While injuries suffered by an Arlington Heights woman in a slip-and-fall accident in an icy parking lot were painful and significant, they also lead to safer conditions starting this year. After settling the woman’s personal injury suit for nearly $50,000 in December, Arlington Heights officials changed the village’s policy regarding how to clear snow from its publicly-owned parking garages.
The plaintiff in the slip-and-fall case broke her leg in February 2010 after parking her car in a village parking ramp following an early-morning snowfall. After parking her vehicle, she was headed for the train when she slipped on a patch of ice that caused several other falls that day, according to the lawsuit. She and her husband sought at least $50,000 in compensation.
Though Arlington Heights contends that weather conditions alone caused the woman’s injuries, the village board voted to approve a settlement in December that includes a $49,500 payment. The village has also announced that it has changed the way workers will plow snow from parking lots and ramps. Previously, snow was plowed into all four corners of a parking surface. But starting this winter, snow will be pushed into just three corners. Perhaps most importantly, workers will not pile snow near stairs to minimize the risk of melting snow turning to ice right where people are walking.
Hopefully Arlington Heights’ actions will result in fewer dangerous falls in parking structures. Slip-and-fall accidents caused by a property owner’s negligence can cause debilitating injuries. When someone is hurt in a trip and fall, the negligent owner of the property where the fall occurred may be liable for the victim’s medical bills, lost wages and other costs.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Arlington Heights changes snow rules on snow clearing,” Jan. 8, 2013