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Appeals Court Affirms Win for Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt Clients in Discrimination Case


Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. recently recorded an important win for three discrimination plaintiffs forced to wait years for relief due to defendants’ refusal to meet their legal responsibility. Following the successful result, defendant employers were required to pay economic and emotional distress damages to the three women who worked for their healthcare company.

In Jalil v. Pilgrim Medical Center, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, affirmed the trial court’s decision granting a default judgment to plaintiffs in a case where the state’s Law Against Discrimination was violated. The default was entered because Pilgrim failed to answer our submissions for relevant case information. Following New Jersey civil procedure rules, Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. took numerous steps to obtain replies to discovery requests that were served on defendants in 2014, including:

  • Filing a motion to compel responses to document requests and interrogatories after defendants failed to meet the deadline set forth in the rules.
  • Drafting letters to defendants specifically outlining the deficiencies in the responses that were sent after the motion to compel.
  • Moving to suppress defendants’ answer after proper responses had not been sent to plaintiffs more than one year after they were served. Defendants did not reply to this motion and the court suppressed the answer. A July 12, 2015 deadline was set for Pilgrim to respond. When nothing occurred, defendants’ answer was suppressed with prejudice.

Still, defendants failed to respond, and a final judgment was entered in plaintiffs’ favor on December 4, 2015. Our firm worked immediately to enforce that judgment.

When defendants’ attorneys finally took action, in 2016, they asked the court to set aside the default judgment. We opposed their belated request vigorously and the court agreed. The decision states that no excuse existed for Pilgrim’s neglect, characterizing their conduct as an “inexcusable failure to repeatedly respond to ongoing discovery deficiencies.” Accordingly, the defendants are required by law to pay the damages won by our clients.

Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. provides exceptional advice and advocacy to New Jersey and New York employees in a full range of workplace claims. If you have been the victim of discrimination, harassment, unpaid wages or any other type of job mistreatment, please call 551-245-8894 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation at our one of our offices, located in Hackensack or Pearl River, New York.

Neil  H.  Deutsch Attorney Photo
Neil H. Deutsch

About Neil H. Deutsch has been practicing law for over 35 years and is known as a skilled negotiator in employment and discrimination law. He believes in a bottom-line approach of risk analysis and cost effectiveness for his clients. "Case evaluation is something we take seriously," says Mr. Deutsch who seeks top net dollar for…

Bruce  L.  Atkins Attorney Photo
Bruce L. Atkins
Senior Partner

About Bruce L. Atkins is regarded as one of New Jersey’s premier practitioners of employment and civil litigation. He has been selected to the New Jersey Super Lawyers prestigious list every year since 2005.  This honor, bestowed upon a recipient by the votes of his peers, is a powerful nod to the skill Mr. Atkins…

Adam  J.  Kleinfeldt Attorney Photo
Adam J. Kleinfeldt

About Adam J. Kleinfeldt joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in March of 2015.  He primarily represents individuals in employment litigations such as discrimination, retaliation, and whistle blowing matters.  He has extensive experience in all phases of the litigation process. Adam has obtained significant results for some of his clients, including a $525,000 jury verdict…

Diane  Englander  Peyser Attorney Photo
Diane Englander Peyser

About Diane Englander Peyser joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in September 2018 where she represents employees in wrongful termination, retaliation, harassment, and discrimination matters. Prior to joining Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C., Diane represented clients in all aspects of employment law on behalf of employees involving unemployment appeals, claims of sexual harassment, LGBT discrimination,…

Debra M. McGarvey Attorney Photo
Debra M. McGarvey

About Debra M. McGarvey joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in December 2019. She has extensive experience defending employees and employers in state and federal court in employment litigation matters. She has represented clients on various issues arising out of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA),…

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    I am extremely satisfied with my experience with Duetsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt law firm. Diane Peyser was always attentive with any questions or concerns I had during my case. I always felt like I was her number one priority when I needed her during t...

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    Thrilled with our experience with the firm. It was a challenging case for sure, and Adam worked tirelessly to ensure we came out on top. His knowledge of the law and the "system" is first rate. I was prepared to walk away on a few occasions when t...

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