Missouri Follows the Massachusetts Rule Regarding Snow/Ice Removal by Property Owner

Colleen O’Donnell fell at the River City Casino as a result of accumulating ice from a winter storm. When she filed personal injury claims, the trial court favored the casino. Ultimately, the Missouri Court of Appeals-Eastern District affirmed the trial courts judgment, citing the Massachusetts Rule. Premise liability principles generally govern slip and fall claims in similar situations. However, under the Massachusetts Rule, a property owner does not have a duty to remove freezing rain, sleet, or snow as it is falling on an open-air parking lot. In order for a property owner to be held liable, they would have had to willfully attempted to alter the snow and ice conditions. Since River City Casino warned customers of the ice and did not plow, shovel spread salt, etc. on the property, they can not be held liable.

O’Donnell v. PNK (River City)

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