Getting a Recovery for Snow and Ice Accidents and The Blizzard of 2010


         

Things have gotten back to “fairly normal” two days after the Blizzard of 2010.

It is a good time to discuss snow and ice accidents on public sidewalks.  

Generally, the adjoining premises owner will be liable for either failing to remove snow and ice or removing it in a negligent manner.  However, there are exceptions to this rule. 

The New York City Administrative Code states the following:

  • Owners of 1, 2, and 3 family homes will not be liable as long as the owner resides on the property and as long as the property is solely residential.
  • If the property fits into the above residential exception, the City has the liability for failure to remove the snow and ice even though other Administrative Code provisions require that the owner keep the sidewalk clear.
  • Owners of property with any commercial use will be held liable for the condition of the sidewalk.  This applies to equally to the owner of a downtown office building, a single story garage, the residential townhouse with a doctor’s office at the ground floor, and a mixed use building, such as a store on the street  with apartments on the upper floors.

Additionally, the property owner will be liable only if he failed to remove the snow and ice within a reasonable amount of time after the storm ended.  There is no obligation to remove snow while it is snowing.  If a pedestrian slipped and fell 1 hour after the storm ended, the property owner would not be liable.  However, if a pedestrian slipped on ice 7 days after the storm’s end and if the owner had done nothing about removing the snow and ice, the owner’s inaction would have been unreasonable.  In other words, the owner would be liable.

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

Mark E. Seitelman, 12/29/10, www.seitelman.com.

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