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Schneider v. Conectiv Thermal Systems

January 17, 2008

FREDERICK SCHNEIDER, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
CONECTIV THERMAL SYSTEMS, THOMAS W. HERZOG, CONECTIV V.P., KEN LEHBERGER, CONECTIV PLANT MGR., TAJ MAHAL HOTEL & CASINO, ATLANTIC CITY SHOWBOAT, INC.,*FN1 LOU DEFEO, SHOWBOAT MAINTENANCE SUPERVISOR, DEFENDANTS-RESPONDENTS.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Civil Division, Atlantic County, L-2282-05.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted November 13, 2007

Before Judges Graves, Sabatino, and Alvarez.

This is an appeal from summary judgment awarded to defendants, Conectiv Thermal Systems; Thomas W. Herzog, Conectiv Vice President; Ken Lehberger, Conectiv Plant Manager; Taj Mahal Hotel & Casino; Atlantic City Showboat, Inc.; and Lou DeFeo, Showboat Maintenance Supervisor. Plaintiff, Frederick Schneider, appearing pro se, filed a complaint seeking damages and injunctive relief, alleging that exhaust tower emissions from defendants' nearby rooftops caused him serious pulmonary and other health problems. He also sought, by way of cross- motion, to enjoin defendants from emitting toxic substances into the air. After several management conferences and discovery orders, plaintiff was unable to provide an expert report substantiating his claim. For that reason, his complaint was dismissed. We affirm. In his appeal, plaintiff raises the following issues:

POINT I JUDGE NUGENT & JUDGE JOHNSON DEFIED NEW JERSEY COURT RULES BY NOT ORDERING THE ALLEGATIONS IN THE AMENDED COMPLAINT RETROACTIVE TO THE ORIGINAL COMPLAINT AS REQUIRED BY N.J.C.R. 49:3.

POINT II JUDGE NUGENT & JUDGE JOHNSON DEFIED NEW JERSEY COURT RULES BY NOT PERMITTING APPELLANT TO SERVE PROPER INTERROGATORIES ON ALL [DEFENDANTS] & TAKE PROPER DEPOSITIONS FROM ALL [DEFENDANTS] AND RELEVANT EYEWITNESSES AS REQUIRED BY N.J.C.R. 4:14 & 4:17.

POINT III JUDGE NUGENT & JUDGE JOHNSON DEFIED NEW JERSEY COURT RULES BY NOT PERMITTING APPELLANT TO CONDUCT PROPER DISCOVERY AS REQUIRED BY N.J.R.E. 401

POINT IV JUDGE NUGENT & JUDGE JOHNSON DEFIED NEW JERSEY COURT RULES BY NOT ISSUING ORDERS PURSUANT TO A CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE CONDUCTED BY JUDGE NUGENT ON JANUARY 19, 2006 AS REQUIRED BY R. 1:2-6.

POINT V IT WAS IMPROPER FOR JUDGE JOHNSON TO RULE ON THE LEGALITY OF JUDGE JOHNSON'S OWN CONDUCT.

POINT VI APPELLANT DID NOT TEST THE EMISSIONS FROM THE TOWERS REFERENCED IN THE ORIGINAL COMPLAINT, BECAUSE OF JUDICIAL ORDERS, WHICH UNFAIRLY PREJUDICED & LIMITED APPELLANT'S ABILITY TO SHOW CAUSATION, LIABILITY & DAMAGES

POINT VII SMOKY EMISSIONS WHETHER DELETERIOUS OR NON-DELETERIOUS ARE STILL AND HAVE BEEN HARMFUL TO THE VULNERABLE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM OF APPELLANT

POINT VIII APPELLANT'S EYEWITNESSES & EXPERT OPINIONS QUALIFY UNDER THE COMMON KNOWLEDGE DOCTRINE & ARE CREDIBLE ENOUGH TO BE PRIMA FACIE AS TO CAUSATION[,] LIABILITY AND DAMAGES.

At plaintiff's urging, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) investigated the emissions and found no harmful substances were being discharged from defendants' roofs. Specifically, the EPA verified that water vapor was indeed being discharged, but concluded that the steam did not pose a health risk. Plaintiff also obtained a letter from the chief meteorologist at a local television station verifying his claim that easterly winds blew the emissions from casino towers towards the ...


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