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Kenneth Vercammen Esq. Edison
Works at Kenneth Vercammen & Associates Law Office
Attends Widener Law School, Delaware law
Lives in Edison, NJ
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2017 update Wills and Estate Planning Seminar materials
Suit Against Township Over Single-Car Crash Settles for $1.45M in Middlesex

Two women who claimed that their car crashed due to poor road conditions have agreed to a $1.45 million settlement in their Middlesex County suit, Melillo v. Township of East Brunswick.

Mary Sue Melillo and her mother, Ethel Bunn, were driving on a curving portion of Helmetta Boulevard in East Brunswick during a rainstorm on April 22, 2013, when their car left the road and struck a tree. Melillo and Bunn were each hospitalized for several months after the crash due to multiple broken bones, internal injuries and head injuries, according to Melillo's attorney, Frank Cofone Jr.

Each filed suit against the Township of East Brunswick, claiming the road presented a dangerous condition. Their accident reconstructionist was prepared to testify that Melillo's vehicle left the road on a curve because the right wheels fell into a 6-inch dropoff in the unpaved shoulder. Their road expert opined that there were six similar crashes in a 28-month period on the same portion of road, and nine crashes in total where vehicles ran off the road in the same period. The road expert was also prepared to testify that the road had no painted fog lines; no proper drainage, causing water to collect on the road; and an improper speed posting, Cofone said.

In addition, the suit claimed East Brunswick Public Works employees were ordered numerous times to fix the road in question but failed to do so.

The settlement was reached after two days of negotiations with C. Judson Hamlin, formerly a Superior Court judge who is now with Keefe Bartels in Red Bank. Hamlin apportioned the damages at $1.015 million for Mellilo and $435,000 for Bunn.

Cofone, of D'Amico & Cofone in New Brunswick, was assisted by Andrew Calcagno, who heads a firm in Cranford.

The lawyer for East Brunswick, Lori Dvorak, who heads a firm in New Brunswick, did not respond to a call about the case.

Rear-End Accident Fetches $975,000

Dunbar v. Rodriguez: A man who claimed his back injuries resulted from a rear-end accident settled his Hudson County suit on Oct. 10 for $975,000.

In March 2013, Jon Dunbar was merging onto Route 17 from Terrace Avenue in Hasbrouck Heights when his car was struck from behind by a livery car driven by David Rodriguez and owned by Aura Express Enterprises LLC. Dunbar, currently 28, was hospitalized, according to his attorney, Damon Vespi of the Vespi Law Firm in Totowa.

Later that year and in 2014, Dunbar received a series of spinal injections to treat pain. He also underwent a cervical fusion procedure, and nerve root blocks, also at the cervical level, Vespi said. Dunbar also underwent discograms at the lumbar and cervical levels, as well as a discectomy at the lumbar level, a laminectomy at the sacral level, and a discectomy at the cervical level, Vespi said.

Dunbar accumulated $600,000 in medical bills, and had $50,000 in personal injury protection coverage, according to Vespi, who said Dunbar was unable to return to work and was deemed totally disabled by the Social Security Administration.

The suit claimed damages of about $826,000. The defendants contended that the spinal conditions and surgeries were attributable to pre-existing conditions, according to Vespi.

An arbitrator awarded Dunbar $2.5 million. Aura had a $1 million policy, which was reduced to $982,000 after covering damage to Dunbar's vehicle. The parties settled for $975,000. A trial date was scheduled for Nov. 14, according to Vespi.

John Van Dyken of Mintzer Sarowitz Zeris Ledva & Meyers in Cherry Hill, counsel to the defendants, didn't return a call seeking comment on the settlement.

$975,000 for Auto Accident

Locola-Cordero v. Figueroa: A Hawthorne woman and her son were paid $975,000 on Nov. 2 as compensation for injuries they received when their car was struck by a garbage truck.

Plaintiff Pam Locola-Cordero and ARI Insurance Co.—the carrier for defendants Jose Figueroa and his employer, Gaeta Recycling of Paterson—agreed to the settlement on Oct. 4, said the plaintiffs' attorney, Edward Capozzi.

Locola-Cordero, now 46, and her 10-year-old son, Christian, were injured on Jan. 4, 2017, as they were traveling south on Lincoln Avenue near Rock Road in Ridgewood, said Capozzi, of Brach Eichler in Roseland.

The garbage truck, driven by Figueroa, made a sudden left turn into Locola-Cordero's car, Capozzi said.

As a result of the accident, Locola-Cordero claimed she sustained disc herniations that required epidural injections, a discogram, arthroscopic surgery and cervical fusion. The child sustained minor injuries, Capozzi said.

