Sara W. Mazzolla
Areas of Practice
As a shareholder in our Casualty Department, Sara actively defends matters involving premises liability, amusements, sports and recreation, construction, automobile, and condominium/community association law. Sara also defends professional liability claims involving sports coaches and real estate professionals.
In her career, Sara has defended Fortune 500 retailers, restaurant businesses, and major hospital networks in New Jersey premises liability actions. Sara routinely represents sports facilities, World and Olympic coaches, athletes, sports teams, and contractors in a wide array of matters.
Through her extensive background in the sport of figure skating, Sara provides a unique perspective to the defense of her sports-related clients. Sara is known for her dedication and consistency in achieving successful results for her clients. She is a former U.S. International Figure Skating Team Competitor, two-time U.S. National Figure Skating Championship Medalist (including winning a National Championship) and World Junior Team Member. Attributing many of her good qualities to her high level and successful participation in sports, Sara enjoys being a role model to young athletes and working with athletes to achieve their goals.
Sara received her juris doctor from Seton Hall University School of Law, where she defended juveniles through her work with the Seton Hall Law, Center for Social Justice, Juvenile Justice Law Clinic. During her time at Seton Hall Law, Sara externed for Judge Edwin H. Stern (on temporary assignment with the New Jersey Supreme Court) and Justice Virginia Long, and drafted memoranda on petitions for certification.
In conjunction with a pro bono organization, Partners for Women and Justice, Sara has successfully represented domestic violence victims in obtaining final restraining orders in New Jersey family court.
Sara is licensed to practice in New Jersey and New York.
Successfully obtained a no cause verdict following a one day non-jury trial (conducted virtually) in the Law Division of Hudson County for our client, a national trucking company. Plaintiff alleged the truck swerved into his lane causing property damage. We successfully argued that plaintiff’s identification of the trailer as belonging to our client was not dispositive on the issue of the identification of the company responsible for operation of the truck which was pulling the trailer at the time of the accident. The judge further found the police report was not admissible on the identification of the operator of the vehicle and also that regardless of identification, plaintiff failed to establish the operator was negligent.
Obtained summary judgment barring the application of the mode of operations charge in favor of major retailer.
Obtained a summary judgment on behalf of rock-climbing facility on the basis that waiver was enforceable and no reasonable jury could find that the client was grossly negligent based on client’s testimony of safety procedures, protocols and equipment in place at indoor rock-climbing facility.
Secured summary judgment for breach of contract and indemnification in a premises liability action.
Obtained Summary Judgment for a national concert promoter and public entity venue owner. Plaintiff purchased outdoor lawn seats for a concert at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey. After the show started it began to rain and plaintiff alleged the lawn area became slippery, wet and muddy. Plaintiff attempted to walk down the sloped lawn area towards the stage to buy her husband a beer. While doing so her foot got stuck in mud which formed with the rain and she suffered a severe ankle fracture which was surgically repaired. The trial Judge dismissed the case on Summary Judgment and found plaintiff’s expert’s report to be unsupported. The court reasoned plaintiff could not present a claim of liability against the operator for failing to prevent the outdoor grass seating area from becoming wet and slippery when it rained. He also reasoned plaintiff could not prove the property was in a dangerous condition as defined by the New Jersey Tort Claims Act. We believe this decision will be helpful in defending other cases at the same venue involving similar facts.
It’s Only Fun Until Someone Gets Hurt: Emerging Risks in Amusements, Sports and Entertainment, AM Best Insurance Law Podcast, October 2021
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