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Dunn v. County of Morris

February 28, 1997

KATHERINE DUNN AND EDWARD DUNN, HER SPOUSE, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
COUNTY OF MORRIS, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Morris County.

Approved for Publication March 5, 1997.

Before Judges King, Keefe and Loftus. The opinion of the court was delivered by Loftus, J.A.D.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Loftus

The opinion of the court was delivered by

LOFTUS, J.A.D.

Katherine Dunn (Dunn) and her spouse Edward Dunn, plaintiffs, appeal from an order of a Law Division Judge granting summary judgment in favor of the County of Morris (Morris County), defendant, and dismissing their negligence complaint.

Dunn was employed as a park police officer by the Morris County Park Commission (Park Commission). While on duty she fell down stairs located at the Park Commission headquarters in Morris Township. She contends that she suffered injuries as a result of the fall.

Dunn filed a workers' compensation claim against Morris County which she later amended to designate the Park Commission as respondent. Thereafter, Dunn filed a negligence complaint against Morris County based upon the same incident. Morris County moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint. The motion Judge concluded that the Park Commission was an agency of Morris County, that this suit was barred by N.J.S.A. 34:15-8, and granted the motion.

On appeal, Dunn contends:

I.

SINCE THE STATUTORY SCHEME WHICH EMPOWERS THE COUNTY OF MORRIS AND THE MORRIS COUNTY PARK COMMISSION INDICATES THAT THEY ARE SEPARATE ENTITIES, THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONCLUDING THEY ARE A SOLE EMPLOYER.

II.

HAVING ESTABLISHED THAT THE COUNTY OF MORRIS AND THE MORRIS COUNTY PARK COMMISSION ARE SEPARATE CORPORATE ENTITIES, THE LAW IS CLEAR THAT THE WORKERS' COMPENSATION LAWSUIT ...


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