The council of Ephrata, Washington has decided against removing a provision in the city ordinance that requires property owners to keep the sidewalk adjacent to their property free of “snow, ice, winter sand, obstructions and other objectionable things.”
The Ephrata city council had only recently passed the provision of the ordinance into law. During the mandated “comment period,” several property owners commented that the city will not be performing inspections during the winter and that this would render the ordinance unenforceable. Also, the property owners complained that city plows often dump snow onto the sidewalk and that the ordinance places an onerous burden on property owners to clear a lot of snow from the sidewalk.
City attorney Katherine Kenison strongly opposed altering the ordinance. She argues that the city is already over-exposed to snow and ice slip and fall lawsuits based on road conditions and that the ordinance is necessary to apportion responsibility for keeping the sidewalks safe to the individuals that won adjacent property.
At least one city council member voiced concerns about the effect of the law on elderly homeowners who may not be physically able to remove the snow and ice from the sidewalks. Nevertheless, the city council voted unanimously to retain the snow and ice provision in the law.
If you or someone close to you has suffered personal injuries or even a wrongful death as a result of a slip and fall accident on a snowy or icy roadway or property, please call our Massachusetts snow and ice accident attorneys, Boston, Massachusetts wrongful death accident attorneys or Boston, MA personal injury lawyers at 617-787-3700. Our expert Massachusetts attorneys are available to discuss your Massachusetts snow and ice injury case 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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