The mother received $970,100, while the son received $4,900, Capozzi said.

ARI retained Joseph McGlone, of Morristown's McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter. He did not return a call.

The lawsuit, venued in Bergen County, had not been assigned a trial date.
Wills, Estate Planning & Probate Seminar South brunswick library wills, estate planning & probate seminar march 6, 2017 at 2pm free community program wills & estate a
Suit Over Two Crashes, Including UM and UIM Claims, Settles for $2.3M

Litigation stemming from a pair of auto accidents that allegedly left a man disabled was settled for $2.3 million in Hudson County.

According to the suit, Dell'accio v. Breary, Antonio Dell'accio was involved in the first accident in December 2013, when he was driving east on New Jersey Route 495 in Weehawken.

The suit claimed two vehicles behind Dell'accio's were racing—one of which, driven by Dwayne Delmore Breary and owned by his employer, Calvary Inc., was unable to stop and struck him from behind.

The second accident occurred in June 2014. Dell'accio was in Woodland Park, turning left from Lackawana Avenue onto Browertown Road, when Ana Jimenez Gordano allegedly ran a red light and struck Dell'accio, according to his attorney, Damon Vespi of The Vespi Law Firm in Totowa.

In the first accident, Dell'accio sustained a torn tendon in his left shoulder, and injuries to his cervical and lumbar spine; he underwent a two-level fusion procedure at the cervical level, a one-level fusion at the lumbar level, two-level discectomy and laminectomy at the lumbar level, and left shoulder surgery, Vespi said.

The suit claimed the June 2014 accident caused minor aggravation to the existing neck and back injuries.

Dell'accio, currently 58, was rendered unable to work and was deemed totally disabled by the Social Security Administration this year; uses a walker and cane to walk; requires assistance from his wife bathing and dressing; takes medication to treat ongoing pain; and had renovations to his home to help his mobility, according to Vespi.

Breary claimed he was cut off by a phantom vehicle, based on which Dell'accio's auto carrier, Liberty Mutual, agreed to pay $5,000 on an uninsured motorist claim. Liberty Mutual agreed to pay an additional $100,000 on Dell'accio's under-insured motorist claim in connection with the June 2014 accident because Jiminez Giordano lacked liability coverage, Vespi said.

Calvary Inc. agreed to pay $2.195 million, he said.

The $100,000 agreement was reached in September. The latter part of the settlement was reached on Oct. 28, after two mediation sessions with retired Superior Court Judge Eugene Codey of Connell Foley in Roseland, and the settlement was paid last month, according to Vespi.

Thomas Foti of Lamb Kretzer in Secaucus, who represented Liberty Mutual in connection with the phantom vehicle claim in the December 2013 accident, declined to comment.

Breary and Calvary Inc. were represented by Thomas Decker of Decker & Magaw in Westfield, who did not return a call seeking comment.

Neither did G. Samuel Hoffman of Styliades & Jackson in Mount Laurel, who represented Liberty Mutual in the under-insured motorist claim stemming from the June 2014 accident.

$700K for Ocean County Auto Case

Paris v. Freehold Cartage: A Brick Township man has received $700,000 as compensation for injuries he received when his car was struck by a garbage truck.

Plaintiff Mitchell Paris, now 71, received his settlement funds on Sept. 23, after reaching an agreement with American International Group, the carrier for defendants Freehold Cartage and Alan Malsbury, an employee who was driving the truck, said Paris' attorney, Joseph LePore.

Paris was injured on Feb. 3, 2015, in Lakewood, as he was entering Oberlin Avenue from a parking lot. The Freehold Cartage truck struck the driver's side of Paris' car, said LePore, of LePore & Luizzi in Brick.

As a result of the accident, Paris sustained injuries to his neck and back, and underwent lumbar fusion and decompression surgery. He later underwent cervical fusion surgery, LePore said.

The lawsuit, filed in Ocean County, had not been assigned a trial date.

The settlement was reached on Sept. 15.

AIG retained Robert Borrelle Sr. of the Mount Laurel office of Schwab, Haddix & Millman. He confirmed the amount of the settlement.

$590K for Child Injured in Play Area

Edwards v. QQR: The parents of a 5-year-old boy who suffered permanent injuries in a Burger King indoor playground agreed to a $590,000 settlement in their Union County suit on Oct. 14.

The suit claimed Zackary Edwards was injured while visiting the Burger King in Eatontown with his father and two siblings on April 16, 2014. Following posted rules, the children removed their shoes and played in their socks. Zackary fell and broke his femur when one of his feet slipped on a ceramic tile floor while the other foot was planted on a rubber safety mat.

