Getting a Recovery for Snow and Ice Injuries; Is The Landlord Liable While It Is Snowing?


We received another question about a snow and ice fall this week:

I left my office for lunch, and I slipped on the sidewalk outside my office building.  It was snowing, and the building owner had not done any shoveling.  Is the landlord liable for my accident?  

The answer is “no.”  The land owner does not have to clear the snow and ice until a reasonable amount of time after the storm stops.

What is a reasonable time?  It depends upon the facts.

For example:

  • If the snow stops at 11 am on a Monday, the office building should begin snow removal immediately.
  • If the snow stops at 1 am on Sunday, the owner should remove the snow within a reasonable amount of time, which can be as much as 24 hours if the building is not staffed and if the building is in a heavily commercial district.
  • If the snow stops at 2 pm on a Saturday in front of an apartment house, then the building should begin snow removal as soon as the snow stops falling.

The landlord’s responsibility ultimately depends upon the facts of the case.

If you have been injured in a snow and ice fall, please feel free to call me for a free consultation at 800-581-1434 or write to us at letters@seitelman.com.

Mark E. Seitelman, 1/8/10, www.seitelman.com.

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