Who should clean snow and ice off public areas?


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Reported by: Janai Norman
Updated: 12/10/2013 6:23 pm Published: 12/10/2013 4:58 pm


Snow and ice still cover the pavement in many areas, especially some private businesses and even shopping centers.

FOX23's Janai Norman looked into whose responsibility it is to make sure you don't slip and fall.

Snow and ice is a natural accumulation from a weather event.

That means property owners have essentially no duty to keep the ground clear.

"Snow and ice is an open and obvious condition that folks should be aware of," said Guy Thiessen of Carr and Carr Attorneys.

Norman contacted him to find out who's responsible for getting this stuff cleared up, and if someone falls then who would be liable.

“Really, the law leans toward people being responsible for their own actions," said Thiessen.

So if people see ice and snow and decide to walk on it, according to Thiessen, that means they assume the risk of falling and it's their fault if they do.

He said that even goes for public areas like sidewalks.

"The city has no duty to clear sidewalks," he said.

FOX23 discovered that also goes for apartment complexes, where management generally has a duty to keep common areas like sidewalks safe.

"But when there's a snow or ice event, then the tenants are really on their own. It's an open and obvious condition that everyone is responsible for their own safety," Thiessen said.

FOX23 did discover there are examples when the liability is on the property owner, like if the owner creates slippery conditions.

"A sprinkler system, for example, goes off when it's freezing cold out and creates a condition on the sidewalk and you can't see it because it's black ice, then they may have a duty if someone slips and falls," he said.



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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Mayor Maynot - 12/11/2013 8:38 AM
0 Votes
TempTulsan :-In MN it snows up to the eaves.

Mayor Maynot - 12/11/2013 8:30 AM
0 Votes
Kindagrey1 ,.,., The report pretty much says that YOU are responsible for setting your foot on the ground.

kindagreywolf - 12/10/2013 9:33 PM
0 Votes
I see lawsuits coming do to peoples stupidity. Someone is going to get killed some day and some one will win the Lawsuit Lottery.

Temp Tulsan - 12/10/2013 9:11 PM
0 Votes
ยง41118. Duties of landlord and tenant. A. A landlord shall at all times during the tenancy: 1. Except in the case of a single family residence, keep all common areas of his building, grounds, facilities and appurtenances in a clean, safe and sanitary condition;

Temp Tulsan - 12/10/2013 8:03 PM
0 Votes
This story is upsetting to me. I have lived in many complexes in many states and never have I had to get out and shovel the sidewalk to be able to get out my door. I have also never had to shovel the road to be able to safely drive down a hill to get on a main road. The questions were asked when we moved in and we were told they have the road cleared and the sidewalks cleared with no problem. No worries. But what happens? First snow storm and I am stuck in my home for two days because the hill is impassable. Every phone call made to those in charge stated every time that they had two crews working on the road, dumping salt and sand every two hours. I watched one flat bed truck with two guys just standing there. They dropped a little sand on the hill but that only made it more dangerous. How am I to be responsible for this? I pay top money to live here. The work should be done. I know I am not the only one feeling this way. Someone besides myself called this in. We live at the same complex.

Mayor Maynot - 12/10/2013 5:49 PM
0 Votes
I don't know !.! #8 ^]] Back in the sixties up to the early 70's when it snowed everybody got out and shoveled snow from their own and some groups went to help the elderly !,! But that was back when the world was filled with community pride. I'm not sure what it is now but it sure isn't the same as it used to be.
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