Residential Home Owner not required to maintain public sidewalk adjacent to their property
Colombo v. Estate of Serriano , N.J. Super. App. Div. (Fuentes, P.J.A.D.) (8 pp.) (Not approved for Publication
Submitted by New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.
Plaintiff appealed the dismissal of her slip and fall action. Plaintiff slipped and fell on snow and ice on the sidewalk in front of decedent’s single-family home. The trial court granted summary judgment to estate because the owner of a single-family dwelling had no common law duty to keep the sidewalk adjacent to his property clear of snow and ice. Plaintiff argued the trial judge did not properly consider the report of her architect who opined that while a slight slope deviation in the area where plaintiff fell was within normal design standards, it created a dangerous situation when not properly cleared of snow and ice. The court agreed with the trial court. A residential property owner had no duty to maintain public sidewalks adjacent to their property and no common law duty to clear snow and ice. The court agreed that plaintiff’s testimony about whether the sidewalk had been shoveled was mere speculation and architect’s conclusion was argument, rather than expert opinion based on evidence in the record.