NANCY L. HOLM, ETC. VS. DANIEL M. PURDY (L-0098-17, MONMOUTH COUNTY AND STATEWIDE)

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NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION This opinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court ." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R. 1:36-3. SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION DOCKET NO. A-1529-19 NANCY L. HOLM, individually and as Administratrix of the Estate of CHRISTOPHER R. FRIEDAUER, deceased, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. DANIEL M. PURDY, Defendant-Respondent. ____________________________ Argued February 10, 2021 – Decided July 16, 2021 Before Judges Geiger and Mitterhoff. On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Monmouth County, Docket No. L-0098-17. Ryan Milun argued the cause for appellant (The Killian Firm, PC, attorneys; Ryan Milun, on the briefs). Michael J. Dunn argued the cause for respondent. PER CURIAM Plaintiff Nancy L. Holm, individually and as Administratrix of the Estate of Christopher R. Friedauer (Christopher), 1 deceased, brought this professional negligence action against defendant Daniel M. Purdy, a licensed insurance broker who procured insurance for Holmdel Nurseries, LLC (Holmdel or the LLC), including workers' compensation coverage. Plaintiff alleged Purdy was negligent (count one) and breached his fiduciary duty (count two) by "negligently advising or failing to advise [Christopher] regarding insurance that was clearly and obviously necessary to protect [Christopher], his family, and his business in the event of [Christopher's] injury or death, and for procuring grossly inadequate coverage." Plaintiff appeals from a May 10, 2019 order denying her cross-motion for summary judgment and a November 20, 2019 order granting Purdy's motions for involuntary dismissal under Rule 4:37-2(b) and judgment at trial under Rule 4:40-1. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for retrial. Until 2012, Christopher's father, Robert Friedauer (Robert), and uncle, Walter Friedauer (Walter), each owned a fifty percent interest in Holmdel, a family-run nursery and landscaping business. Christopher and his brother Michael Friedauer (Michael) were long-time employees of Holmdel. As 1 Because the members of the LLC share the same surname, we use their first names for ease of reading and mean no disrespect. A-1529-19 2 employees, Christopher and Michael were covered for work-related injuries or death under Holmdel's workers' compensation policy (the Policy). In 2011, Christopher and Michael began discussing a buy-out of their uncle Walter's fifty percent ownership of Holmdel. Soon after, Robert, Walter, Michael, and Christopher agreed that Michael and Christopher would purchase Walter's fifty percent ownership of Holmdel, with each owning twenty-five percent. The agreement was finalized in 2012. Following the buyout, Robert retained a controlling fifty percent interest in Holmdel. Purdy served as the longtime insurance agent for Holmdel. He met with Robert annually to review Holmdel's insurance coverage needs. Purdy secured numerous insurance coverages for Holmdel each year, including the mandatory workers' compensation coverage for employees. In contrast to employees, members of an LLC are not covered under the Policy unless they elect to opt in for such coverage at extra cost. Every member of the LLC must opt …

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