New Massachusetts Snow and Ice Law Effects
The new Massachusetts snow and ice law is working. In a case decided by the Appeals Court this past week, the Court followed the new law regarding negligence for snow and ice injuries. In this case, the plaintiff was injured when she fell outside a condominium complex on snow and or ice. She sued the condominium association but her case was thrown out by the Trial Court Judge because, under the law at the time, there was no proof that the fall was not the result of a natural accumulation of snow and ice. Following that, the Supreme Judicial Court decided Papadopolos v. Target which eliminates any distinction between natural and unnatural accumulations of snow and ice. The standard for landlords now owe lawful visitors reasonable care to protect them from hazards.
Most importantly, the Appeals Court here said that the Papadopolos case should be applied retroactively. Therefore, any injuries that folks have as a result of snow and ice injuries should be reevaluated. If you went to a lawyer before this summer, when Papadopolos was decided, and he or she said the standard was too high, consider finding an injury lawyer now for reevaluation.
See Nazar v. Mayer et al, Massachusetts Appeals Court Number 10-P-51, (December 23, 2010)