• R.F Wittmeyer
  • November 25, 2018

As another snowstorm comes to Arlington Heights, remember that shoveling your sidewalk provides you immunity from liability. But at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd., we want to provide you with the best safety advice on snowfall. The 1979 Snow and Ice Removal Act shields property owners from liability if someone gets hurt. But in a recent Illinois Supreme Court case, they clarified the requirements.

Murphy-Hylton v. Lieberman Management Services, Inc.

Pamela Murphy-Hylton slipped while walking on the sidewalk outside her condominium. Although no snow had fallen recently, she believed that she observed water running down the downspouts. The water would collect on the sidewalk and then would freeze. She claimed that inadequate drainage and the placement of downspouts caused an icy patch. She sought damages from the condominium association and the property management company.

The Court stated that “The Snow and Ice Removal Act provides immunity to residential property owners from claims of liability for injuries allegedly caused by icy sidewalks that result from negligent snow and ice removal efforts, but it does not extend to immunize them from claims of liability for injuries allegedly caused by icy sidewalks that result from an otherwise negligent failure to maintain the premises.”

Although the Court noted that the property managers adequately cleared the snow, they held that the plaintiff’s lawsuit could continue on the issue if the defendants were negligent in maintaining the property after the snow removal.

Remember that after you have removed the snow, you must maintain safe conditions as the snow melts.

Chicago Snow and Ice Removal Laws

Under Chicago city regulations, every owner or person in charge of building must remove any snow or ice from the sidewalk near the building. They must remove the snow in a practical timeframe and they must mitigate any slipping hazards. If someone does not clear the sidewalk, they can accrue daily fines up to $500 for each offense.

However, the city rarely enforces the law. But Chicago has a similar immunity law if someone puts in the effort in shoveling.

If you or someone you loved has slipped and fallen due to snow related negligence, contact the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. today at (847) 357-0403. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd.helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 637-5818 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

to speak to a member of our team today.