Joseph Cobuzio, the Managing Partner of the firm, is a trial attorney with extensive experience in both state and federal court. In addition to heading one of the firm’s litigation teams, he also leads Tompkins McGuire’s highly-experienced workers’ compensation group. He has served as sole or lead trial attorney on well over 200 trials before the Department of Labor, Division of Workers’ Compensation.
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In addition to his trial and appellate practice, Mr. Cobuzio has given many lectures and presentations in a variety of practice areas relating to litigation and workers’ compensation. He has presented to third-party administrators, insurance carriers and self-insured entities. Following is a representative sample:
Fernandes v. DAR Dev. Corp., 222 N.J. 390 (1995). A plumber employed by a subcontractor was harmed when a trench he was excavating collapsed. Tompkins McGuire, representing the general contractor, argued that the plaintiff had voluntarily and unreasonably proceeded in the face of a known danger. The trial court’s refusal to charge comparative negligence was appealed to the Appellate Division, and then the New Jersey Supreme Court, which issued a comprehensive opinion addressing employees’ negligence in workplace accidents.
Owens v. Gelhaus, 2011 WL 6782507 (N.J. App. Div. Dec. 28, 2011). Plaintiff cyclist was injured when he ran into a wire cable while riding through an amusement park’s property after the park was closed in order to reach a paved walkway. Tompkins McGuire, representing the amusement park, obtained summary judgment dismissing his complaint, which dismissal was affirmed on appeal.
Van Winkle v. Lefrak Newport Realty Corp., 2010 WL 3516928 (N.J. App. Div. Sept. 8, 2010) Plaintiff, a construction worker, fell through a hole in concrete flooring covered by plywood that gave way while he was working on a high-rise construction project. Summary judgment in favor of the firm’s client was sustained on appeal.
Quick v. Equity Residential Mgmt. Corp., 2010 WL 3516904 (N.J. App. Div. Aug. 23, 2010). Plaintiff slipped and fell on ice and broke her leg, requiring open reduction and internal fixation, along with complications of infection leading to hardware removal. Our firm represented the snow and ice removal contractor. Following a four-day trial, the jury returned a verdict for against the property owner, but not against Tompkins McGuire’s client. The verdict in favor of the client was upheld on appeal.
DeLucca v. Givuadan Roure Corp., 2010 WL 4121297 (N.J. App. Div. July 23, 2010). Plaintiff slipped and fell in the loading dock area of his employer’s place of business, and filed suit against the snow and ice removal contractor. Tompkins McGuire obtained summary judgment dismissing the complaint, which was affirmed on appeal.
Accident Fund Ins. Co. v. PML Holdings Grp., L.L.C., 2009 WL 4724804 (N.J. App. Div. Dec. 11, 2009). Tompkins McGuire, representing an insurer, appealed the trial court’s decision that coverage existed under a workers’ compensation policy for a work-related accident, and secured a reversal.
Carteret Savings Bank v. Shushan, 919 F.2d 225 (3d Cir. 1990). Plaintiff Carteret Savings Bank sought review of the transfer of a legal malpractice action from the District of New Jersey to the Eastern District of Louisiana, on the basis that the defendant lawyers – represented by Tompkins McGuire – were not subject to personal jurisdiction in New Jersey. On appeal, the Third Circuit affirmed that the District of New Jersey did not have jurisdiction over the dispute, but declined to compel a transfer to Louisiana.
Kaur v. Standex Int’l Corp., 2009 WL 2016073 (D.N.J. July 7, 2009). This was a severe amputation case with reattachment of the hand arising out of allegations of product defect of an industrial chop saw. The firm represented the product manufacturer and achieved summary dismissal of warnings and manufacturing defect claims, with the remaining claims later favorably settled at trial.
Gabriele v. Lyndhurst Residential Cmty., LLC, 2008 WL 588543 (N.J. App. Div. Mar. 5, 2008). Tompkins McGuire, representing a construction company, obtained a trial-level ruling that its commercial general liability insurer was obligated to defend and indemnify it in connection with the wrongful death of a subcontractor's employee. The decision was affirmed on appeal.
Aversano v. Palisades Interstate Parkway Comm’n, 180 N.J. 329 (2004). The firm represented the estate of a man who fell off a 300-foot cliff while sunbathing at Palisades Interstate Park. Police officers, assuming he could not have survived the fall, undertook a recovery, not a rescue, operation, and did not reach the man until three hours after the fall. He was unconscious but still breathing, but was pronounced dead roughly two hours later. The New Jersey Supreme Court, holding that the Tort Claims Act did not immunize the defendants from liability, remanded the matter for trial.
Accident Fund Ins. Co. v. PML Holdings Grp., LLC, 2009 WL 4724804 (N.J. App. Div. Dec. 11, 2009). Tompkins McGuire, representing a workers’ compensation insurer, appealed a the trial court’s grant of summary judgment declaring that coverage existed under a workers' compensation policy for a work-related accident occurring in New Jersey. The Appellate Division rejected the insured's claims and reversed.
Ferrigno v. Tyco Int’l, Ltd., 2008 WL 3539920 (N.J. App. Div. Aug. 15, 2008). The Appellate Division affirmed Orders of the Workers’ Compensation Court favorable to the firm’s client.