is in harmony with the express policy of the statute enunciated in the introductory provision of the law, as follows:
'This chapter shall be liberally construed, as a remedial law for the protection of resident and nonresident creditors and claimants.' N.J.S.A. 2A:26-1.
In the light of the New Jersey statutory directive toward liberal construction I find no reason to deny to Steel the right to attach Commercial's money in its hands merely because Steel, itself, holds the money, when it is clear that absent other factors, Steel would encounter no difficulty in attaching the same money if it were held by a third party. I am left respectful of, but unpersuaded by the authorities cited by Commercial to the contrary.
As to the other prong of Commercial's attack revolving around the sufficiency in form and substance of the affidavit
of the Vice President of Steel, Mr. Edward C. Myers, to support the attachment action, it may be that it is deficient in some details. Essentially, however, the affidavit sets out the contract noted above; the institution of the action against Steel by Rommell; negligence upon the part of Commercial or Rommell, but none by Steel, and Commercial's failure to respond to Steel's demand that it undertake the defense of the Rommell suit. The omission of such details as the source of the knowledge of the affiant concerning the alleged injuries to Rommell is not a substantial defect.
To be entitled to a writ of attachment a plaintiff is not required to set up in his affidavit more than a prima facie case.
There may well be questions as to whether Commercial committed itself to indemnify Steel in contingencies outside the precise area of workmens' compensation under Paragraph 13 and mechanics' and materialmen's liens under Paragraph 15, but there can be no doubt that it committed itself to 'the sole responsibility' for 'the safety of all persons employed by * * *' it on Steel's premises under Paragraph 16 of the contract.
In this suit Steel has charged that it was Rommell's own or Commercial's negligence that caused Rommell's injuries and not Steel. If Steel is called upon to pay for that damage by reason of a legal theory, such as ownership of the property, then it charges Commercial has breached Paragraph 16 and is liable to Steel.
Thus it would appear that the issuance of the writ of attachment is supported by the affidavit, the contract, and Rommell's suit against Steel. Taken together they establish that by the terms of the contract Commercial was responsible for the safety of its employees while on the property of Steel; that Rommell, one of its employees, was injured during the performance of the contract and has sued Steel and that Steel has asserted he was not injured through its negligence, but either through his own or Commercial's. This amounts to a prima facie showing that Steel is exposed to a potential judgment against it in the Rommell case, which Commercial may be obliged to assume.
To be sure, Steel could continue to retain Commercial's $ 20,900, and await a suit for it by Commercial whereupon it could set up as a defense and perhaps a counterclaim the basis for this attachment suit. It well may be that Commercial's right to choose its forum for such a suit will be frustrated. If so, it is patent that the better ends of justice will be served if the issues involved, which are so closely related, are tried in the same court rather than in different jurisdictions.
Accordingly, Commercial's motion to quash and dismiss the writ of attachment and levy made herein will be denied. An order should be submitted.