Here’s a twist I didn’t know. According to current Massachusetts law, you are liable for injury caused by someone slipping on your sidewalk if you shovel. If you leave the snow as it falls, you are not liable.
Denise Provost, a State Representative explains it this way, “This means if you shovel piles of snow off your sidewalk after a big snowfall, but leave an icy patch you could not scrape off, and someone came along and broke a bone by slipping on it, they could hold you responsible.” Whereas, if you leave the snow where it falls, you are not responsible if someone walks there. You might get a ticket… Big deal.
Is this rationale contributing to the unshoveled sidewalks, especially in business areas? [grammar corrected 1/29] I don’t know. I only know that the complaining about business owners who don’t shovel is up considerably this year.
I am pleased to tell you that your State Legislature is working to plug this loophole. The new law before the House of Representatives (HR 1987) will reduce the liability for those who clear their walks. Unless there is “gross negligence.” If this law passes, I propose the fine for unshovelled walks goes up to $100. [typo corrected 1/29]
I wish you safe travels, in your car and on foot during and after today’s snow.
Are you behind HR 1987?
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