Client: County of Monmouth
Brief Attorney: Jessica M. Anderson, Esq.
Plaintiff suffered an injury to his hand requiring open reduction and internal fixation surgery when he tripped on the lip of a sidewalk which abutted a gravel parking lot. Plaintiff’s liability expert opined that the one and three-eight inch elevation between the gravel and the curb was a tripping hazard that easily could have been cured by the County re-grading the gravel. Defendant moved for summary judgment arguing that Plaintiff did not meet the elements of a dangerous condition as required by the Tort Claims Act because the defect was a minor imperfection of public property, the County did not have actual or constructive notice of the defect, and the County’s conduct was not palpably unreasonable. Plaintiff opposed the motion arguing that through his expert report, he had met the required elements. The Court disagreed and granted Defendant’s motion for summary judgment finding that Plaintiff’s expert did not take measurements of the defect until six months after the accident and therefore failed to establish the elements of a dangerous condition for the date of the accident.