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Homeowner Associations Must Remove Ice and Snow from Sidewalks


Ronald Grayzel, Esq. recently participated in a successful appeal before the New Jersey Supreme Court in the matter of Qian v. Toll Brothers. Ron acted as a “friend of the court” on behalf of the New Jersey Association of Justice. The plaintiff, a guest at a family member’s condominium unit, was injured when she slipped and fell on a icy sidewalk in the complex. The sidewalk was a common area walkway owned by the Homeowner’s Association. The Association did not properly remove ice from the walkway. The trial court dismissed the claim against the Association on grounds that the walkway was the same as a public sidewalk and the Association did not have a duty to clear the walkway of ice.

On appeal to the New Jersey Supreme Court, Ron argued that a common area sidewalk is private property belonging to the Association for which it was responsible. The Supreme Court agreed and overruled the trial court and restored the plaintiff’s claim. The case was closely watched by the real estate industry who was hoping that the High Court would not require Associations to remove ice and snow from common area sidewalks. In a public statement to the press, Ronald Grayzel stated that “the New Jersey Association for Justice was pleased that the New Jersey Supreme Court reaffirmed the long standing principle that a Homeowner’s Association in a condominium complex is responsible for making sure that the walkways it owns and controls are properly cleared of ice and snow.”

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