Texas Supreme Court rules owners free from icy weather premises liability

05/19/2014 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

Texas – The Texas Supreme Court has determined that ice and mud that results from precipitation are one in the same when it comes to premises liability. As reported by The Southeast Texas Record, justices in the state’s high court reversed the decision of Third District appeals judges in Austin in a lawsuit filed against Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple.

The lawsuit filed by Gary Fair and Linda Fair alleges that Gary Fair was injured after a fall caused by a de-icer that had been applied to the pavement on hospital grounds. Third district judges found in favor of the Fairs asserting that Scott and White Memorial had failed to establish that the ice that had accumulated on the premises was in its natural state, and an unreasonable risk of harm had been created by the hospital.

The Supreme Court unanimously disagreed with the district court’s determination.

Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson is quoted as writing in the decision, “Both conditions pose the same risk of harm, and ice, like mud, results from precipitation beyond a premises owner’s control.”

Jefferson is further quoted as writing with regards to the rarity of ice in Texas, “Requiring premises owners to guard against wintry conditions would inflict a heavy burden because of the limited resources landowners likely have on hand to combat occasional ice accumulation.”

This report is provided by Justice News Flash – Texas Legal News

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