June 24, 2008
VIRGINIA CARTER, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
ASBURY PARK BOARD OF EDUCATION, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT, AND CITY OF ASBURY PARK, DEFENDANT.
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Monmouth County, L-4419-05.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted June 10, 2008
Before Judges Coburn and Waugh.
In this personal injury case, the trial judge granted summary judgment to defendant Asbury Park Board of Education. Plaintiff appeals, and we affirm substantially for the reasons expressed by Judge Perri in her well-reasoned oral opinion delivered on March 22, 2007. Nevertheless, we add the following comments.
The facts were undisputed for the purposes of the summary judgment motion. Plaintiff fell on a patch of black ice on the sidewalk in front of one of defendant's schools. There was no evidence as to how long the ice patch had been present, although there was evidence of a 7-inch snow storm in the area two or three days before the accident.
The judge's primary reason for ruling in defendant's favor was the common law snow removal immunity established by the Supreme Court in Miehl v. Darpino, 53 N.J. 49 (1968). This immunity was not affected by the enactment of the Tort Claims Act, N.J.S.A. 59:1-1 to 14-4. Rochinsky v. State of N.J. Dept. of Transp., 110 N.J. 399 (1988); Lathers v. Twp. of W. Windsor, 308 N.J. Super. 301 (App. Div.), certif. denied, 154 N.J. 609 (1998); Rossi v. Borough of Haddonfield, 297 N.J. Super. 494 (App. Div.), aff'd, 152 N.J. 43 (1997). Therefore, the judge was obliged to grant defendant's motion for summary judgment and we are obliged to affirm.
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