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Slip and Fall Liability Issues

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by JohnnyRoyale, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    As snow and ice management pros we are always faced with the realities of being dragged into slip and fall lawsuits-regardless if we do the job or not. I have been dragged into numerous lawsuits over the years, one almost put us out of business. Everyone knows what happens when we get sued-even if no money is paid out, lawyers line their pockets, premiums increase, bla bla bla. We have even been accused of "Not warning of potentially hazardous conditions on the property."

    Question-does anyone post signage, warning of potentially hazardous conditions on the sites they plow? We didn't then, but now we do. We got the attached 18"x24" sign made, and copyrighted its text and now post it on all our sites during the winter months. Some property managers even pay us for posting them as they realize the 'value'. We have sold some to fellow contractors also.

    Your comments and opinions are appreciated as we plan on marketing them this year to all snow and ice professionals and property managers and owners.
    Sign Single.jpg

    Sign Single.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2008
  2. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    I'd rather see a road construction flag type sign with a beacon on it that can be temporarily placed at commercial entrances that says " Snowplow Crew On Site Working. Slow down and Proceed with Caution you Moron!"

    The signs a good idea but it's my understanding that most judges will say it's already assumed that winter conditions exist....in winter, and that common sense tells people to proceed with caution.

    The only lawsuits I have ever heard of actually being won in a court of law, without being settled beforehand is where negligence existed.

    Aint no sign gonna change that.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2008

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230

    I believe by posting the signage you open yourself to more liability.

    Kind of like when a person posts a sign warning about a dog. They admit they are aware of the problem and by posting the sign gain responsibility for whatever happens.

    I could be wrong but I think that is the way the courts look at things.
  4. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Thanks for your reply. Think about this-why are "wet floor" signs posted when someone is mopping an isle in the grocery store? In the past, we have been accused of not taking proper steps to warn the visiting public that potentially hazardous conditions may exist on the property. The sign is not intended to solve all of our liability issues, but help eliminate some allegations. Its not safe to assume it may be unsafe or slippery when its snowing or in winter. The sign is no replacement for fulfilling our obligations, but you know as well as i do that no matter how clean and wet you leave a property, patches will form wether its from the schmo who decided to clear his car off in the lot, or the kid who decided to empty his mop water out on the sidewalk. It would just cover our butts a bit more.
  5. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    That could be argued. If I post a dog warning sign, and my dog bites you on my property-too bad. You have been warned and YOU are liable for the consequences of YOUR actions. You had the option to stay off my property but you didnt. No different than any warning lables on a product.
  6. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    Yeah and by putting your name on there its like saying..."This is who you call to sue"

  7. tjlands

    tjlands Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    Or even better, "I slipped and fell on the ice I didnt notice because I was reading your sign as I was walking. "
    Kinda sad that we have to think about it. I fell once putting down icemelt this year who do I sue. Me
  8. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    I've seen signs similiar to those at a local dealer, I thought they were a good idea but many also felt it opens you up to more liability issues. I would put up some signs but not with my name on them, I don't want to make suing me any easier. Last year I had a slip and fall on a sidewalk I didn't even do, I just do the parking lot. I even have it in my contract that I'm not responsible for any sidewalks. My name and buisiness name was still listed on the lawsuit even though the mall took full resposability for the fall. My insurance went up $8000 because I had a judgement pending against me. WTF