Monday, March 25, 2019

Another Court Rules No Liability For Slip and Fall That Occurs While Precipitation Still Falling

In the case of Rosatti v. McKinney  Properties, Inc., No. 2017-0022 (C.P. Centre Co. Jan. 22, 2019 Grine, J.), the court entered summary judgment in favor of a Defendant and owner under the Hills and Ridges Doctrine.  

According to the Opinion, when the Plaintiff arrived at the property at around 4:00 p.m., freezing rain was falling outside.   A few hours later, when the Plaintiff decided to leave the premises at around 7:00 p.m., it was snowing with freezing rain.   The Plaintiff slipped and fell while leaving the property.  

The Defendant filed a Motion for Summary Judgment under the Hills and Ridges Doctrine.   After reviewing the factors at issue under that doctrine, which required the Plaintiff to show that the snow and ice had accumulated on the walkway in ridges or elevations in such size and character as to unreasonably obstruct travel and constitute a danger to pedestrian traveling thereon, the court entered summary judgment.  

Judge Grine also emphasized that under the prevailing case law “[A] landowner has no obligation to correct the conditions until a reasonable time after the winter storm has ended.”  Collins v. Phila. Sub. Dev. Corp., 179 A.3d 69, 75 (Pa. Super. 2018) (emphasis added in Rosatti).  

The court additionally noted that “[a] property owner does not have a duty to clear ice or snow from walkways as soon as it forms or falls.   Citing with “see” signal, Tucker v. Bensalem Twp. School District, 987 A.2d 198, 203 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2009).  

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

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