Reversing long-held precedent, the Massachusetts Supreme Court recently held that property owners are now responsible to clean up not only snow and ice that was improperly shoveled, but that they may also be held liable in negligence for failing to clear properly "natural accumulations" of snow and ice, stating:

"We now will apply to hazards arising from snow and ice the same obligation that a property owner owes to lawful visitors as to all other hazards: a duty to `act as a reasonable person under all of the circumstances including the likelihood of injury to others, the probable seriousness of such injuries, and the burden of reducing or avoiding the risk.'"

This ruling is more in line with the law in New York governing slip and fall over snow and ice cases. That's not to say that it's easy to prove one of these cases in New York; to the contrary, most slip and fall on snow and ice cases fail in New York's courts.

Jonathan Cooper
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Non-Compete, Trade Secret and School Negligence Lawyer
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