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Court Applies "Ongoing Snow Storm" in Granting Defendants Summary Judgement Motion

The recent NJ case of Oyebola v. Wal-Mart Stores puts a finer point on the “ongoing snow storm” argument, which greatly reduces property owner’s and contractor’s duty to remove snow during an ongoing storm. In Oyebola, the plaintiff slipped in a Wal-Mart parking lot during an active snow storm. The defendants moved for summary judgment based on the fact that the storm was ongoing when the plaintiff was walking in the parking lot, and that the snow removal contractor was on site performing services at the time of plaintiff’s incident. The defendants’ motions were granted and in affirming the trial court’s decision, the Appellate Division reasoned that the property owner and snow removal contractor are afforded a reasonable amount of time to remove snow when a storm is ongoing. The decision builds on an ever-growing collection of cases related to ongoing storms that provide relief from the seemingly strict duty imposed on defendants for slip and falls on snow and ice.

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