Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Summary Judgment Granted In Slip and Fall Case Where Ice Storm Was Still Ongoing At The Time The Plaintiff Fell

In the case of Nunez v. Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc., No. 1093-CV-2022 (C.P. Monroe Co. Aug. 15, 2022 Williamson, J.), the court granted the Motions for Summary Judgment filed by Defendants in a slip and fall premises liability matter.

According to the Opinion, the Plaintiff was employed as a security guard at a warehouse facility. As the Plaintiff arrived for work one day, he slipped and fell in the parking lot.

The records before the court revealed that, on the day of the December 17, 2019 incident, it had been raining throughout the day with periods of freezing rain. The weather records before the court indicated that there was precipitation falling in the area from just after midnight that day until at least 2:34 p.m. later that same day, that is, until about forty (40) minutes after the Plaintiff had fallen at 1:50 p.m.

The court additionally noted that the Plaintiff confirmed during his deposition testimony that there had been icy rain falling that day before he left home for work and that such precipitation continued when he drove to work. The Plaintiff further acknowledged that, when he arrived at work and fell, the icy rain was still falling.

It was additionally noted that the snow removal contractor Defendant was still on site performing snow and ice removal services when the Plaintiff fell.

The court also noted that the Plaintiff reported that, when he arrived at the facility, he slipped and fell as he exited his vehicle. He then continued to slip while trying to get up and had to crawl to another vehicle that was parked in front of his vehicle to pull himself up from the ground. The Plaintiff then admittedly continued to slip on the icy ground as he walked to the building where he worked. The Plaintiff described that the entire area was icy, not just an isolated area by his vehicle.

The court noted that not all of the icy conditions that were still being created could be reasonably addressed prior to the time the Plaintiff had encountered those conditions.  As such, the court entered summary judgment in favor of both the landowner Defendant and the snow removal contractor Defendant based, in part, upon the fact that there was an ongoing winter weather event still occurring generally throughout the area at the time the Plaintiff fell. 

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Sept. 27, 2022).

Source of image:  Photo by Egor Kamelev on

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