Vargas v. Augusto, No. A-4897-17, 2019 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1738, * (App. Div. Aug. 6, 2019)

Plaintiff did not have an obligation to exclude other possible sources of the slippery condition because a proximate cause is a determination for the jury.

On a cold and drizzly night, with temperatures below freezing, the plaintiff walked down hill on a  residential street. As the plaintiff attempted to walk past the sidewalk adjacent to the defendant’s drainage pipe, he slipped and fell. The plaintiff did not see ice nor did he feel it in the area upon which he fell. The plaintiff nonetheless testified that the particular area was very slippery. The defendant-landowners moved for summary judgment, arguing the below-freezing temperatures and drizzling weather could have caused the area to become slippery, rather than discharge from the defendant’s drain pipe. The Appellate Division denied the defendants’ motion for summary judgment on that basis, finding that issues of causation were for the jury, not the court, to determinate as a matter of law.


Case Law Alerts, 4th Quarter, October 2019

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