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Large Chunks of Snow Rolling onto Cars

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by merrimacmill, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,822

    This might be an odd question, and it has not happened to me, but I always wonder what would happen if it did.

    We have been doing a lot of snow stacking these last few weeks and there always ends up being large snow/ice chunks at the top of the pile. Whenever this happens I knock it off the top, crush the piece up and re-stack it. I have all my guys do the same thing.

    But in a lot of other lots I notice no one doing this and cars parking right at the bottom of large piles with large pieces just barley hanging on. Seeing all this got me thinking, so the question, who do you think would be held liable if one of these things slid down a pile days after a storm and smashed up a car badly? Or worse yet, who do you think would be held responsible if one slid down and hit a person to the point of an injury?

    Its something I've always prevented, and never seen happen, but always wondered if there is a potential lawsuit liability against the snow contractor involved with this happening..
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  2. KMBertog

    KMBertog PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    I don't think anyone would be at fault unless there was something obviously wrong with the pile.... You're talking about an event taking place that isn't directly caused by man or machine.
  3. contractor078

    contractor078 Senior Member
    Messages: 232

    i agree i am no lawyer but i would tend to think that at that time that is almost something as an act of god not anything that we could have done.
  4. KMBertog

    KMBertog PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    which is why we have a clause in all of our snow contracts that refers to "acts of God" , etc. Good point you make :salute:
  5. PlatinumService

    PlatinumService Senior Member
    Messages: 559

    people get sued for alot less so i would say it would be the contractors fault for not taking the proper precautions and stacking properly... you just said you take the time to crush the snow and ice before hand so there is a solution to that problem right there. no?
  6. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,822

    It is a solution to an extent, but I can't make sure that every snow pile I have is done like that. I mean in my years of plowing, I've never had something like that happen, and have never even heard of it happening. So I would imagine its pretty unlikely. But then again, recently a round bale hay truck went by my buddies brand new car and one flew off smashing the whole thing and the car was totaled. I thought that was unlikely too, so you never know lol.

    Maybe I just think of stuff like this because I'm one of those people who is paranoid about my truck getting hurt in a lot, when I pull into a parking lot, I park up slope so carts don't roll into me, I park way out in the middle, and if there is cars around me I scan the area to decide what group of cars I think a younger woman will be getting into, which from my personal experience means she will just swing her door open with no regard to what its hitting.

    But anyways, just a thought that I really don't know the answer to, so I thought I'd check everyone else's opinions for conversation sake.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  7. jklawn&Plow

    jklawn&Plow Senior Member
    Messages: 469

    Fix the piles so they are safe, whoever stacks it. Think of a store shelf and all the crap comes falling down.
  8. IMAGE

    IMAGE Sponsor
    Messages: 1,737

    Hmmm probally realated to the pile melting, causing the chunk to break loose and roll. So is it your fault for stacking high, or the PO for not having the pile hauled out in the first place?
  9. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,034

    Never really thought of it and don't think I'll even worry about it untill I have a problem.

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,619

    where i park my little car when i was operating the loader a huge boulder came down and it rolled right next to my car, if ya knew my little car it was over the hood ,i was like oh stop please stop.it did but just barely, probably would of knocked my little buggy over .
  11. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    Funny you bring this up, Yesterday I was just making rounds looking for ice patches. When I got to one place there was a boulder of ice sitting in the middle of an intersection, guessing around 700-800 lbs. Scratched my head wondering how it got there in the first place, it occurred to me a delivery truck or bus must have been being moving at a good clip and cut the corner a bit sharp...they had to spill their coffee. With limited places to put it, there were 2 open parking spaces where I could squeeze it through...only problem was that it was a slight incline and it didn't seat itself after pushing it up over the curb. With so many layers of ice between the snow layers and single digit temps, it just didn't look right...and w/ a melt down predicted in the forecast (first one yeeahh), I was having visions of getting a phone call about a car hood that got crushed from a roll away 800 lb. snow ball.

    I spent about 15 minutes building a ramp over the curb, and then smacked it until I was satisfied w/ how it was sitting. I don't really remember having a winter season where the piles are still there from the first plowing event, but I know damn sure who the insurance companies would be sending letters to...I've gotten plenty. As far as an act of God goes...It was an act of God when the snow hit the pavement, the liability transferred to me when I decided to move it. Insurance companies can eat a bag of d***s.
  12. flatlander42

    flatlander42 Senior Member
    Messages: 421

    look up Louis CK on youtube and see him talk about that.....HAHAHAHA Way off-topic I know, but funny.:bluebounc