According to the suit, the architect who designed the indoor playground called for nonslip safety flooring throughout, but during construction a substitution was made for ceramic tile that was partially covered by the rubber mat. The combination created a serious slip danger and uneven transition, the plaintiff asserted.

Zackary was confined to a partial body cast for three months, required the use of a walker, and was forced to repeat kindergarten because he could not attend school, said plaintiff lawyer Christian McOmber. His left leg is 2 centimeters shorter than the right, which may require surgery in the future. He suffers limited mobility, chronic pain and fatigue associated with his injury and has difficulty walking or running for long periods, McOmber said. In addition, he was eager to participate in sports but was not medically cleared to do so until January 2016, which was one year and eight months after the fall, he said.

Evanston Insurance Co., the insurance carrier for defendant QQR of New Jersey, owner and operator of the Eatontown restaurant, will pay the $590,000 settlement, said McOmber, who is with McOmber & McOmber in Red Bank. McOmber was assisted by Elizabeth Matecki, Matthew Luber and R. Armen McOmber.

James Graziano of Graziano, Piasecki & Whitelaw in Green Brook, who represented QQR, did not return a call about the case.
Failure-to-Diagnose Case Yields $4.25M Jury Verdict in Middlesex

A Middlesex County jury awarded $4.25 million on Nov. 17 to a woman who claimed her face was left partially paralyzed after doctors failed to diagnose a tumor of the salivary gland.

But the payout in the case, Jordan v. Lam, will be roughly $3.2 million because the jury attributed 25 percent of the damages to the plaintiff's pre-existing condition.

Kelly Jordan, now 64, was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she underwent radiological studies in 2008 following complaints of headaches. Follow-up MRIs showed a tumor in her salivary gland, but two doctors who reviewed the test results in 2009 and 2010, Ling Lam and Jonathan Isserow, failed to see the tumor, said plaintiff lawyer Bruce Nagel of Nagel Rice in Roseland.

When the salivary gland tumor was diagnosed in 2011, it had spread, and surgery to remove it caused the loss of a facial nerve, Nagel said.

The verdict was returned after a month-long trial before Superior Court Judge Arthur Bergman.

The judge applied a jury charge from a 1990 New Jersey Supreme Court case, Scafidi v. Seiler, for medical negligence cases in which a patient's pre-existing condition has a risk of causing the harm the patient ultimately experienced. The jury attributed 50 percent of the fault to Lam, 25 percent to Isserow, and 25 percent to her pre-existing brain tumor.

Lam's lawyer, David Weeks of Ruprecht, Hart, Weeks & Ricciardulli in Westfield, and Isserow's lawyer, Sam Rosenberg of Rosenberg, Jacobs & Heller in Morris Plains, declined to comment.

Icy Driveway Fall Nets $500,000

Sedrak v. Mecheal: A woman who broke bones in her leg falling in a driveway that she claimed wasn't properly cleared of snow and ice settled her Bergen County suit for $500,000.

In February 2015, Caroline Sedrak, then 29, was on a mixed-use property in Lyndhurst where her parents rented an apartment. Sedrak was picking up her child from her parents' apartment, according to her lawyer, Edward Rebenack of Rebenack, Aronow & Mascolo in Somerville.

As she was walking in the driveway back to her car, she fell, sustaining fractures to her right tibia and fibula, which required surgery and fixation using hardware, Rebenack said.

Sedrak underwent physical therapy but continues to experience pain, Rebenack said.

The suit alleged that property owner Mamdouh Mecheal failed to take steps to clear the driveway of snow and ice, and that the snow and ice had been present for a significant period of time.

The suit claimed Sedrak amassed $98,000 in medical expenses, though the defense contended that the usual expense for the procedure Sedrak underwent was about $35,000, according to Rebenack.

The parties entered mediation with retired Bergen County Assignment Judge Peter Doyne, now of Ferro Labella & Zucker in Hackensack, prior to depositions being taken, according to Rebenack.

The matter concluded on Nov. 9, according to a judiciary database of civil cases.

