page it is essential that you also review the five star rating system on the Nursing Home Compare Webpage. Nursing Home Compare will allow you to look at a number of nursing homes next to each other to “compare” the various ratings including, staffing, quality measures, health inspection and overall ratings.

When choosing a nursing home, it is essential to also go to the facility and speak with not only the admissions office but also families of other residents to get their opinions.  In addition, when visiting a nursing home, go on multiple occasions on different days at different times to get a better understanding as to what is actually taking place. A complete list of do and don’ts regarding selecting a nursing home can be found at

One of the most difficult times is when you must place your loved one into a facility.  You will be given a significant amount of papers to sign but it is important that you make sure you read these papers so that you do not sign a document making you personally responsible for the finances or giving up your loved one’s right to file a claim for a jury trial should something bad happen.

If you or your loved one is going into a nursing home and you would like advice on how to select one, give the lawyers at Javerbaum Wurgaft nursing home group a phone call.  We are here to help.




Jack Wurgaft Receives 2016 Gerald B. O’Connor Award

Javerbaum Wurgaft, P.C. Partner Jack Wurgaft has received the New Jersey Association for Justice (NJAJ) 2016 Gerald B. O’Connor Award. This award was created to honor the memory of a legendary trial lawyer who excelled in advocacy, professionalism, and in the respect of his peers.

New Jersey Trucking/Bus Accidents Attorneys | Find Trucking/Bus Accidents Lawyers in New Jersey


As Thanksgiving is approaching, many of us, or loved ones, will be coming home from College using a Bus. During the holiday season many people will be using Tour or Coach Buses to travel to holiday destinations to be with loved ones or for scenic tours. Although many people hope to be safe, have you given any thought as to what would happen if there was a catastrophic accident, especially given the amount of passenger on these buses?

The minimum insurance limits for a bus have not been increased since the early 1980;s. This despite the fact that 750,000 in medical bills in 1980 is equal to approximately $5 million dollars today. Factoring in many busses can hold in excess of 100 passengers, the minimum coverage for a motor coach of $ 5 million dollars and $1.5 million dollars for school buses seems inadequate at best. There have been recent efforts to raise the deficient insurance limits, but according to Javerbaum Wurgaft partner Lawrence M. Simon, , “due to politics and some lobbying they are doing more of a study now.”

In a recent horrific fatal bus crash in California, the deficient insurance became obvious with 50 passengers. Although the price of the tour continues to escalate, the protection given to the passengers remained stagnant. “Human life is priceless, but the only way our courts are able to compensate is through money,” according to Simon

In an effort to keep all passengers and pedestrians safe, reputable Coach and Bus Carriers not only need to train their drivers and mechanics to be safe, but they must also prepare to meet their responsibilities if an incident occurs. Raising the insurance limits” will not significantly affect highly qualified safe companies.” Lawrence Simon, also chair of the American Association for Justice Bus Safety Litigation Group stated recently in the LA Times, “if higher insurance costs hit small operators, it may have the beneficial effect of weeding out marginal players who shouldn’t be hauling passengers in the first place.”–story.html

Safety is truly empty without an adequate remedy should harm occur. If you or a loved one have been injured while a passenger on a tour or coach bus, or even a school bus, call the attorneys at Javerbaum Wurgaft, we are here to help.

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Recently, there have been several reports of products exploding or catching on fire. The cause, Lithium batteries. Since its introduction in 2009, there have been hundreds of reports of lithium batteries in “e-cigarettes” spontaneously exploding.   According to the National Fire Protection Association, 15 separate reports of fire/explosion from e-cigarette batteries were reported in 2015 alone. Over 80% of all lithium battery malfunctions result in injuries.

This year, the problems with lithium batteries hit the headlines of all newspapers when Samsung recalled its Galaxy Note 7 due to its battery spontaneously exploding and catching fire. The danger reached such a high level that on September 8, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) “strongly advised” that any Galaxy Note 7 be powered off during flights. A month later, the FAA “urged” passengers to not even stow the phones in checked luggage on any flights.

