New Jersey Superior Court Concludes That Grant of Summary Judgment on Basis of New Jersey Tort Claims Act Was Improper Because a Genuine Issue of Material Fact Existed Regarding the Cause of Motor Vehicle Accident

Marshall Dennehey

Angeles v. Ruiz, Not Reported in Atl. Rptr., 2023 WL 3669914

The trial court found that the defendant/township and its snowplow driver were entitled to summary judgment after an accident that occurred while the snowplow driver was plowing the roads and collided with the plaintiff. The Superior Court confirmed, “N.J.S.A. 59:4-7 provided that “[n]either a public entity nor a public employee is liable for an injury caused solely by the effect on the use of streets and highways of weather conditions.” “However, if weather conditions combine with other causes, then the weather condition immunity will not act as a bar.”

The Superior Court reversed the grant of summary judgment because it concluded that the plaintiff’s expert testimony regarding the driver’s failure to slow down sooner and his inattentiveness constituted disputed facts that could be determined to be contributing negligent actions that went beyond the protections of the Tort Claims Act.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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