Cerrigone v. Ewing – Personal Injury from Poorly Maintained Window
Cerrigone v. Ewing Superior Court Of New Jersey Appellate Division August 2, 2019
(Not For Publication)
Submitted by New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.
Plaintiff leased an apartment from defendant when this event occurred. Plaintiff tried to open her window in her apartment when it fell onto her finger. In plaintiff’s complaint, she alleged she suffered injuries to her hand due to a deteriorated, defected maintained window. The spring mechanism which is used to prevent sudden drops was not present which caused the window to drop on plaintiff’s finger. Plaintiff alleged defendant never warned her about the defected window and failed to provide a safe and proper place. Prior to the date of the incident, plaintiff had not made any complaints to the defendant about the window. Plaintiff as well, never proved any evidence defendant had notice of the alleged defect prior to the incident. Based off these facts defendant filed for summary judgment which was granted.
On appeal, the appellate court determined if there were any genuine issues of material fact and if not summary judgment was appropriate. The appellate court had carefully reviewed the record and, based on the parties’ Rule 4:46-2 submissions, conclude there are no genuine issues of material fact. They considered the issues of law de novo. To establish a breach of the landlord’s duty it required not only proof of a defect but as well as prior awareness of the defect prior to the injury. In this case there was no finding the defendant breached a duty owed to plaintiff. The plaintiff failed to demonstrate the window was in defendant’s exclusive control and had no expert to prove the spring was necessary for the window. The appellate court affirmed the judge’s decision for summary judgment.