What is causing these explosions and fires? Samsung, the manufacturer and designer of the Galaxy Note 7 has not yet released a definitive statement on the cause. What is known is that Samsung deviated from its general practice in having the phone’s battery tested by an independent company in favor of testing the battery “in house”. This deviation of practice leads many to believe that corners were cut in order to get the product into the stream of commerce.

As for the lithium batteries in e-cigarettes, more is known. The design of cheap replaceable batteries, mostly manufactured in China, has an open top which, when exposed to a metallic object, can heat up the liquid inside the battery causing a rocket-like explosion. This is especially troublesome in light of the fact that the batteries are often stored in shirt, jacket or pant pockets near keys or coins.

David Wikstrom, shareholder of Javerbaum Wurgaft, states “Exploding batteries are not a new phenomenon; however with the proliferation of our remote world, they have now become a danger to all of us, most importantly our children.” If you have a problem with a lithium battery or would simply like more information, call the lawyers at Javerbaum Wurgaft, we are here to help.

New Jersey Construction Site and Workplace Accident Attorneys | Find Construction Site and Workplace Accident Lawyers in New Jersey


Each and every morning, hard-working family men and women get up early, put on their work clothes, and travel to their work on construction sites, building America=s infrastructure, office buildings, schools, and residential homes. These workers endure long hours, often under difficult conditions such as rain, wind, snow and ice. They recognize and accept that these conditions are part of the job description.

Unfortunately, other dangers, man-made, await them. Job sites present safety issues which can include trenches that are not properly shored or supported, working at high elevations without being provided with proper fall protection such as harnesses and perimeter guarding, and confronting openings in flooring without proper warnings. Notwithstanding Federal laws such as OSHA which mandate safety standards on job sites, serious and life-changing injuries occur to laborers, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and other trades. No need to look further than a crane tumbling down on the Tappan Zee Bridge “routine construction.”

In order to proper represent injured workers, attorneys must have intimate knowledge of OSHA standards, job site safety, and workers= compensation law and benefits. For more than 40 years, the law firm of JAVERBAUM WURGAFT HICKS KAHN WIKSTROM & SININS, has represented injured workers and their families who have suffered devastating construction site injuries and death. We have recovered millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of these families enabling them to live their lives with dignity and financial security.

Please contact us at any of our locations in New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, and anywhere in the country for help and support in the event you have been injured on a construction job site. We will act quickly and meaningfully to secure immediate economic benefits and to pursue claims against all of those who have failed to follow OSHA standards, and otherwise violated good safety practices.



New Jersey Medical and Nursing Home Malpractice Attorneys | Find Medical and Nursing Home Malpractice Lawyers in New Jersey


In 1999, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found in a widely accepted study that 98,000 people were dying every year form preventable errors in hospitals. Frighteningly, a more recent study published by the Journal of Patient Safety has shown the true number needless preventable hospital deaths has reached as many as 440,000 per year. (yes you read that correctly.),_Evidence_based_Estimate_of_Patient_Harms.2.aspx

Just as disturbing is the recent study of the Office of Inspector General that 86% of patient harm events were not reported by hospital staff as they either did not perceive the event as reportable or did not report an event that was commonly reported. These stunning revelations show that medical errors are now the third leading cause of death, only behind heart disease and cancer.

Robert Hicks, shareholder at Javerbaum Wurgaft, has seen an increase of needless hospital deaths involving a pulmonary embolism (PE). Mr. Hicks explains “ A pulmonary embolism is a sudden blockage of a major blood vessel caused by a thrombus, in other words a blood clot. If a large portion or all of the blood clot breaks off resulting in blockage of the major blood vessels leading to the lungs, it will most often result in sudden death.” The key to reducing this leading cause of preventable hospital death is to identify those patients at risk as there are highly effective therapies to treat this condition.

