For residents of Illinois, winter weather can bring many serious dangers, including slippery walkways and stairwells. If the owner of a property fails to account for this type of dangerous condition and to make the premises safe, you could find yourself facing a serious and painful injury. As seasoned Chicago premises liability lawyers, we are standing by and ready to help you seek the justice that you deserve for an unnecessary slip and fall accident.
In a recent appellate case, the appellate court considered whether the lower court properly granted summary judgment in favor of a premises owner in an action involving a slip and fall on an icy stairway. The plaintiff alleged that the owners of the property allowed ice to accumulate on stairs and that the defendants acted negligently in failing to keep the property safe. More specifically, she claimed that the ice accumulation was due to faulty gutters o the roof that caused an unnatural amount of water to pour onto the stairwell and freeze in the cold temperatures.
According to Illinois law, liability for a fall that results from an unnatural accumulation of ice can be based on a defective condition on the property or the owner’s negligent maintenance of the property. The trial court concluded that the plaintiff had not provided sufficient evidence to show that the allegedly faulty gutters caused the unnatural accumulation of ice on the stairs. The only evidence that the plaintiff provided to support this argument was the existence of icicles hanging from the roof. She did not testify to any other evidence indicating that the gutters were installed improperly or that they were not maintained correctly. Nor did she provide evidence of building code violations or the routine existence of icicles stemming from improper construction of the gutters.