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Trentacost v. Brussel

Supreme Court of New Jersey
412 A.2d 436 (1980)


Facts

Trentacost (plaintiff) was assaulted and robbed in the stairway of her apartment building and suffered serious injuries as a result. The building had a front and rear entrance. The rear was padlocked; the front had no lock. The subject property was in a neighborhood that experienced a high crime rate. Trentacost herself reported to her landlord Brussel (defendant) that someone had attempted to break in to the building cellar and that there were several instances of strangers in the hallways. Trentacost sued Brussels for failing to take reasonable care in securing the areas of the building that were within his control, i.e., the common areas. The jury found in favor of Trentacost, who requested a retrial for modified damages. The trial court granted the motion, and the second jury returned a verdict with increased damages. Brussel appealed the verdict, the Appellate Division affirmed, and Brussel instituted the present appeal.

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Holding and Reasoning (Pashman, J.)

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Concurrence/Dissent (Clifford, J.)

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