The number of preventable deaths have become staggering; the recent studies show that our hospitals are killing off the equivalent of multiple cities. These deaths are not stemming from the illness that caused the patient to seek treatment from the hospital, rather from needless mishaps that are quite often hidden from the patient’s family. Although it may be hard for hospitals to be error free due to their complex structure of caring for people who are very sick, it is time that society put a priority on safety and demand reform. If you have a loved one who was injured or killed during a hospital stay, call the lawyers at Javerbaum Wurgaft, we are here to help.

New Jersey Employment Discrimination and Litigation Attorneys | Find Employment Discrimination and Litigation Lawyers in New Jersey


In the present competitive job market, many employers seek to improperly limit competition by their former employees by offering jobs that are conditioned upon the employee signing an agreement that contains post-employment restrictive covenants. These covenants can have a disastrous impact on the employee’s ability to obtain subsequent employment in his or her chosen field.

The courts in New Jersey have held that non-compete clauses may be upheld only if (a) the restrictions are designed to protect the employer’s legitimate business interests and (b) the restrictions do not unduly limit the employee from earning a living.

Just last week, a client consulted with Gary E. Roth, head of Javerbaum Wurgaft’s employment law department, regarding a provision in his employment contract that set forth post-employment restrictions. The restrictions included a “non-compete “clause that sought to bar the client from working for any competitor of his employer for 12 months after the client left that employer, whether voluntarily or involuntarily. The client, a 25-year-old who at the time that he signed the agreement was out of work and would have signed anything offered by the employer, now desired to accept a better offer from a competitor. The client was faced with the excruciating choice of rejecting the competitor’s offer or accepting and possibly being sued by his current employer for violating the non-compete. Although this client had a satisfactory resolution of the issue, the moral of the story is that, despite being anxious to accept a job offer, one must be very careful about signing contracts that have unduly burdensome restrictions.

If you have any employment issue – – pre-employment or post-employment contract review, wrongful discharge, harassment in the workplace, etc. – – call the Employment Department at Javerbaum Wurgaft; they are here to help.

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Many recall the case of Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers student whose roommate spied on him and another man by remotely accessing his computer’s camera. Ravi and fellow classmate Molly Wei were charged with invasion of privacy, and Ravi was further charged with bias crimes. Successfully representing Molly Wei, JW attorneys Rubin Sinins and Eric Kahn were able to obtain dismissal of the charges against her.

Ravi proceeded to trial and was convicted. A jury found he had invaded Clementi’s privacy and that he was also guilty of bias crimes. The jury found that Ravi was guilty because, among other things, Clementi reasonably felt that Ravi’s conduct was motivated by bias toward Clementi’s sexual orientation. The major issue became whether the victim’s state of mind can be a basis for conviction.

The Appellate Division said no and reversed Ravi’s convictions. In the intervening period between Ravi’s conviction and his appeal, the New Jersey Supreme Court invalidated a portion of New Jersey’s criminal Bias-Intimidation statute. That law permitted conviction based not on the state of mind of the defendant, but rather on the victim’s perception that he was subjected to misconduct due to bias. In that case, JW attorneys Rubin Sinins and Annabelle Steinhacker filed “friend of the court” briefs urging the Supreme Court to strike down the law. While most attorneys are satisfied to handle their cases, the attorneys at JW help to shape the law.

That was precisely what happened when the Court adopted the JW attorneys’ position. The New Jersey Supreme Court declared that the statute was a due process violation and therefore unconstitutional, thereby agreeing with the JW attorneys’ argument. JW Partner Rubin Sinins has stated, “Once we begin to rely upon the state of mind of a victim – and not the accused – to prove a crime, we are trampling on due process and the Constitution”.



The Ravi matter has now been returned for trial on the true merits of the case, what had Ravi done and what were his intentions. This is the basis of our criminal justice system. Once we begin to reduce these rights and due process protections, all Americans are at risk.

When you are charged with a crime, regardless of guilt, you must retain competent lawyers to protect your rights. The Constitution was written in a way that all accused are entitled to due process and many other rights designed to ensure a fair trial. Do not try to handle things on your own. Call the lawyers of the criminal defense department of Javerbaum Wurgaft, who are here to help.