Archives for Premises Liability

New Jersey Appellate Court Holds That Additional Insured is Not Entitled to Coverage for Gross Negligence

In Moran-Alvardo v. Nevada Court Realty, LLC, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, addressed a liability insurance claim arising from a fall on snow in a shopping center parking lot. After the injured party filed an action against the shopping center owner and a tenant, the property owner filed a third-party indemnification action against the tenant and the tenant’s liability insurer. The trial court granted summary judgment in the tenant’s favor with regard to the indemnification claim, but granted summary judgment in the owner’s favor with regard to insurance coverage. Both decisions were reversed on appeal, as the
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New Jersey Superior Court Finds for Defendants in Slip-and-Fall Case Brought by Trespasser

In Negron v. Warriner’s Construction Co., Inc., the Law Division of the Superior Court of Cumberland County, NJ granted summary judgment to three defendants in a case concerning a slip and fall in a bank parking lot. The plaintiff fell while using the parking lot as a shortcut while walking from a store to his apartment. The plaintiff claimed that he fell on ice that was covered by a light coating of snow that had fallen within 30 minutes of the accident. The motion for summary judgment was filed by three of the four defendants, including the landowner, possessor of
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New Jersey Appellate Division Affirms Defense Verdict in Slip-and-Fall Case

New Jersey Appellate Division Affirms Defense Verdict in Slip-and-Fall Case In Anderocci v. Coach, Inc., the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division reviewed a trial court decision granting summary judgment to the defendants in a slip-and-fall case. The fall occurred in a retail store in a shopping mall. The plaintiff contended that the fall was caused by a slippery floor. The plaintiff supported her claim with an expert opinion concluding that the establishment’s wood floor became slippery due to the use of excessive water in cleaning it. In granting summary judgment for the defendants, the trial court determined that the
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New Jersey Appellate Court Rejects Premises Liability Claim When Plaintiff Was Aware of Risk

In Ilg v. Meade, the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division addressed an action for injuries allegedly caused by a slip and fall on snow and ice while walking near the neighboring defendants’ home. Following a snowstorm, the defendants had parked their cars on their driveway in a manner that partially blocked the sidewalk in front of their residence. While walking to the defendants’ residence on the date of the accident, the plaintiff had walked from her driveway into the street to avoid the defendants’ vehicle. However, when returning to the residence later that day, the plaintiff walked from her
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Issues of Fact Preclude Summary Judgment in New York Trip and Fall Case

In Hines v. HSBC Bank USA, Inc., the Wayne County Supreme Court held that a Plaintiff in a trip and fall action provided enough proof of her negligence cause of action to create triable issues if fact that defeated Defendant’s summary judgment motion. The facts in Hines are relatively straightforward. Plaintiff Hines tripped and fell on the sidewalk outside of the HSBC Bank, where she was a regular customer, in what was later determined to be a small depression in the sidewalk. Under New York law, as an owner or possessor of a property open to the public, HSBC had
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New Jersey Court Holds Language of Lease Controls in Landlord and Tenant’s Dispute Over Sidewalk Liability

In an unpublished opinion, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court found in favor a commercial tenant and against the landlord in an action that focused on the interpretation of the lease between the two parties to determine which party was responsible for maintenance and insurance of the common area sidewalk. In Senatore v. Kmart Inc., plaintiff brought suit against Kmart after falling on an allegedly defective portion of the sidewalk. Kmart, the tenant, tendered its defense to Belmont, the landlord, as an additional insured under Belmont’s policy. When Belmont’s insurer rejected the tender because Belmont had neglected
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New Jersey Appellate Court Finds Lack of Specificity in Causation of Negligence Claim Does Not Bar Suit

A New Jersey Appellate Court ruled that a plaintiff’s lack of specificity as to what caused her bicycle accident did not support the trial court’s finding that the plaintiff presented no evidence of causation to support her negligence claim. In Walter v. California Avenue Ventures LLC, the Appellate Court reversed the trial court’s summary judgment in favor of the defendants and found that the record established a triable issue of fact on whether the condition of the sidewalk caused plaintiff’s fall and subsequent injuries. In Walter, plaintiff was injured while riding her bike when she hit an object on the
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NJ Supreme Court Declines to Extend Residential Public-Sidewalk Immunity to Homewoners Association (HOA) Privately Owned Sidewalks

Under New Jersey law, commercial property owners have a duty to maintain the sidewalks abutting their properties and can be held liable for injuries occurring on those sidewalks. Residential landowners, on the other hand, do not have the same responsibilities and are immune from claims for personal injuries on residential sidewalks. In the 2011 case of Luchejko v. City of Hoboken, the New Jersey Supreme Court extended residential sidewalk immunity to Homeowners Associations (“HOAs”) for injuries occurring on public sidewalks adjoining residential condominium communities. Recently, the Court addressed the issue of whether this immunity also applies to claims for personal
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The Inadmissibility of Expert Net Opinions Addressed by Another New Jersey Court

Relying on the rationale set forth in the recently decided case of Townsend v. Pierre (see post of March 13, 2015), the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court affirmed the summary judgment dismissal of a personal injury action in Deniese v. Site Service Group Inc. (unpublished), on the basis that plaintiff’s expert rendered an inadmissible net opinion regarding the defendant’s alleged negligence. Mr. Deniese was injured when he slipped and fell into a row of shrubs while brushing snow from his car, which was parked in front of a bank. He sued the bank’s snow removal and landscaping
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New Jersey Supreme Court to Decide Liability of Homeowners’ Associations for Icy Sidewalks

The New Jersey Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether homeowners’ associations and maintenance contractors may be held liable for failing to clear ice and snow from HOA-managed sidewalks. In Qian v. Toll Brothers, the Court is expected to examine two lower court decisions holding that HOAs and contractors were not liable for such injuries. In reaching these decisions, the lower courts relied upon Luchejko v. Hoboken, in which the Supreme Court declined to extend case law holding commercial property owners liable for injuries caused by defective sidewalks to owners of residential properties. Plaintiff’s counsel in Qian contends that liability
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