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Jose Ibarrondo and Norma Galarza v. William E. Candee

July 13, 2011

JOSE IBARRONDO AND NORMA GALARZA, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
WILLIAM E. CANDEE, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Camden County, Docket No. L-4583-08.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted May 25, 2011

Before Judges Fisher and Sapp-Peterson.

A jury returned a no cause verdict in favor of defendant at the conclusion of a liability trial arising out of plaintiffs' personal injury claims in which plaintiffs alleged they sustained severe and permanent injuries as result of defendant's negligent operation of his motor vehicle. On appeal, plaintiffs present the following points for our consideration:

POINT I

CANDEE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO UTILIZE THE BLACKOUT DEFENSE WITHOUT PROVIDING EXPERT TESTIMONY THAT SUPPORTED THE EXISTENCE OF A MEDICAL CONDITION WHICH CAUSED AN UNFORESEEABLE BLACKOUT.

A. CANDEE MUST PROVIDE EVIDENCE OF A PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN UNDERLYING MEDICAL OR PHYSIOLOGICAL CONDITION IN SUPPORT OF HIS ALLEGED 'BLACKOUT' AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE.

B. EXPERT TESTIMONY WAS NECESSARY TO DELIVER EVIDENCE SHOWING CANDEE'S BLACKOUT WAS UNFORESEEABLE DESPITE HIS PRE-EXISTING HEART CONDITION.

POINT II

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN COMPLETELY PREVENTING THE PLAINTIFFS FROM QUESTIONING CANDEE ABOUT HIS MEDICAL CONDITION BECAUSE EXPERT TESTIMONY WAS NOT NECESSARY FOR THE PLAINTIFFS TO EXAMINE CANDEE TO DEMONSTRATE HIS OWN KNOWLEDGE OF HIS MEDICAL CONDITION AND SYMPTOMS.

POINT III

THE TRIAL JUDGE ERRED WHEN HE PREVENTED THE PLAINTIFFS FROM ELICITING TESTIMONY ON CANDEE'S MEDICAL CONDITION AFTER DEFENSE COUNSEL'S ...


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