Monday, December 10, 2012

Summary Judgment Affirmed in Slip and Fall Case

In its recent decision in the case of Alexander v. City of Meadville, No. 664 WDA 2012 (Pa. Super. Nov. 5, 2012 Stevens, P.J., Musmanno, and Allen, J.J.) (Opinion by Allen, J.), the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the trial court’s entry of judgment in favor of the Defendants in a slip and fall case.  

According to the Opinion, the Plaintiff slipped and fell on a smooth patch of ice that was covered by approximately 1 to 2 inches of snow on a ramp located on a sidewalk.  

The Superior Court addressed the liability of a municipality and the owner of land adjacent to a public sidewalk in a downtown business district area for injuries sustained by a licensee who allegedly fell while walking on a ADA sidewalk apron or ramp.   The Plaintiff was allegedly channeled to the apron by built-up long-standing ice and snow which was allegedly deposited by both owners shoveling the sidewalk and city trucks plowing adjacent streets. 

The court in this Alexander case covered a variety of subjects including the duties of possessors of land to licensees, the question of notice, the hills and ridges doctrine, the applicability of a municipal “Sidewalk Ordinance,” and the application of the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act. 

As noted, the court ultimately affirmed summary judgment in favor of both the municipality and the owner of the commercial property.  

Although this case was originally issued as a non-precedential decision, after a motion filed by defense counsel, the Superior Court agreed to reproduce this Opinion as a published, and therefore, precedential Opinion.

Anyone wishing to review this Opinion may click HERE.  

I send thanks to Attorney Mark E. Mioduszewski of the Erie, Pennsylvania law firm of Marnen, Mioduszewski, Bordonaro, Wagner & Sinnott, LLC, who represented Defendant, Patron’s Mutual Insurance Company.  Attorney Mioduszewski noted that the Defendant, City of Meadville, was represented by Bruce Decker of MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton, also of Erie, Pennsylvania.

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