Aden v. Fortsh

776 A.2d 792 (2001)

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Aden v. Fortsh

New Jersey Supreme Court
776 A.2d 792 (2001)

RW

Facts

Benjamin Aden (plaintiff) asked his insurance broker, Robert Fortsh (defendant), to recommend adequate insurance coverage for Aden’s new condominium apartment. Fortsh presented Aden with a policy proposal that Aden accepted without taking Fortsh’s advice to read the condominium-wide master policy first and make sure there were no unexpected gaps in coverage. Two years later, a fire damaged Aden’s apartment. The master policy covered only exterior damage, and Aden’s own policy paid only a small portion of the cost to repair Aden’s apartment. Aden sued Fortsh for negligently failing to procure adequate insurance. The trial jury heard Aden’s expert witness testify that, according to industry standards, Fortsh himself should have checked the master policy on his client’s behalf. The jury returned its verdict for Aden, but an intermediate appellate court reversed on the grounds that the trial court should have instructed the jury on Aden’s comparative negligence in not reading the master policy. Aden appealed to the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Zazzali, J.)

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