Changes in Snow and Ice Law in Massachusetts

Last August I blogged about the watershed case of Papadopoulos v. Target Corporation.  That case stands for the proposition that property owners can be held liable for failing to remove snow and ice from their property in a reasonable manner.  Before that case came down, property owners enjoyed great protections from slip and fall liability.  For example, a property owner could only be liable if it could be shown that an unnatural accumulation of snow and ice was created, or allowed to exist, on the property.  Thankfully, that rule no longer exists.

Now, the new rule is whether or not the property owner acted reasonably under the circumstances.  No longer can a property owner do nothing.  Now, what must be exercised by property owners is reasonable care.  What that means is not exactly clear, yet, but the courts will soon likely carve out standards of what constitutes reasonable care in the context of snow and ice removal from one's property.