Oyebola v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., A-1733-17, 2019 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 432 (App. Div. Feb. 25, 2019)

A duty of care to remediate snow and/or ice during an ongoing snow storm is not triggered until the storm stops for a reasonable amount of time to permit start of remediation, even when snow removal contractor was on-site and working during the storm.

The plaintiff arrived at Wal-Mart after it had been snowing heavily for approximately three hours. At that time, the snow removal contractor had been on site for approximately one hour, performing snow removal services. Nonetheless, the plaintiff claimed she slipped and fell on snow and ice between her car and the adjacent parked car at the time she was attempting to get into her vehicle. The plaintiff commenced a personal injury suit, and the trial court granted summary judgment in the defendants’ favor, concluding no reasonable jury could find the defendants negligent on these facts. The Appellate Division affirmed, finding the defendants were not obligated to remove snow and ice between parked cars until the cars moved or the snow stopped falling, and within a reasonable timeframe for the snow removal to occur.


Case Law Alerts, 3rd Quarter, July 2019

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