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An Update on New Jersey’s Ongoing-Storm Rule from John McConnell and David Coppola


An Update on New Jersey’s Ongoing-Storm Rule from John McConnell and David Coppola

June 29, 2021
John M. McConnell

“As temperatures heat up, a June 10 decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court paints a clearer picture of the forecast for the ongoing-storm rule and liability of commercial landowners,” Goldberg Segalla’s John McConnell and David Coppola write in an article for Law360. “In Pareja v. Princeton International Properties & Lowe’s Landscaping & Lawn Maintenance LLC, the Supreme Court of New Jersey formally adopted the ongoing-storm rule, holding that commercial landowners do not have a duty to remove the accumulation of snow and ice until the conclusion of a storm.”

The case stems from a January 2015 slip-and-fall accident induced by wintry weather and identifies when property owners are required to remove snow and ice in a winter storm. In the article, John and David detail the contrasting decisions and opinions coming out of the trial court, the appellate court and, finally, the New Jersey Supreme Court.

“The Supreme Court’s decision in Pareja signals a key step in the evolution of ongoing storm law in New Jersey,” they write. “Previously, the New Jersey Supreme Court held in Stewart v. 104 Wallace St. Inc. in 1981 that commercial landowners were responsible for maintaining in reasonably good condition the sidewalks abutting their property, and were liable to pedestrians injured because of their failure to do so.”


NJ Storm Ruling Provides Needed Clarity for Property Owners,” Law360, June 25, 2021


John M. McConnell is a trusted counselor to Fortune 500 companies and other publically traded corporations, renowned for his record of success in high-stakes litigation and his acumen in motion practice and trial advocacy. John’s clients include major banking and financial services companies, government entities, hospitality companies, large national real estate development and management companies, construction companies, product manufacturers, and publicly traded retailers. Clients turn to John for his aggressive and frequently novel use of motion practice to dismiss claims and favorably resolve disputes without protracted litigation—particularly valuable to large national companies with complex risk-management demands and sensitivity to litigation spending.

David J. Coppola focuses his practice on representing clients in a broad range of general liability matters, and is involved in all aspects of the claims-handling process, from inception through trial and appeal, including mediation. As a law student, David externed with the City of South Bend’s Legal Department, interned with the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General, and volunteered with Legal Services of New Jersey’s Hurricane Sandy Legal Assistance project. Following law school, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Donna M. Taylor in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Atlantic/Cape May Vicinage.