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Clearing snow

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BertiWooster | 17:30 Sun 10th Jan 2010 | Law
6 Answers
Whils't we are in the midst of this inclement weather , i've noticed householders clearing away snow from the pavement outside their gates/drives .

If a pedestrian walking on the cleared pavement slips and falls , injuring themselves , does the law allow the pedestrian to sue the householder , citing that the pavement was made more dangerous to walk
on ( black ice ) , by the householder's actions ?


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Hi Bertiwooster

This thread and posts may help you a bit.......

Question Author
What ho , yogi

There doesn't appear to be a definitive answer - I guess the answer is dont take the risk
owner could deny - third party or or photo evidence required
Berti, there have been several other discussion threads on this topic on AB over the last couple of days - some say as you suggest that the householder or shopkeeper are at fault if they try to clear the ice and snow, others say they have a duty of care to people visiting their premises. It was discussed on Radio 4 this morning as it still seems to be a grey area, but I worked in insurance years back and certainly this was what we were told then - better to leave it. The law may have changed since - worth having a look at the other conversations on AB in case some of these hold more concrete advice.
Question Author
Hi boxtops - didn't know this subject had been raised several times already
Certainly there's no duty on a householder to clear snow from the public highway, whether outside his premises or anywhere else.In theory her could be sued in negligence, but the circumstances in which he could be successfuly sued are highly unlikely. So,in a sense it's better to leave it [if you're that scared! Personally, I would,clear it ] Contrary to the impression given by tabloid newspapers, who love a scare, the law is based on common sense.
On his own premises he's in greater difficulty, since the statute that governs occupiers expects you to take reasonable care to ensure that your 'visitors' are safe.The courts are likely to say that leaving your premises unsafe, even from the results of snowfall, puts you in breach of that duty, if the risk is obvious and you , knowing of it, could very easily have removed that risk. Again, common sense applies to the 'if' in the preceding sentence...

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