What are the rules governing lawsuits for slips and falls on snow and ice in New York City? In New York City, a property owner is responsible for clearing snow and ice on their property. A property owner is also responsible for clearing snow and ice off the sidewalk adjacent to their property. A property owner will be liable to a pedestrian who slips and falls on snow and ice on their property or abutting sidewalks or driveways. New York City Administrative Code Section 16-123 governs the cleaning of sidewalks and states in part:
§ 16–123 Removal of snow, ice and dirt from sidewalks; property owners' duties. a. Every owner, lessee, tenant, occupant, or other person, having charge of any building or lot of ground in the city, abutting upon any street where the sidewalk is paved, shall, within four hours after the snow ceases to fall, ... remove the snow or ice, ..., or other material from the sidewalk and gutter, the time between nine post meridian and seven ante meridian not being included in the above period of four hours. Such removal shall be made before the removal of snow or ice from the roadway by the commissioner or subject to the regulations of such commissioner.... In case the snow and ice on the sidewalk shall be frozen so hard that it cannot be removed without injury to the pavement, the owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or other person having charge of any building or lot of ground as aforesaid, may, within the time specified in the preceding subdivision, cause the sidewalk abutting on such premises to be strewed with ashes, sand, sawdust, or some similar suitable material, and shall, as soon thereafter as the weather shall permit, thoroughly clean such sidewalks.Thus all property owners must clean snow and ice off the sidewalk within four hours after it stops snowing, between the hours of 7 am and 9 pm. New York Administrative Code Section 7-210 sets forth when property owners will be responsible for failing to clean the sidewalk.
a. It shall be the duty of the owner of real property abutting any sidewalk, including, but not limited to, the intersection quadrant for corner property, to maintain such sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition. b. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the owner of real property abutting any sidewalk, including, but not limited to, the intersection quadrant for corner property, shall be liable for any injury to property or personal injury, including death, proximately caused by the failure of such owner to maintain such sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition. Failure to maintain such sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition shall include, but not be limited to, the negligent failure to... remove snow, ice, ...or other material from the sidewalk.Thus property owners will be held liable for injuries as a result of their failure to clear snow and ice from the sidewalk. An exception is that owners of one, two or three family homes will not be liable for injuries for failing to clean the sidewalk where those homes are owner occupied and not used for commercial purposes. In these cases, the City of New York may be held liable for injuries suffered. Thus someone who slips, falls, and injures themselves on snow and ice has rights which they may wish to pursue. If you or someone you know have been injured in a slip and fall accident you should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Zalman Schnurman & Miner P.C. is a New York City personal injury lawyer law firm experienced in handling cases involving slips and falls on snow and ice, and other personal injury cases. All cases are handled on a contingency fee basis (there is no fee if there is no recovery). There is never a fee for a consultation. The NYC personal injury lawyers of Zalman Schnurman & Miner PC can be reached at 1-800-LAWLINE (1-800-529-5463) or 212-668-0059.