As summer comes to a close and the weather turns colder, Boston tends to get a lot of ice and snow on the sidewalks and in front of businesses. This means we can expect to see a lot of slip and fall accidents. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the law operates somewhat differently than many other states and there have been some fairly recent case decisions from the Supreme Judicial Court that affect liability. The Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), is our state supreme court.
One major case in the Commonwealth is Papadopoulos v. Target Corporation 457 Mass. 368. In Papadopoulos, a case involving negligence for slip and fall accidents involving snow and ice removal, the court addressed whether there must be a natural or unnatural accumulation of snow and ice. Prior to this case, there was such a distinction, but the court abolished this distinction with respect to slip and fall premises liability in snow and ice cases. Continue reading