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Important Victory for Montclair State University

Author: Scarinci Hollenbeck|August 14, 2015

Litigation Attorney Frances Barto Instrumental in Montclair State University Win

Important Victory for Montclair State University

Litigation Attorney Frances Barto Instrumental in Montclair State University Win

Frances E. Barto, cpmmercial litigation attorney, Scarinci Hollenbeck LLC, Lyndhurst New Jersey, New York Attorney, Ocean Township New Jersey, public law. She is also vice president of the Young Lawyers Division

Frances E. Barto, Esq.

Scarinci Hollenbeck is proud to congratulate Associate Frances Barto on her role in winning an important victory for our client Montclair State University (“MSU”). In Gomez v. Cumberland USA, Inc., the Plaintiff Gomez brought a lawsuit against MSU and his employer, Cumberland USA, Inc. an independent contractor hired by MSU, for injuries sustained when he fell from a roof while doing repairs at MSU after a heavy snowstorm. The trial court initially ruled in favor of Plaintiff and denied MSU’s summary judgment motion, rejecting the University’s argument that it was immune from liability under the New Jersey Tort Claims Act ruling that that the property was in a “dangerous condition” at the time of Plaintiff’s injury and that MSU had assumed a legal duty to protect Plaintiff. The appellate panel reversed the trial court’s decision and entered a summary judgment in favor of MSU, dismissing the case with prejudice, ruling that (1) Plaintiffs proofs failed to establish the statutory requirements for imposing liability of a public entity for injuries caused by snow on the roof; (2) MSU had no duty, contractual or otherwise, to make the roof safe for the Plaintiff; (3) MSU’s property contained no “dangerous condition” as defined by the statute; and (4) MSU did not affirmatively created the situation which led to Plaintiff’s injury.

According to Ms. Barto, “Gomez v. MSU is a win for public entities, once again demonstrating the general rule of immunity and the burden on the Plaintiff required to establish liability under the Tort Claims Act. In this case, Plaintiff simply failed to meet that burden.”

Frances E. Barto focuses her practice on commercial and public entity litigation representing individuals, businesses and public entities throughout the State of New Jersey and in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.  Ms. Barto was recently recognized by 201 Magazine in their June 2015 publication as a top lawyer in Bergen County, NJ.

Important Victory for Montclair State University

Author: Scarinci Hollenbeck
Frances E. Barto, cpmmercial litigation attorney, Scarinci Hollenbeck LLC, Lyndhurst New Jersey, New York Attorney, Ocean Township New Jersey, public law. She is also vice president of the Young Lawyers Division

Frances E. Barto, Esq.

Scarinci Hollenbeck is proud to congratulate Associate Frances Barto on her role in winning an important victory for our client Montclair State University (“MSU”). In Gomez v. Cumberland USA, Inc., the Plaintiff Gomez brought a lawsuit against MSU and his employer, Cumberland USA, Inc. an independent contractor hired by MSU, for injuries sustained when he fell from a roof while doing repairs at MSU after a heavy snowstorm. The trial court initially ruled in favor of Plaintiff and denied MSU’s summary judgment motion, rejecting the University’s argument that it was immune from liability under the New Jersey Tort Claims Act ruling that that the property was in a “dangerous condition” at the time of Plaintiff’s injury and that MSU had assumed a legal duty to protect Plaintiff. The appellate panel reversed the trial court’s decision and entered a summary judgment in favor of MSU, dismissing the case with prejudice, ruling that (1) Plaintiffs proofs failed to establish the statutory requirements for imposing liability of a public entity for injuries caused by snow on the roof; (2) MSU had no duty, contractual or otherwise, to make the roof safe for the Plaintiff; (3) MSU’s property contained no “dangerous condition” as defined by the statute; and (4) MSU did not affirmatively created the situation which led to Plaintiff’s injury.

According to Ms. Barto, “Gomez v. MSU is a win for public entities, once again demonstrating the general rule of immunity and the burden on the Plaintiff required to establish liability under the Tort Claims Act. In this case, Plaintiff simply failed to meet that burden.”

Frances E. Barto focuses her practice on commercial and public entity litigation representing individuals, businesses and public entities throughout the State of New Jersey and in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.  Ms. Barto was recently recognized by 201 Magazine in their June 2015 publication as a top lawyer in Bergen County, NJ.

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