The slip and fall occurred on the driveway of our client’s townhouse that was partly owned by an association. A third-party contractor provided the care of the property and the share of the property that belonged to our client and was covered by our client’s homeowner’s insurance. At first, the main dispute arose over the exact place of a fall on the property to determine who was liable. After a few months of litigation, it was finally established that it was the association’s liability. The association then argued that they were not “negligent in maintaining the property” and the accident happened as a result of a natural accumulation of ice and snow.
Slip and fall cases are always difficult, especially in the Chicagoland area, where the weather can change frequently. These types of cases are complex is because there is an exception to the term “negligence” when there is a natural accumulation of substance due to weather. For example, if a fall occurred in winter on ice, more than likely a landlord would not be held liable because it would be impossible to clear all ice the moment it solidifies.
Our client was an elderly woman and she had to undergo surgery in order to treat her injuries. Our firm litigated this matter for a long time without any charge to the client. In the end, we were able to bring a witness who testified that on the day of fall, the association’s workers cleaned everyone’s territory but missed our client’s. Because of such testimony, we were able to prove that the exception did not apply to our matter and the injury occurred due to negligent maintenance by the association.