Mecheal's lawyer, Cynthia Birkett of William Staehle's Morristown firm, did not return a call seeking comment on the settlement.
Auto and Dram Shop Claims Settle for Combined $4.65 Million in Middlesex

Three people who were hurt in a head-on crash involving a drunken driver will receive a total of $4.65 million to settle their Middlesex County suits.
According to the plaintiffs in Tulli v. Feist, Ernest Feist spent the afternoon of June 4, 2013, at Ciro's Ristorante Italiano in Monroe Township. After leaving the restaurant, he drove on Hoffman Station Road at speeds reaching 100 mph and struck another car head-on, leading to a collision with a third car, according to plaintiff lawyer Eric Kahn.
At the time of the crash, Feist had a blood-alcohol concentration of .204, in excess of the legal limit of .08. for operating a vehicle, Kahn said. Feist was driving a vehicle registered to his business, Feist Engineering.
Deborah Tulli, driver of the car that collided head-on with Feist, suffered multiple fractures and required several surgeries. She had a six-year lost-wage claim.
Stephanie Ciano, who was driving the second car to collide with Feist, was pregnant at the time of the accident, though her unborn child was not injured. She sustained injuries to the lower back, requiring pain management injections.
James Scism, who was riding in the passenger seat of Feist's vehicle, sustained a fractured hip that required surgery, and will need additional procedures in the future.
Suits by Tulli, Ciano and Scism were consolidated and were the subject of two settlement conferences before Superior Court Judge Jessica Mayer in Middlesex County. On Nov. 4, the case settled for $4.65 million, with $3.9 million paid by insurance carriers for Feist and Feist Engineering and another $750,000 to be paid by the carrier for Ciro's Ristorante Italiano.
Tulli will receive $3.1 million under the settlement; Scism will get $1.485 million; and Ciano will get $65,000.
Kahn, of Javerbaum Wurgaft Hicks Kahn Wikstrom & Sinins in Springfield, represented Tulli; Scism was represented by William Shipers of Shamy Shipers & Lonski in New Brunswick. Ciano's lawyer was Brian Duff of Kalavruzos Mumola Hartman & Lento in Hamilton.
Feist and Feist Engineering were represented by Robert Helwig of Hoagland Longo Moran Dunst & Doukas in New Brunswick and James Nolan of Woodbridge.
Ciro's was represented by Robert Zimmerer of Zimmerer Murray Conyngham & Kunzler in Saddle Brook. Zimmerer confirmed his client's $750,000 share of the settlement. Helwig and Nolan did not return calls seeking comment.

$1M in Work Site Accident Suit

Miller v. Alexander Wagner Co.: A cement truck driver who sustained a knee injury on the job settled his Monmouth County suit on Oct. 12.
In June 2011, Ronald Miller was delivering to a construction site in Paramus, pouring concrete from his truck into a hopper to be pumped into the site. The hose attached to the pump disengaged and struck him on the left knee, according to his lawyer, Peter Chamas of Gill & Chamas in Woodbridge.
Miller underwent surgery to remove hardware that had been implanted during a previous surgery, and in 2013 underwent a total knee replacement, after which he returned to work, but with pain and limitation in the knee, Chamas said. Miller, 61, had revision surgery in 2014, and now is retired after being deemed disabled by the Social Security Administration, Chamas said.
The concrete pump was owned by Alexander Wagner Co. of Paterson. The suit claimed the hose was not correctly connected. Miller obtained summary judgment on liability. The defense contended that Miller already walked with a limp prior to the accident and would have required the knee replacement surgery even without the accident.
The parties settled on the second day of trial before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Kate Gummer.
Miller's recovery will be offset by a net workers' compensation lien of roughly $310,000, according to Chamas and Ridgewood solo Craig Miller, who defended the case.
A "loading and unloading" provision in New Jersey insurance law required U.S. Concrete of Dallas—successor company to plaintiff Miller's employer, Colonial Concrete Co.—to cover the accident, the attorneys said. Attorney Miller represents U.S. Concrete and took over representation of Alexander Wagner Co. following a coverage ruling in a related matter.

$1 Million for Auto Accident

Kerr v. DeCamp Bus Lines: A North Arlington woman received $1 million as compensation for injuries she sustained when her car was struck by a bus.
Plaintiff Teresa Kerr, now 47, agreed to the settlement with Lancer Insurance Co., the carrier for defendants DeCamp Bus Lines of Montclair and its driver, Helder DeSilva, on Oct. 17, the day trial was set to begin before Bergen County Superior Court Judge James DeLuca, said Kerr's attorney, Edward Capozzi.
Kerr received her settlement funds on Nov. 1, said Capozzi, of Roseland's Brach Eichler.
Kerr was injured on Jan. 14, 2012, in North Arlington when her car was struck by a DeCamp bus as she was making a left turn from Ridge Road onto Front Street, Capozzi said.
Her lawsuit alleged that the incident aggravated existing injuries in her neck, back and left shoulder, Capozzi said.
Lancer retained Floyd Cottrell, of Cottrell Solensky in Newark. He confirmed the amount of the settlement. 
South Brunswick Library
Wills, Estate Planning & Probate Seminar
March 6, 2017 at 2pm Free community program


SPEAKER: Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. Edison, NJ
(Author- ABA Wills & Estate Administration)
Author- Wills & Estate Administration ABA

The January 1. 2017 New Estate Tax law made a number of substantial changes in the administration of estates and trusts in New Jersey.

