Russi v. City of Newark

A motorist was injured when a tree branch fell on his front windshield while he was driving. The tree was on city land, but the county maintained the road. The lower court granted summary judgment in favor of both defendants, and the plaintiff appealed. The lower court found the city was entitled to immunity under the Landowner’s Liability Act (LLA), N.J.S.A. 2A:42A-1 to – 10, the unimproved public property immunity, N.J.S.A. 59:4-8, and common-law immunity. The Appellate Division affirmed, ruling that the area where the tree stood was located within the city’s watershed property, subject to a valid conservation easement. Plaintiff used the road for reasons unrelated to sport or recreational activities and did not pay for his use of the road. Thus, the city was entitled to immunity under the LLA.

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