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Mother In Law had a slip and fall

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by DodgeBlizzard, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    Last week my Mother In Law got to work and her first step out of her vehicle was the only one. She fell and broke her wrist and fractured her back. It was a weird storm. We had light rain overnight, then heavy rain around 6AM. Then the cold front came in and it was nothing but black ice by 6:30AM. It was one of those storms that I actually considered going in early and just waiting for the rain to change over to ice. I probably would have, if they hadn't predicted the three previous storms wrong. From what I understand her lot at work wasn't touched for hours even after the slip and fall. It was tough seeing a direct effect of what happens when someone falls in a parking lot. She goes in for surgery on Friday for her wrist and not sure what's going on with her back just yet. I know I will be using this as an example of why all commercial lots should be salted and at our discretion. If they don't want salt, get them to sign a waiver saying so.
  2. edgeair

    edgeair Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    I agree with you 100% that you should be getting a waiver from the ones that don't' want you to salt.

    Hopefully your MIL recovers quickly. Nobody likes to hear about this happening, but there is 2 sides to this that us as contractors see.

    I still don't see why there is such a high liability being awarded to victims of slip and falls. Somewhere along the line people need to be responsible for their actions - they are the ones in direct control of their surroundings.

    Now I am going to speak generally using the circumstance but not specifically to this situation. If she wasn't sure if she could walk on the ice, then she should not have got out of her car maybe??? Or at least tested out the traction first? Maybe she should not have worn her high heels into work (not saying she did, just speaking generally), and put on her boots until she got into the office/store...... Again, I'm not saying your MIL wasn't careful, but this type of thing happens all the time where people are careless or are after the insurance money.

    People of all stripes make mistakes. Owning up to your mistake or carelessness is hard, thats why I expect that there are so many of these that go to court. If that were me, I would feel that yes it should have been salted, but I would also feel like I should have been more careful given the circumstances that were in play at the time. Would there have been any recourse against the city if someone rear ended another vehicle because they slipped on the ice at a stoplight? Of course not. The one that slipped into the other one would be at fault. So why is it different in a slip and fall on private property?

    People are the best controllers of their own destiny.

    Having said that, it does sound like someone dropped the ball on that one. Whether it was the property owner, or the contractor it sounds like it should have been salted long before that.

    Hopefully she recovers quickly and there are no long term affects to her over this.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  3. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    Solid black ice in 30 mins? I hope she has a full recovery.
  4. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    Not to sound like a jerk or anything, but I guess the biggest comment that comes to mind after reading this would be, how is this the contractors fault? According to you she slipped less than 30 minutes after it rained. How would the contractor have time to salt, and have it melt off in less than 30 minutes? I will 100% give you that he still didn't show up for several hours after, but at less than 30 minutes after, I'm not sure there would have been enough time to begin with. I am finding with the economy the way it is, every year more of my customers want to go to an on call for salt. Maybe before anyone jumps the gun, you need to find out what the contract states.
    I wish you mother in law the best, and hope she makes a quick full recovery!
  5. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    More judges are looking at this. Lawyer/insurance will want to see what was worn when getting out of the car.
  6. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    I also agree that in this situation, nobody should be held liable. Again, I'm just trying to make guys aware so maybe they can avoid this situation. One thing I could do better is go in even a little earlier in a storm like that one. Work around the shop while it was raining and get everything ready. And then if it changes over to ice, I'm there and can get a jump on it. Just like tonight, before I came home, I put down some liquid down on the commercial properties that will be open tonight.