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Clark & Fox attorneys John M. Clark and Megan Foster won Summary Judgment on behalf of their clients, Mark and Anthony Severino, who were sued in the case of Cardenas v. Severino, et al., in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Bergen County.  

On the date of plaintiff’s alleged accident, the defendants owned a vacant, two family home located in Bergen County, New Jersey.  Plaintiff alleged that she tripped and fell on the sidewalk in front of defendants’ property.  Plaintiff further alleged that at the time of the accident the property was commercial because the property had the capacity to generate income and, as such, defendants owed plaintiff a duty.  In support of the position that the property was commercial, Plaintiff stressed that the property was under renovation at the time of plaintiff’s accident and rented out after plaintiff’s accident.

Clark and Foster vigorously defended Mark and Anthony Severino against these claims. Through discovery, we were able to establish that the property was residential and had never been put to commercial use prior to the date of the alleged accident. 

Summary Judgment is only granted where there are no genuine disputes of fact. In ruling on a Motion for Summary Judgment, the court views the record in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, here the plaintiff.  Despite this high standard, the Court found that the undisputed facts demonstrate that at no time before the accident had the property generated income and at no time before the accident had the defendants sought to generate income.  The Court further found that the defendants did not owe plaintiff a duty given the lack of commercial use in any fashion prior to plaintiff’s accident.

Clark & Fox was able to have all claims against Mark and Anthony Severino dismissed with prejudice as a result of an aggressive defense establishing that defendants did not owe plaintiff a duty and showing that Summary Judgment was appropriate.

Clark & Fox is a firm of experienced lawyers with diverse international practices that focuses on representing the interests of the insurance industry. Information about all of Clark & Fox’s locations, attorneys, and practice areas is available on

For more information, please contact:

John M. Clark, CEO/President: 

Megan Foster, Senior Associate: