Sexual Abuse of Students Continues in the News

Today we see yet another news report concerning alleged sexual abuse of students by teachers. At Javerbaum Wurgaft, we are dedicated to fighting for the victims of abuse and ending these unforgivable violations. Students are entitled to special protections from those who stand in the place of parents. Those who breach that sacred trust must be called to account. Partners Eric Kahn and Rubin Sinins fight for students’ rights.

David Wikstrom’s $2.7 million settlement for a man who lost his arm in a sausage manufacturing plant accident was highlighted in the “Ten More Awards Worth Noting” sub-section

Attorney David Wikstrom’s $2.7 Million Product Liability Settlement Recognized in New Jersey Law Journal’s Special Section

By JW Law


Date: May 2017


Attorney: David Wikstrom


Award: $2.7 Million


On August 28, 2017, the New Jersey Law Journal published its annual “Top 20 Personal Injury Awards of the Year” special section, which identifies the largest reported personal injury awards for the year. Attorney David Wikstrom’s $2.7 million settlement for a man who lost his arm in a sausage manufacturing plant accident was highlighted in the “Ten More Awards Worth Noting” sub-section. The $2.7 million settlement was one of the thirty largest settlements or jury verdict awards in New Jersey for the period of August 20, 2016, and August 21, 2017.

The case:

In 2013, Tulio Martinez-Carassco, an employee of Ronell Management was hired to clean food preparation equipment at Premio Foods in Hawthorne.

Martinez-Carassco was working on a large mixing and blending machine which included large metal paddles spinning around a large bowl to mix sausage filling. As he reached under the bowl with a hose to spray down the discharge door at the bottom of the mixer, he slipped causing his hand to be pulled into the mixer. As a result, his left, nondominant hand was severed from his arm. The doctors were unable to reattach the severed arm surgically and had to perform an amputation below his elbow.

The lawsuit named Premio and included products liability claims against Apache Stainless Steel, the machine’s manufacturer. The suit also named Ronell claiming that “the workers’ compensation bar to recovery should not apply because Martinez-Carassco was directed by his employer to clean the mixer with the paddles turning, posing a substantial certainty of injury,” Wikstrom told the Law Journal.

The suit claimed that two separate safeguard devices designed to prevent the paddles from spinning when the discharge door was open, were bypassed and disabled. “One such device required the user to access a control panel several feet away and depress two buttons simultaneously for the paddles to function with the discharge door open” Wikstrom added.

Apache contended that the mixing machine was built with proper safeguards, but Martinez-Carassco contended that the design did protect against certain misuses, according to Apache’s attorney.

The attorneys said a 2003 email from Premio to Apache demonstrated that Premiohad disabled the safeguards and was aware for the ten years leading up to the accident that the machine was being operated without guards.

The parties settled two days before trial through mediation. Premio agreed to pay $2.5 million; Ronell and Apache, $100,000 each for the damages.



New Jersey Attorney David Wikstrom’s $2.7 Million Product Liability Settlement in NJLJ Annual “Top 20 Personal Injury Awards of the Year” Section

The takeaways:

Workplace injuries are among the most common grounds for personal injury claims. According to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015 New Jersey’s private industry employers reported 72,000 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses, resulting in an incidence rate of 2.7 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers.

Martinez-Carassco case, said Wikstrom, demonstrates the importance of workplace safety.

How to protect yourself from workplace injuries?
• Never take a risk that is outside your safety protocol. Most construction accidents can be avoided if the worker a) follows Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety protocols
and b) follows the safety protocols of the general contractor.
• Always use your safety equipment. If you feel you need more safety equipment, ask your safety foreman.
• Never work on machines that have safety guards dismantled or bypassed. The safety guards on machines are designed for the safety of the worker.

Even when companies take appropriate workplace safety precautions, accidents happen. How employers respond to these accidents can make all the difference.

In most cases, employers, insurers, and their lawyers tend to use deceptive tactics to avoid paying compensation to the injured worker. Some of them include: blaming the victim for the accident, denying claims altogether, delaying the legal proceedings, using out of context recorded statements, refuting the cost of treatment and advising the victim to see the company doctor.

