I have several rental properties in Worcester and Auburn. How does the new law regarding snow and ice affect me as a landlord and my exposure to liability and personal injury claims?
Previously, the law in Massachusetts exempted property owners from liability for injuries caused by natural accumulations of snow or ice. This exemption existed at common law, not by statute. Essentially that placed the burden on the person traversing the snow or ice condition to guard against the danger caused by the weather conditions here in New England. Recently, the Supreme Judicial Court abrogated this common law exemption, which now places the burden upon the property owner to guard against the dangers posed by changing weather conditions. For example, under the old common law, a property owner would not be liable for injuries caused by someone who fell on ice that resulted from melted snow that flowed across a shoveled walkway and then re-froze because the ice would be a natural accumulation created by the weather. Now, the property owner could be liable for those injuries. There is thus a need for property owners to take reasonable care to remedy slippery conditions by sand, salt or shoveling, regardless of how the condition was created.
Worcester Snow and Ice Accident Attorneys at Reardon, Joyce & Akerson, PC represents clients in personal injury claims in Worcester and throughout Worcester County including the communities of Grafton, Shrewsbury, Northborough, Westborough, Upton, Northbridge, and Millbury.