August 11, 2016 Articles

Snowplow Contracts and Ongoing Operations

An analysis of who bears the risk when, despite best efforts, someone slips and falls due to snow or ice, and whether anything can be done to limit an insurance carrier's exposure to these types of claims

by Dan D. Kohane, Jennifer A. Ehman, and Alyssa J. Jones [1]

It all started one clear Christmas morning. Pathetic Victim (“Patty” to her friends) was rushing to Misery Mall to buy a last-minute gift for her daughter when she slipped on ice in the parking lot. The mall was closed on Christmas Day, and at the time of her fall, it had not snowed there for over two weeks.

Misery Mall had contracted with NeverSlip Snowplow Contractors to plow, salt, and sand the premises. The contract was clear; NeverSlip was obligated to plow snow and salt and sand the parking lot when there was an accumulation of two inches of snow on the ground. It had no obligation to otherwise maintain the lot. In compliance with that obligation, on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7th, 18 days earlier, when two inches of snow fell, NeverSlip plowed, salted, and sanded the parking lot.

Premium Content For:
  • Litigation Section
Join - Now