Main Topics:
1. 2017 changes to NJ Estate Tax & changes to taxes on pensions
2. 2017 changes in Federal Estate and Gift Tax
3. The New Probate Law and preparation of Wills
4. Power of Attorney
5. Living Will
6. Administering the Estate/ Probate/Surrogate

You do not need to be a resident to attend.
COMPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: Brochures on Wills, Probate and Administration of an Estate, Power of Attorney, Living Wills, Real Estate Sales for Seniors, and Trusts.

South Brunswick Library
Att: Barbara Battles 110 Kingston Lane
Monmouth Junction NJ 08852
(732) 329-4000x 7286
South Brunswick Library
Wills, Estate Planning & Probate Seminar
March 6, 2017 at 2pm Free community program


SPEAKER: Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. Edison, NJ
(Author- ABA Wills & Estate Administration)
Author- Wills & Estate Administration ABA
The January 1, 2017 New Estate Tax law made a number of substantial changes in the administration of estates and trusts in New Jersey.

Main Topics:
1.2017 changes to NJ Estate Tax & changes to taxes on pensions
2. 2017changes in Federal Estate and Gift Tax
3. The New Probate Law and preparation of Wills
4. Power of Attorney
5. Living Will
6. Administering the Estate/ Probate/Surrogate

You do not need to be a resident to attend.
COMPLIMENTARY MATERIAL: Brochures on Wills, Probate and Administration of an Estate, Power of Attorney, Living Wills, Real Estate Sales for Seniors, and Trusts.
South Brunswick Library
Att: Barbara Battles 110 Kingston Lane
Monmouth Junction NJ 08852
(732) 329-4000x 7286
is an Edison, NJ trial attorney. He handles Criminal, Estate Planning, Probate, injury cases, Municipal Court in Middlesex County
  • Widener Law School, Delaware law
    Law, present
  • Rutgers Graduate School
  • University of Scranton
    Political Science, present
Contact Information
2053 Woodbridge Ave., Edison, NJ Kenneth Vercammen is an Edison, Middlesex County, NJ trial attorney who has published 125 articles in national and New Jersey publications on probate, estate planning, criminal and litigation topics. He often lectures to trial lawyers of the American Bar Association, New Jersey State Bar Association and Middlesex County Bar Association. He is a highly regarded lecturer on litigation issues for the American Bar Association, ICLE, New Jersey State Bar Association and Middlesex County Bar Association. His articles have been published by New Jersey Law Journal, ABA Law Practice Management Magazine, and New Jersey Lawyer. He is the Editor in Chief of the New Jersey Municipal Court Law Review. Mr. Vercammen is a recipient of the NJSBA- YLD Service to the Bar Award. He has served as a Special Acting Prosecutor in nine different cities and towns in New Jersey and also successfully handled over One thousand Municipal Court and Superior Court matters in the past 18 years. In his private practice, he has devoted a substantial portion of his professional time to the preparation and trial of litigated matters. He has appeared in Courts throughout New Jersey several times each week on Criminal personal injury matters, Municipal Court trials, and contested Probate hearings. He serves as the Editor of the popular legal website www.njlaws.comKENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PCATTORNEY AT LAW2053 Woodbridge Ave.Edison, NJ 08817(Phone) 732-572-0500(Fax) 732-572-0030website:
  • Kenneth Vercammen & Associates Law Office
    Attorney, present
    hroughout his career he has served the NJSBA in many leadership and volunteer positions. Ken has testified for the NJSBA before the Senate Judiciary Committee to support changes in the DWI law to permit restricted use driver license and interlock legislation. Ken also testified before the Assembly Judiciary Committee in favor of the first-time criminal offender “Conditional Dismissal” legislation which permits dismissal of some criminal charges. He is the voice of the Solo and Small firm attorneys who juggle active court practice with bar and community activities. Recently, the ABA Solo Division has selected Ken to write its new book on “Marketing for the New and Small Firm Attorney”. In his private life he has been a member of the NJ State champion Raritan Valley Road Runners master’s team and is a 4th degree black belt.
  • Cranbury Township Prosecutor
    1991 - 1999
    Prosecute criminals
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