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The Law & You

A Customer Slipped and Fell in My Store’s Treated Parking Lot. Will I be Held Liable?

The Law & You
March 2, 2018

The Law and You

A Customer Slipped and Fell in My Store’s Treated Parking Lot. Will I be Held Liable?

A viewer states that a customer fell in his convenience store parking lot, even though he treated the lot. Could he be held responsible for the accident? Fellerman & Ciarimboli premises liability attorneys Ed Ciarimboli and Harry McGrath, Jr. explains what happens next. If you were involved in a slip and fall accident, you may have a legal case. Contact us today for more information.

Dave Kuharchik: It is time once again for “The Law & You.” We’re talking about slipping and falling today after a recent winter storm. Back with us tonight are attorneys Harry McGrath, who’s here for Greg, and Ed Ciarimboli. Thanks for being here.

Ed Ciarimboli: Great to be here today, Dave.

Dave: Into March, but we know, this time of year, the weather can bring anything and everything.

Ed: Nasty, it could be nasty.

Dave: You want to be ready. Let’s talk about this scenario for a convenience store owner. Anthony in Carbondale says, “I own a convenience store with a pretty big parking lot. I shovel and apply rock salt every morning, even if it doesn’t snow. Last week someone fell and broke their ankle in my lot. I don’t know what else I could do to avoid this. Will I be liable?” So Anthony says he’s on top of things. He’s salting, he’s shoveling.

Ed: Anthony, I think you’re good. Listen, sometimes bad things happen and that doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily as the result of someone’s negligence. It sounds like you’re shoveling on a routine basis, you’re salting even if there’s not a storm or there’s not ice. You’re on top of this of this thing, The fact that somebody may have fallen because there may have been some residual ice or snow. I think you’re going to be alright on this one. It sounds like you’re doing everything you possibly could to make your premises safe.

Harry McGrath: I have to agree with that. In Pennsylvania, you have a reasonable amount of time to clear any snow and ice that accumulates in your parking lot. If it happened that day, then there’s a good chance you’re going to be safe from any liability. However, you have to be careful if you do run into a situation where there may have been snowfall a few hours ago and you have a customer complain about it, then they go out to pump their gas or park their car and they fall in that same area, then you run into a problem despite the fact that you’re taking care of it on a daily basis.

Ed: Good point, good point. Take some photographs of it too. That’ll be the best way for you, as well, as the property owner to document the conditions at the time.

Dave: Someone could even Snapchat you guys a picture of the scene.

Ed: That’s right. If you Snapchat us we’ll give you a free t-shirt.

Harry: And a coffee mug.

Ed: And a coffee mug.

Dave: Now I’ve got to be honest, I have a Fellerman and Ciarimboli t-shirt. I wear it all the time.

Ed: It has very soft cotton.

Harry: Greg wears them as pajamas every night.

Ed: He does! Yeah. Greg wears it as pajamas, shirts, it’s a whole wardrobe.

Dave: That sounds like Greg. Results matter with attorneys Harry McGrath and Ed Ciarimboli. Thanks so much, guys.

Harry: Thank you.

Dave: and ‘The Law & You” hotline are there for you.

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The Law & You is a nightly feature on channels WBRE-TV 28 and WYOU-TV 22 where the attorneys from Fellerman & Ciarimboli answer legal questions. If you have a question that you want answered by the Law & You attorneys, please submit the form on this page or call the hotline at 1-888-570-HURT.

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