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Lack of snow removal puts city at risk in slip-and-fall lawsuit

In January of last year, a woman was in the city of Stanford, Kentucky during a snowstorm. About three inches of snow fell during the storm, and as she walked toward the courthouse in the city, she came upon a "deceptively safe" patch of sidewalk. She slipped and fell on this sidewalk and suffered "serious personal injury," though those injuries were not explained in the source article.

The woman is suing the city of Stanford for the incident, claiming that the sidewalk was only partially cleared or addressed, given the snow and the potential for slippery conditions, and that the sidewalk was ultimately dangerous. The city has not responded to the lawsuit yet.

With winter still upon us, this story is a needed reminder that not every city, or store, or establishment will uphold their duty to keep their sidewalks free and clear of snow and ice. This is an essential part of managing their premises in the winter, and if they fail to do so, any company or establishment could be on the hook in a slip-and-fall or premises liability lawsuit.

Another lesson here is that the injuries that can be suffered in a slip-and-fall incident can be quite devastating. It is easy to dismiss someone's claim that they suffered "serious injury" in a slip-and-fall. You may think to yourself "it's just a fall, how bad could it be?" But these falls can lead to broken bones, nerve damage and even permanent disabilities. They can disrupt lives and leave people unable to work. Slip-and-falls are very serious, and those who are injured in one need to consider their legal options.

Source: AM News, "Stanford sued over alleged slip-and-fall accident," Ben Kleppinger, Jan. 25, 2017

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