Camden County College Slip and Fall Suit Revived by Appeals Court
A public entity cannot be held accountable for personal injury claims if a judge finds that the defendant's actions to maintain its property were not palpably unreasonable (under the Tort Claims Act, according to 1985 New Jersey Supreme Court decision Kolitch v. Lindedahl). However, even if a judge rules in favor of the defendant based on these grounds, your case isn't necessarily finished.
For instance, a student who filed a slip and fall lawsuit against Camden County College in 2010 was denied initial compensation because of a judge's ruling in favor of the defendant. Although the student was unable to initially receive a favorable ruling, his NJ personal injury attorney appealed the decision and the New Jersey appeals court agreed. The NJ Appeals Court found the original decision to be incorrect based on the testimony provided by the institution.
In this particular slip and fall claim, the student was injured after stepping on a patch of ice that had not been removed or addressed by employees. Institutions and individuals alike have an obligation to perform upkeep on property in order to create a reasonably safe environment. The judge's original ruling was based on the belief that the school had done enough to create a safe environment for students. However, there was no evidence that any work had been done the morning of the incident, which led to the student breaking an ankle.
The actions (or inaction) of the school “could readily be construed by a jury to mean that defendant did not act reasonably in addressing the icy conditions,” the appeals panel said.
The court of appeals exists to provide second chances when an initial decision is found to be insufficient. If you were denied personal injury compensation by a judge's ruling, don't give up your fight! If you believe the original ruling was incorrect, make sure you consult an experienced personal injury attorney to pursue the second chance you deserve.
If you are interested in pursuing an appeal for your slip and fall claim or other personal injury suit, contact Villani & DeLuca. Our NJ personal injury lawyers are available 24/7 for a free consultation. You can also reach us at (732) 709-7757.