Having an experienced lawyer by your side from the very beginning can help you successfully challenge the strategies and arguments employers and insurers use to avoid paying the compensation you deserve. Javerbaum Wurgaft’s Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation attorneys know precisely how employers and insurance companies work, what strategies they use and how to tackle them effectively.

“Defense attorneys in product liability and workplace safety cases often try to blame each other or the plaintiff as the cause of the accident. As attorneys for the plaintiffs, we combat these arguments utilizing experts and government documents and standards such as from OSHA,” added Wikstrom.

[Read Related: Recognized for $4.65 Million Combined Settlement in Drunk Driving and Dram Shop Claims]
Attorney Eric Kahn settled $4.65M in drunk driving and dram shop claims

Javerbaum Wurgaft in Top 20 for Personal Injury Award

Personal Injury Attorney Eric Kahn Recognized for $4.65 Million Combined Settlement in Drunk Driving and Dram Shop Claims

By JW Law

Eric Kahn, the managing partner at Javerbaum Wurgaft, was recently recognized in the August 28, 2017 edition of the New Jersey Law Journal for obtaining one of the top 20 personal injury recoveries in New Jersey in 2017.

Each year, the American Lawyer Media’s New Jersey Law Journal ranks the top 20 personal injury recoveries in a special edition of its publication. With a combined total settlement of $4.65 million, the award achieved by Mr. Kahn ranked 11th overall as the largest in the State.

The case, Tulli v. Feist, involved a head-on collision caused by a drunk driver. Mr. Kahn and Javerbaum Wurgaft have a long history of successfully holding drivers, bars, and restaurants responsible in dram shop and drunk driving cases.

Mr. Kahn represented Deborah Tulli, one of three victims involved in the June 4, 2013 crash. On that date, after being served while intoxicated at Ciro’s Ristorante Italiano in Monroe Township, Ernest Feist, driving over 100 mph on Hoffman Station Road, struck Ms. Tulli head-on causing her tocollide with a third vehicle. As a result of the forceful collision, Ms. Tulli suffered multiple fractures and underwent several surgeries.

Attorney Eric Kahn settled $4.65M in drunk driving and dram shop claims

The passenger in Mr. Feist’s vehicle and the driver of the third vehicle were also injured as a result of the crash. At the time of the collision, Mr. Feist had a blood-alcohol concentration of .204, more than twice the legal limit of .08 for operating a vehicle. Mr. Feist was driving a vehicle registered to his business, Feist Engineering.

Suits by Ms. Tulli and the other two plaintiffs were consolidated and the subject of two settlement conferences before Superior Court Judge Jessica Mayer in Middlesex County. On Nov. 4, 2016, the case settled for $4.65 million, with $3.9 million paid by insurance carriers for Mr. Feist and Feist Engineering, and another $750,000 paid by the carrier for Ciro’s Ristorante Italiano.

“While my client will never fully recover from her injuries, it was important to hold both the drunk driver responsible as well as the restaurant that over-served him on the afternoon of the accident. Our dram shop laws are designed not only to compensate victims of accidents involving drunk drivers but also to act as a deterrent to establishments that are more concerned about profits from selling alcohol rather than the safety of others,” said Mr. Kahn.

Tulli received $3.1 million under the settlement.

Javerbaum Wurgaft was also recognized in the special edition of the Law Journal for the firm’s $2.7 million settlement in a products liability case. David Wikstrom, a partner at Javerbaum Wurgaft, represented the plaintiff, Tulio Martinez-Carassco, who lost his arm while cleaning food preparation equipment at a sausage plant in 2013.
[Read Related: Javerbaum Wurgaft Attorneys Answer the Call for Victims of Drunk Driving]

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


Responsibility and accountability – even for the powerful – are rooted into the core of our legal system. This country’s founders knew that a democracy needs a court system that empowers people to protect themselves by holding the powerful to account. That’s why the Constitution guarantees each person the right to a trial by jury. The founders feared unaccountable power in the form of the King of England against his “subjects.” 21st Century America may not have a king, but it does have billion dollar corporations touching every part of every person’s life. These corporations now seek the kind of unaccountable power our founders sought to protect against, and they’re seeking that power by destroying your constitutional right to a trial by jury.

