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$________ Premises Liability – Fall down – Plaintiff contends extensive ice at time of 11:00 a.m. fall provided notice to defendants – Investigating police officer, who noted ice, testifies in deposition that he did not recall observing ice when he went off duty the day before – Ankle fracture

Bergen County, NJ

This case involved a 48-year old plaintiff who slipped and fell on ice on the sidewalk, abutting commercial property that contained a restaurant. The plaintiff named the commercial landowner, who had a non-delegable duty, as defendants. The plaintiff also contended that under the lease, the restaurant/tenant had a duty to provide snow and ice removal. The plaintiff further named the snow removal contractor as co-defendants, whom had entered into an agreement with the owner to salt and sand the area.

The incident occurred at approximately 11:00 am. The investigating police officer noted that there was extensive ice present, and the plaintiff contended that when the premises opened earlier in the day, it was current, and steps to ameliorate the condition should have been taken.

The defendants denied that they had any notice about the ice, and pointed out that in the officer’s deposition, he did not recall seeing ice in the area when he last went off duty at midnight.

The plaintiff countered that in view of the undisputed fact that the sidewalk was icy, it was either present and the officer did not see it when he went off duty – or had formed in the overnight hours, and should have been observed and corrected earlier in the day.

The plaintiff suffered an ankle fracture and required surgery, and maintained that he will suffer permanent pain and some difficulties ambulating.

The plaintiff made no future income claims.The case settled prior to trial for $________. The snow removal contractor paid 50%, and the owner and restaurant each paid 25%.

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