A recent slip and fall lawyer NJ case: Sandra claimed that she tripped and fell on a raised sidewalk in front of a strip mall in Newark. Sandra further claimed that she suffered serious injuries as a result of the fall. She hired a slip and fall lawyer. New Jersey law generally holds commercial landlords responsible for injuries resulting from faulty sidewalk maintenance.
All sides in the case agreed that the roots of a nearby shade tree lifted up a sidewalk slab. That caused the uneven walking surface that caused the fall.
The City of Newark had planted the tree. The City also assumed control of the tree. Indeed, Newark had established a shade tree commission. The city council passed an ordinance, stating that no “person shall trim, cut or prune any tree in or on a public street without written permission of the Director of Neighborhood and Recreational Services.”
The landlord claimed that she notified the city of the damage the tree was causing to the sidewalk, well before the accident. She even allegedly contacted the city to obtain a permit for sidewalk repair. Supposedly, she was advised that the City would have to remove the tree before it would issue a permit.
The city, in fact, removed the tree. In true governmental fashion, it did so about six months after the accident.
The landlord claimed that, under the circumstances, the accident was not her fault. The city should have removed the tree and issued a permit before the accident. She cited a previous New Jersey appeals court ruling that seemed to support her position. She asked that the case be dismissed.
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But the trial judge disagreed. He cited a more recent appeals case that came to a different conclusion. In short, the judge ruled that, just because the landlord couldn’t do everything to fix the problem, didn’t mean that she couldn’t do anything about it.
For example, the landlord might have placed cones, a warning sign, or reflective tape, near the sidewalk danger, to alert passersby. The landlord admitted that, at the time of the accident, she had placed no such warnings.
Therefore, the trial judge refused to dismiss the case. A jury will decide whether the landlord did enough to protect the victim.
The name of this Slip and Fall Lawyer NJ case is Perez v. Bicho.