Politicians who are in the pockets of large corporations and insurance companies have devised a plan specifically aimed at destroying our right to hold those in power accountable for their misdeeds. Their plain is to enact laws that will all but destroy your right to use the judicial system to protect yourself. They have introduced bills which, if passed, will enact arbitrary changes to courts all across the country, including:

  • Limiting compensation for injuries caused by medical professionals, including doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, and medical device manufacturers,

to $250,000.00, regardless of how much that injury devastated your life

or the extent of malfeasance by the medical professional or company.

  • Eliminating class-action law suits, which would essentially destroy the ability to bring the kinds of cases that keep us safe
  • Eliminate Individual States Law regarding lawsuits and forcing all cases to Federal Court
  • Allowing insurance companies to make “payments” rather than paying full compensation.


We must tell our government to put people first and stop trampling on our rights. Javerbaum Wurgaft has been protecting citizens of New Jersey and New York by demanding that everyone is treated fairly, regardless of gender, race, or economic status. Please join us in demanding that Congress do the same. We must ban together and contact our representatives to demand they say NO to these outrageous attacks on our rights. Go to each link below and tell them NO!

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


In 2015, there were more than 262,000 auto collisions in the state of New Jersey. Over 60,000 of those wrecks resulted in people sustaining injury.   Although many New Jersey consumers are excellent drivers with no prior collisions, safe driving is not enough to protect themselves against the negligence of another drive

If you sustain damages as a result of an accident, it is important to protect yourself against negligent drivers with little or no insurance coverage. Without the proper insurance coverage, you may find yourself with no recourse to receive compensation for any loss you sustain. Imagine being struck by a driver that flees the scene or just as bad violates the law with no automobile insurance. Just as devastating is being struck by a driver that has limited insurance ($15,000 minimum) or policies that possess NO coverage for injuries caused by that driver.

If any of these circumstances ever occur, it is important that you have adequate insurance coverage to protect your interests.  Most standard insurance policies in New Jersey have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage which covers you if you sustain damages as a result of a driver with little or no insurance.  This coverage is just as important as your liability coverage, which protects you if you cause an accident.  The amount of coverage for UM/UIM coverage should always match the amount of coverage you select for your liability coverage.

According to Jeff Rizika, partner in the personal injury department of Javerbaum Wurgaft, “Never select less than your liability coverage as the difference in cost is very little but the potential benefit is great. It is recommended that you maintain at least $100,000 of UM/UIM coverage on your auto policy.”

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


The commercials are on the radio, the television and on the internet. “Don’t spend your hard earned money on auto insurance”….come to “cheap insurance” and you can get the coverage for pennies on the dollar. There is always something better or more gratifying to spend your money on other than car insurance, but you must ask yourself if these policies are all the same and what happens if you and your family are in a wreck.

There are many different parts of car insurance: medical coverage (known as PIP), property damage coverage, Liability coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, limitation on lawsuit thresholds, etc.  It is intentionally confusing to the regular person in the hopes that they will select the type of coverage that gives the insurance company the most profit.

Liability coverage is insurance for damages caused by the negligence of you or any permissive user of your automobile.  Simply put, if you are the cause of a car crash, this is the part of your policy which pays the people for injuries and/or property that you have caused damage.  The amount of coverage you choose is important because if your coverage is too low, you may be personally responsible for additional damages you may cause.

We never expect to get into an accident, therefore, your instinct is to purchase the least amount of insurance you can.  This is very dangerous.  You should purchase at a minimum the amount to cover all of your assets should you cause an accident, and sometimes more.  The good news is that the increase in limits brings a small price tag. Ask your insurance company for a quote….you will be surprised! Do your self a favor, call your insurance carrier and ask for the price to raise your limits to the next level.

If you have any questions about your existing automobile insurance policy or how to select the right coverage, call the lawyers at Javerbaum Wurgaft, they are happy to assist you in this maze.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident contact the lawyers in the personal injury department at Javerbaum Wurgaft Hicks Kahn Wikstrom and Sinins.  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.