Professionals may not diminish their liability under the Comparative Negligence Act when the alleged negligence of the client relates to the task for which the professional was hired

Law Lessons from New Gold Equities Corp. v. Jaffe Spindler Co., __ N.J. Super. __ (App. Div. 2018), Docket No. A-0200-15T1, February 28, 2018: In New Jersey, “professionals may not diminish their liability under the Comparative Negligence Act[, N.J.S.A. 2A:15-5.1 to-5.8,] when the alleged negligence of the client relates to the task for which the professional was hired.” Aden v. Fortsh, 169 N.J. 64, 78 (2001). Thus, generally, “the comparative fault defense will not apply in a plaintiff’s suit alleging a professional’s malpractice, at least in those cases in which the defendant argues that the plaintiff was at fault in failing to understand or to perform the task for which the professional was hired.” Ibid. (quoting Brian E. Mahoney, New Jersey Comparative Fault and Liability Apportionment § 6:2-10 at 119 (2001)). In formulating this exception to the Comparative Negligence Act’s bar to recovery, the Supreme Court “premised…

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