Monday, December 12, 2016

The storm in progress rule.

Under the rule, a property owner is not 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.  If the storm has passed and precipitation has tailed off to such an extent that there is no longer any appreciable accumulation, then the rationale for continued delay abates, and the rule will not be applied.

A property owner who clears a sidewalk during a storm in progress must act with reasonable care and may be liable if its efforts create a hazardous condition or exacerbate a natural hazard created by the storm.  The failure of a defendant to remove all of the snow and ice, without more, does not establish that the defendant increased the risk of harm.

Case:  Aronov v. St. Vincent's Hous. Dev. Fund Co., Inc., NY Slip Op 08190 (2d Dep't December 7, 2016)

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue:  A municipality's liability for allegedly defective road conditions.