Storm in Progress

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Q: While walking in the parking lot of a store under construction, I slipped and fell on frozen snow and ice.  I was working as an electrician for a subcontractor.

A: Under the ‘storm in progress’ rule, a property owner will not be held responsible for accidents occurring as a result of the accumulation of snow and ice on its premises until an adequate period of time has passed following the cessation of the storm to allow the owner an opportunity to ameliorate the hazards caused by the storm.

However, if a storm is ongoing, and the owner elects to remove snow, it must do so with reasonable care.  Otherwise, it can be held liable for creating or exacerbating a natural hazard created by the storm.

Often, the attorneys will do research into the climatological data to show how much precipitation there was in the relevant period, and when it fell, and what the temperature was.  This will help to determine whether the property owner had a reasonable time to ameliorate the snow and ice condition.

Similarly, your attorney is likely to seek evidence that the owner engaged in snow removal that actually exacerbated the condition – for example, by piling snow against the side of the lot.  The theory would be that, afterwards, the snow melted and formed the ice patch on which you slipped.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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