Landlord Must Pay Tenant $1 Million for Icy Sidewalk
A tenant who fell on an icy sidewalk and broke her hip and shoulder won a $1 million jury award for her injuries, lost wages from missing work and other expenses.
The 59-year-old woman, who did not want her name to be reported, was leaving for work at 7 a.m. on March 1, 2010 in North Bergen, N.J., when she slipped on ice at the bottom of the building’s front steps.
She fractured her hip and needed surgery to install screws and nails to hold it in place. She will also require surgery for a broken shoulder she sustained in the fall. After four days in the hospital, she spent 15 days in rehab and left in a wheelchair.
Her lawsuit against her landlord, Julio Marenco, alleged that he knew about the icy conditions.
Her attorney, Lewis Greenberg, argued at trial that the landlord allowed a downspout from a roof gutter to pool water from melting snow during the day that froze at night on the ground.
The jury compensated the woman for medical expenses, the three months of work she missed and for permanent injuries that made her left leg shorter than her right leg and causes her to limp.
“It’s a message to landlords that you really need to be careful with your tenants because they are relying on that,” said Greenberg who added that landlords “have a duty to keep the premises safe on an ongoing basis.”