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PREMISES LIABILITY: Superior Court holds that property owners/managers had no duty to prevent accumulation of snow/ice from outside stairs of condominium development during ongoing storm

PREMISES LIABILITY: Superior Court Holds That Property Owners/managers Had No Duty To Prevent Accumulation Of Snow/ice From Outside Stairs Of Condominium Development During Ongoing Storm

The plaintiff owned a condominium in a development owned and operated by one of the defendants and from which a second defendant had contracted to remove snow and ice.  The plaintiff slipped and fell on ice on an outside staircase during an ongoing storm and filed a negligence action against the defendants claiming that they failed to take measures to prevent the accumulation of snow and ice, unreasonably allowed the dangerous condition to exist, failed to inspect for hazards, failed their duty to remove the ice, failed to warn of the dangerous condition, and (as to the contractor) breached a contractual duty to remove the ice.

The defendants moved for summary judgment, relying on Kraus v. Newton, 211 Conn. 191 (1989), by arguing that they had no duty to remedy the condition during the ongoing storm.  The contractor argued that its contractual duty to remove the ice did not begin until after the storm had ended.  The plaintiff argued that Kraus is limited to the issue of removal of accumulated snow and ice, but does not address a failure to take preventative measures, failure to warn, or failure to block of an area where a dangerous condition exists.

The Superior Court, in granting the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, held that the existence of an ongoing storm was an undisputed fact and that in the absence of evidence that the ice and snow on the staircase existed before the storm, the defendants were not negligent in failing to remove the snow and ice during the storm or in failing to take measures to prevent its accumulation.

Picone v. Carriage Park Ass’n, Inc., CV16-6073087S (11/17/17)

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