Snow & Ice

Business owners should be aware of the potential liability they may face for slip & fall incidents that occur on their property. Up until 2010, an individual who was injured because she slipped & fell on a “natural accumulation” of ice or snow had no legal recourse. This resulted in plaintiff attorneys needing to prove that there was some alteration to the natural accumulation of ice or snow in order to prove negligence.
In Papadopoulos v. Target Corp., 457 Mass. 368 (2010), the Supreme Judicial Court eliminated the long-standing rule for determining liability of a landowner for injury resulting from snow or ice. The court abolished the distinction between natural and unnatural accumulations of snow and ice, which now is applied by the Courts. Now all hazards arising from snow and ice requires that land owners apply the same “reasonable care” that a property owner owes to lawful visitors regarding all other hazards.
This means that a landowner is required to make reasonable steps to ensure its property is safe for visitors and guests on her property.
We hope that you stay safe, but if you have any questions about the duties of a landowner or the rights you may have feel free to contact us.