New Jersey Appellate Division Affirms Defense Verdict in Slip-and-Fall Case
In Anderocci v. Coach, Inc., the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division reviewed a trial court decision granting summary judgment to the defendants in a slip-and-fall case. The fall occurred in a retail store in a shopping mall. The plaintiff contended that the fall was caused by a slippery floor. The plaintiff supported her claim with an expert opinion concluding that the establishment’s wood floor became slippery due to the use of excessive water in cleaning it. In granting summary judgment for the defendants, the trial court determined that the expert opinion was an inadmissible “net opinion.”
In affirming the trial court’s decision, the Appellate Division noted that Plaintiff’s expert never examined the flooring at the store, but rather accepted the plaintiff’s testimony that it was slippery. While the expert contended that excessive moisture caused the floor to “cup” and “crown,” there was no evidence that the floor was indeed “crowned” or “cupped.” Furthermore, there was no evidence as to how much water was typically used when the floor was cleaned, and Plaintiff’s expert failed to explain why the store’s practice of cleaning the floor three times a day was excessive.
For these reasons, the Court concluded that Plaintiff’s expert opinion was properly excluded. The Court also found that the evidentiary record failed to establish that the store’s maintenance practices were unreasonable, or that the store was otherwise negligent. The Court therefore affirmed the trial court’s summary judgment order.

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