NJ Ruling Heightens Landowners' Winter Storm Liability Risk

By David Coppola and John McConnell (October 26, 2020, 6:03 PM EDT) -- New Jersey courts' application of the ongoing-storm rule may be in jeopardy and could affect landowners' duty to maintain their property going forward.

A recent holding in Berniz v. Atkins from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, was favorable to the plaintiff, reinstating a complaint that was previously dismissed pursuant to the ongoing-storm rule. The Berniz court's decision was in line with recent trends in New Jersey law rejecting the ongoing-storm rule.

In Berniz, a housekeeper sued her employers after she fell on their untreated driveway during a snowstorm in 2015. When the plaintiff arrived at the residence that morning to begin...

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