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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Ind. Decisions - "Property owners can't be sued over falls on snowy sidewalks"

The main-stream media has now picked up on Wednesday's Court of Appeals decision in the case of Denison Parking and City of Indianapolis v. Davis, summarized in this Feb. 28th ILB entry titled "Court of Appeals rules no duty to clear adjacent public sidewalks."

Jon Murray and Brendan O'Shaughnessy of the Indianapolis Star report today:

Property owners who ignore Indianapolis' snow-removal ordinance can't be held liable when pedestrians slip and fall on sidewalks, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled this week.

But city officials hope the threat of a [$50.00] fine will be reason enough for businesses and residents to clear sidewalks adjacent to their properties.

"Some businesses may read the decision to say they no longer have to clear their sidewalk, but I don't believe it relieves their civic duty," said James Osborn, chief litigation counsel for the city.

In Wednesday's 3-0 ruling, the appeals panel said Denison Parking can't be sued for damages by a woman who fell on an icy sidewalk in January 2001 outside its Bank One parking garage on the east side of Downtown.

Gary Welsh of Advance Indiana adds this morning: "The problem is compounded because the City of Indianapolis, almost without exception, refuses to enforce its own ordinance requiring property owners to keep sidewalks free of snow and ice."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 3, 2007 10:13 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions