ELVIRA LEVITINA VS. NEW JERSEY TRANSIT CORP. (L-3781-18, MIDDLESEX COUNTY AND STATEWIDE)

E

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION This opinion shall not "constitute precedent or be binding upon any court ." Although it is posted on the internet, this opinion is binding only on the parties in the case and its use in other cases is limited. R. 1:36-3. SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION DOCKET NO. A-3089-19 ELVIRA LEVITINA, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. NEW JERSEY TRANSIT CORP., Defendant-Respondent. ________________________ Argued May 25, 2021 – Decided July 14, 2021 Before Judges Gilson and Moynihan. On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, Docket No. L-3781-18. Sander Budanitsky argued the cause for appellant. Christopher M. Brady argued the cause for respondent (Camassa Law Firm, PC, attorneys; John A. Camassa, of counsel; Alexandra J. Taylor, on the brief). PER CURIAM Plaintiff Elvira Levitina appeals from the trial court's order granting summary judgment to defendant New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit) and dismissing with prejudice her single-count complaint alleging she was injured due to NJ Transit's negligence when, as a business invitee, she fell in February 2017, after stepping into a pothole located in a parking lot owned by defendant and then maintained by the Metuchen Parking Authority (the Authority) under the terms of an agreement with NJ Transit's predecessor (the Agreement).1 We review a trial court's summary-judgment ruling de novo, applying the same standard as the trial court, Conley v. Guerrero, 228 N.J. 339, 346 (2017); see also Nelson v. Elizabeth Bd. of Educ., 466 N.J. Super. 325, 336 (App. Div. 2021), and consider whether the evidence, "when viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party," raises genuinely disputed issues of material fact sufficient to warrant resolution by the trier of fact, or whether the evidence is "so one-sided one party must prevail as a matter of law," Brill v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 142 N.J. 520, 540 (1995) (citation omitted). A dispute of material fact is "genuine only if, considering the burden of persuasion at trial, the evidence submitted by the parties on the motion, together with all legitimate 1 The parties to the 1957 Agreement were the Pennsylvania Railroad Company and the Parking Authority of the Borough of Metuchen, N.J. A-3089-19 2 inferences therefrom favoring the non-moving party, would require submission of the issue to the trier of fact." R. 4:46-2(c); see also Bhagat v. Bhagat, 217 N.J. 22, 38 (2014). We review a trial court's legal conclusions de novo. Clark v. Nenna, 465 N.J. Super. 505, 511 (App. Div. 2020). The New Jersey Tort Claims Act (TCA), N.J.S.A. 59:1-1 to 12-3, "indisputably governs causes of action in tort against governmental agencies within New Jersey," Gomes v. Cnty. of Monmouth, 444 N.J. Super. 479, 487 (App. Div. 2016); see also N.J.S.A. 59:2-1(a); Nieves v. Off. of the Pub. Def., 241 N.J. 567, 571 (2020). NJ Transit is a public entity. Muhammad v. N.J. Transit, 176 N.J. 185, 194 (2003). Because public entities are presumptively immune from tort liability unless a statutory …

Original document

Add comment

By

Recent Posts

Recent Comments