The attorneys at Spesia & Taylor obtained a $575,000 settlement on behalf of our client who was injured after slipping and falling on ice while leaving a local business. As a result of her fall, she suffered multiple fractures to her ankle which required surgery and significant physical therapy. Throughout our investigation, our attorneys found that the owner of the property placed carpeted mats that were not intended for outdoor purposes on a ramp that collected ice and froze which caused our client to fall.
We also hired an architect to inspect the property and the ramp where our client fell. The architect determined that the ramp was in violation of multiple Will County building codes, including that the ramp failed to meet the code’s handrail requirements, the ramp was too steep, and the mats that accumulated the ice should have never been placed on the ramp. In addition, our client was able to secure photographs that were taken shortly after she fell which depicted the condition of the ramp and mats at the time of her fall.
Our attorneys alleged that the business owner was responsible for our client’s fall because he negligently failed to provide a safe entrance and exit to his property by violating multiple building codes and by placing mats on the ramp which caused an unnatural accumulation of ice. The business owner and his attorney argued that the cause of our client’s fall was a natural accumulation – and therefore his client was not responsible.
In Illinois, although property owners are not responsible for natural accumulations of ice and snow, a property owner can be liable for negligently maintaining his property that causes an unnatural accumulation. An unnatural accumulation can be due to defective construction or improper or insufficient maintenance of the property. Sometimes, the creation of an unnatural accumulation can be due to a defective drainage system such as a gutter or drain spout. An unnatural accumulation can also be due to sloped and cracked concrete that causes water to pool and freeze.
Our attorneys reviewed dozens of cases to argue that the ice accumulation was not natural. We alleged that in addition to the violated building codes, the owner created an unnatural accumulation by placing these mats in such a way as to retain water and freeze where it otherwise would not have been.
If you have any questions about an injury sustained by you or a loved one as a result of a slip and fall caused by snow or ice, please contact our attorneys at Spesia & Taylor for a consultation.
By: Tyler Moore