Saturday, July 19, 2008

Pitfalls and Pratfalls: Supremes Opinion Addresses Fall on Icy Sidewalk

In a good number of instances, a municipality will be liable to you for injuries you may sustain in a slip and fall on ice or snow on one of that town's sidewalks. Some towns, however, avoid that liability by enacting an ordinance that shifts the responsibility for maintaining the sidewalk from the town to the abutting landowner.

In Rivers V. New Britain our Supreme Court addresses the question: What if the adjacent landowner is the State of Connecticut which is immune from suit under the doctrine of sovereign immunity.

The answer, as anyone who has played "rock, paper scissors" may have guessed, is that in such an instance, the State is not liable even if the town has passed a liability shifting ordinance.

The Court held that if the State of Connecticut is the abutting landowner, then the municipality remains liable for upkeep of the adjacent sidewalk and they would be the proper party to bring the claim against.

The intricasies of personal injury law are a good reason to remember that if you sustain injuries as the result of another's negligence, it is crucial that you speak with an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible.

I would be happy to discuss your matter without cost or obligation at any time.

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