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Changing Weather Patterns: Ongoing Storm Rule To Be Addressed By The NJ Supreme Court (NJ)

October 1, 2020

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<p style="text-align: justify;">The matter of Pareja v. Princeton International Properties arose out of a slip and fall in front of the defendant’s store due to ice. Plaintiff had fallen while sleet was still falling. The trial court granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment pursuant to the ongoing storm rule that holds that the landowner or possessor’s duty to take reasonable steps to make safe abutting walkways commences when precipitation ends.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The Appellate Division reversed, citing that the ongoing storm rule had gone too far through misapplication of Supreme Court precedent in prior Appellate Division rulings. We previously blogged on this <a href="https://www.wcmlaw.com/2020/05/new-atmosphere-for-ongoing-storm-rule-nj/">prior decision</a>.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Earlier this September, the New Jersey Supreme Court granted certification on the issue of whether a commercial landowner must take reasonable steps to make safe an abutting public walkway reasonably safe while precipitation is falling.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">It will be interesting to see how New Jersey’s Supreme Court will decide this issue. Most states follow the ongoing storm rule, so we will see whether New Jersey will join with the majority of other jurisdictions. We will be following this case closely.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Thanks to Mike Noblett for his contribution to this post. If you have any questions or comments, please contact <a href="mailto:chayes@wcmlaw.com">Colleen Hayes</a>.</p>

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