A realtor was injured while showing her clients around a Manalapan home. While leaving the home, the realtor slipped on icy exterior step and landed on her right elbow. That day the realtor went to the emergency room and was treated and released. Subsequently the realtor was diagnosed with a displaced fracture of the radius of her right arm resulting in her arm being placed in a cast and sling.
The realtor alleged the fracture did not heal correctly and she still suffers from elbow pain while performing physically demanding activities.
The realtor sued the homeowners alleging the icy stars were a dangerous condition and caused her accident. The realtor further argued that there was a multiple listing agreement in place for showing the home and that she was an invitee.
An invitee is a person who is permitted to enter or remain on land (or premises) for a purpose of the owner/occupier. The owner/occupier of the land (or premises) who by invitation, express or implied, induced persons to come upon the premises, is under a duty to exercise ordinary care to render the premises reasonably safe for the purposes embraced in the invitation. The owner/occupier must take steps as are reasonable and prudent to correct or give warning of hazardous conditions or defects actually known to the owner/occupier (or his/her employees), and of hazardous conditions or defects which the owner/occupier (or his/her employees) by the exercise of reasonable care, could discover.
During the trial the potential buyer testified that the stairs were slippery and dangerous.
The defense counsel disputed the injuries and alleged they were minor and that the realtor was allowed to be on the premises to show the home.
After a three day trial the jury found the homeowners 73% liable for the accident and the realtor 27% liable. The realtor was awarded $60,000.00 in damages which was reduced to $47,000.00 in light of her contributory negligence.