I recently recovered $150,000 for a Luzerne County woman who slipped and fell on ice and fractured her right ankle. The recovery was significant because the injured person fell days after a major snowstorm hit the region. Liability was extremely difficult to prove. However, through discovery I was able to prove that the owner of the property did not properly shovel and salt his walkways that morning.
The property owner tried to argue that he should not be responsible for what happened because he applied some salt to the walkway that morning. The property owner was relying upon the Hills and Ridges Doctrine in Pennsylvania. Fortunately, when ice is left behind after human intervention, such as salting or shoveling, which can result in a remelt, it is no longer the result of an entirely natural accumulation and the property owners cannot raise the Hills and Ridges Doctrine as a defense. See Harvey v. Rouse Chamberlin, LTD., 901 A.2d 523 (Pa. Super. 2006). Therefore, the property owner could not successfully assert this defense.