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NJ App. Div. Interprets Notice Of Other Actions Requirement In Complaints.

February 19, 2010

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In Kent Motor Cars, Inc. v. Reynolds and Reynolds, the New Jersey Appellate Division held that the trial court erred in dismissing a successive action since the defendant failed to establish that it was substantially prejudiced by the plaintiff's failure to comply with its Rule 4:5-1 ( b) notice obligations.
Rule 4:5-1 (b) requires that a party provide notice it its first pleading of the names of other potentially liable parties. The failure to comply with this notice can result in dismissal if the failure to provide notice was inexcusable and the undisclosed parties right to defend the succesive action was substantially prejudiced.
The Court found that the undisclosed defendant was not in a worse position defending the successive claim than it would have been in defending the first action.
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