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ARTICLE ID 195825

$________ Premises Liability – Slip and fall on snow by plaintiff visitor to apartment complex – Cervical herniations – Lumbar soft tissue injuries – Non-fracture ankle injury – Sinus tarsi syndrome – Three injections in each of cervical, lumbar and ankle areas – Plaintiff generally uses cane to walk – No income claims.

Union County, NJ

The plaintiff, in her 30’s, who was visiting a tenant in the defendant’s apartment complex the day after over three inches of snow had fallen, contended that the defendant landlord, and the co-defendant maintenance company – who provided an on-site presence – negligently failed to attend to the walkway. The plaintiff maintained that, as a result, she slipped and fell.

The maintenance company denied that it had the obligation to shovel, and opined that its contract with the landlord was silent on such an issue. The maintenance company supported that it provided services such as trash removal and interior maintenance, and that if snow removal was part of its duties, such obligation would have been delineated in the contract. The defendant maintenance company indicated that it would help remove snow if requested to do so by the landlord, but denied that it was so asked at the time. The plaintiff introduced photographs depicting multiple sets of footprints in the snow on the walkway, and the plaintiff argued that it was evident that snow removal efforts were not made after over three inches had fallen the previous day. The defendant landlord contended that the duty of the of the on-site maintenance company clearly encompassed snow removal irrespective of the details of the written contract, pointing to the very nature of the company that provided on-site maintenance – including a superintendent who lived on the premises. The defendants also asserted that the plaintiff failed to walk with sufficient care, and was comparatively negligent.

The plaintiff maintained that she suffered two cervical lumbar herniations that were confirmed by MRI, and although lumbar disc injuries were not noted on the MRI, her lower back symptoms were severe. The plaintiff underwent three injections to both the cervical and lumbar areas. The plaintiff further supported that along with non-fracture ankle injuries, she suffered sinus tarsi syndrome, which involves the canal that runs into the ankle under the talus, and for which she also received several injections. There was no evidence that surgery for any of the conditions is contemplated.

The plaintiff maintained that she will permanently suffer pain and limitations in all of the areas injured in the fall, and was on disability for an unrelated condition, making no income claims.The case settled prior to trial for $________, including $________ from the maintenance company, and $________ from the landlord.

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