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Slip and Fall on Ice

A property owner is responsible for an ice slip and fall if there is negligence.  An owner of property must use ordinary care under the existing circumstances to maintain his or her premises to avoid exposing persons on the property with consent to an unreasonable risk of harm.  This may include shoveling snow, salting ice, scrapping ice or putting up warnings of a slippery sidewalk or parking lot.

"Ordinary care" is the degree of care, which the great mass of people ordinarily uses under the same or similar circumstances.  A person fails to use ordinary care when, without intending to do any wrong, he or she does an act or omits a precaution under circumstances in which a person of ordinary intelligence and prudence should reasonably foresee that the act or omission will subject another person or property of another to an unreasonable risk of injury or damage.

In performing this duty, an owner of premises must use ordinary care to discover conditions or defects on the property, which expose a person to an unreasonable risk of harm.  If an unreasonable risk of harm existed and the owner was aware of it, or, if in the use of ordinary care he or she should have been aware of it, then it was his or her duty to either correct the condition or danger or warn other persons of the condition or risk as was reasonable under the circumstances.  Wisconsin Civil Jury Instruction 8020.

For some owners or businesses, a higher duty called the safe-place statute applies. That law imposes a duty upon owner to construct, repair, and maintain the premises so as to make them safe.  The law requires owners to furnish and use safety devices and safeguards and adopt and use methods and processes that are reasonably adequate to render the place of employment or public building safe. Violation of this law is negligence.

The term "safe" or "safety," as used in this law, does not mean absolute safety.  The term "safe" or "safety," as applied to the premises in this case, means such freedom from danger to the life, health, safety, or welfare of others as the nature of the premises will reasonably permit.

The owner is not required to guarantee everyone's safety but rather was required to construct, repair and maintain the premises as safe as the nature of the place would reasonably permit.  Wisconsin Civil Jury Instruction 1900.4

McCormick Law Office attorneys in Milwaukee, Wisconsin represent clients in slip and fall on ice cases recovering medical bills, wage loss, pain and suffering money damage settlements.  Ice is a dangerous condition, which the property owner should take care of in a reasonable manner.

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