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Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Co. v. Topping

New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division


Decided: April 3, 1979.

COMMONWEALTH LAND TITLE INSURANCE CO., A CORPORATION OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY; U.S. LIFE TITLE INSURANCE CO. OF NEW YORK, A CORPORATION, AND JOSEPH P. MCGOVERN AND CAMILE MCGOVERN, HIS WIFE, PLAINTIFFS-RESPONDENTS,
v.
ERNEST G. TOPPING AND HOWARD HARRISON, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS

On appeal from Superior Court, Law Division, Bergen County, whose opinion is reported at 152 N.J. Super. 1.

Lynch, Crane and Horn.

Per Curiam

[167 NJSuper Page 393]

Defendants appeal from a judgment entered against them in an action in which it was alleged that they had negligently prepared land surveys. No cross-appeal has been filed. The essential facts are set forth in the opinion of the trial judge reported at 152 N.J. Super. 1 (Law Div. 1977) and need not be repeated here.

Defendants contend that they were not negligent in the preparation of the individual lot surveys and that plaintiffs failed to submit legally sufficient proof to substantiate the measure of damages.

We have carefully reviewed the record below and have concluded that the judgment should be affirmed substantially for the reasons expressed in Judge Dalton's opinion. We

[167 NJSuper Page 394]

agree with the trial judge that there was adequate proof of negligence and of damages. We agree also that the work of a surveyor in preparing surveys to effect the placement of houses, garages and driveways, as was done here in 1965, relates to the design and planning of an improvement to real property within the meaning of N.J.S.A. 2A:14-1.1. We express no opinion however as to whether the original perimeter survey done in 1963 in connection with the purchase of the tract prior to the subdivision is the kind of activity intended to be protected by N.J.S.A. 2A:14-1.1 since it is not necessary to our review. With that reservation, the judgment is affirmed.

19790403


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