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Attorney Ronald Grayzel Wins Major Victory as a for Condominium Residents and Tenants in New Jersey

Ronald Grayzel

Levinson Axelrod attorney Ronald Grayzel recently helped secure a major legal victory in the case of Lechler v. 303 Sunset Avenue arguing on behalf of the New Jersey Association for Justice as a “Friend of the Court” submitting a Brief and participating in the oral argument. Ron’s participation was strictly to assist the Court and people of New Jersey, since the person bringing the suit had their own attorney.

A judge previously dismissed the plaintiffs’ negligence claim in this premises liability case with prejudice, and granted the defendants, 303 Sunset Avenue Condominium Association, Inc. and its property manager, Townsmen Properties, LLC, a directed verdict. Following the plaintiffs’ appeal, the New Jersey Appellate Division reversed the appeal and remanded for a new trial.

The lawsuit was filed after the plaintiff stumbled down a 13-foot wide stairwell that lacked a center handrail, despite evidence showing that a railing used to be in place there. He lost his balance partway down the steps, attempted to recover his balance as he ran down the stairs, but hit the last step with his left heel. He required surgery to repair the fractured foot.

The New Jersey Appellate Division held that a Condominium Association can be held legally responsible for injuries to a unit owner for failing to maintain and repair its common area stairs. The decision reversed a lower court ruling dismissing the plaintiff’s lawsuit based on the grounds that the Condominium Association did not have this duty.

“Specifically, N.J.S.A.46:8B-14{a) states that a condominium association shall be responsible for the performance of “the maintenance, repair, replacement, cleaning and sanitation of the common elements,”” Judge Edward W. Hoffman wrote in the court’s opinion. “Moreover, our Supreme Court has held that a condominium association “has a statutory obligation to manage the common elements.” We further note the Hotel and Multiple Dwelling regulations also require a center handrail for stairways of this width. N.J.A.C.5:10-7.7{a){1).”

Our New Jersey attorneys at Levinson Axelrod are committed to providing those in need with the experienced and knowledgeable legal representation they require. If you are looking to discuss your case with a member of our firm, request a free case evaluation through our online form, or give us a call at (732) 440-3089 today.

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