Regrettably, ice and snow are a part of wintertime life in Ohio. Those are not my words, but those of our state supreme court. Unfortunately inclement weather, such as that we’ve recently had, leads to a number of mishaps and injuries caused by slipping and falling on snow or ice covered streets, sidewalks, or parking lots. During such times we receive many calls from our prospective clients who have been injured by such a fall. It’s my unpleasant task to inform them that our supreme court has decided that there is no liability on the part of a property owner for injuries resulting from natural accumulations of ice and snow on outdoor parking lots or sidewalks as the property owner is charged with no duty to remove such hazards. This is true even where a local ordinance requires the abutting property owner to clear sidewalks of ice and snow.
As to ice or snow tracked into a place of business, barring some exceptional circumstances, there is also no liability on the part of the business owner or property owner for injures resulting from a fall caused by the tracked in moisture. Regrettably, the law expects pedestrians who traverse areas of accumulated ice or snow to be aware of and to exercise caution when ambulating over the area. Fortunately, the law treats less harshly those whose injuries have been caused by the business owner or whose neglect in cleaning up hazardous accumulations on the floor of their premises has resulted in an injurious fall to their customer.
I’m sure you hope, as do we for warmer days.