KSL Successfully Defends Borough of Spring Lake

Recently, partner Mark Semeraro of Kaufman, Semeraro & Leibman successfully defended the Borough of Spring Lake and won a hotly contested appeal in the matter of Portman v. Borough of Spring Lake, A-4478-12t2 with firm associate Clay Shorrock.

The case involved plaintiff Maureen Portman (and her husband), who filed a lawsuit against the borough of Spring Lake through the offices of Shebell and Shebell. Mrs. Portman claimed she sustained substantial personal injuries including a fractured hip, which required open reduction internal fixation surgery, allegedly as a result of a fall caused by the alleged existence a dangerous condition on Spring Lakes Boardwalk in 2011.

In 2013, Mr. Semeraro filed a motion for summary judgment seeking a dismissal of all claims against the borough. That motion was initially denied, as the Court ruled that the Plaintiffs had presented enough evidence in support of their claim, to allow the case to proceed to trial and be decided by a jury. However, Mr. Semeraro, known for his tenacity, would not accept the loss. He filed a motion asking the Court to reconsider its ruling. These motions are rarely granted, for obvious reasons. Mr. Semeraro successfully persuaded the Court that the Plaintiffs did not in fact present sufficient evidence to survive summary judgment and that as a matter of law, the case had to be dismissed with prejudice. The court agreed with Mr. Semeraro and dismissed the Plaintiffs complaint.

The Plaintiffs appealed the lower court’s ruling. On January 27, 2014 the appellate division heard oral argument and affirmed the lower court’s order dismissing Plaintiffs’ complaint with prejudice. In its written decision the Appellate division agreed with Mr. Semeraro. The Appellate Division affirmed the lower court’s decision and ruled that the Plaintiffs did not prove that a dangerous condition existed and that the Plaintiffs failed to prove proximate cause. In addition, it ruled that the Borough was immune to liability due to various provisions of New Jersey’s Tort Claims Act.

In Court, having a skilled litigation attorney is vital. If you require the assistance of a trial attorney, please contact Kaufman, Semeraro and Leibman, LLP.

Past results do not represent or guarantee future results.

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