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Firm Helped by New Law in $295,000 Recovery for Snow and Ice Injury

The July 2010 decision of the Supreme Judicial Court in Papadopoulos v. Target Corporation 457 Mass. 368 was used by Robert Feinberg in obtaining a $295,000.00 settlement at a mediation in January of 2011. Two years prior, the 45 year old plaintiff had walked over hard-packed ice in going to his car which was parked in the back of his apartment building. Significantly, this was his third time walking over that ice, an argument the defense used in asserting comparative negligence against the plaintiff. However, the defendant’s contentions were overcome by evidence that their property manager and his assistant had not been present to sand, salt, or treat the ice on the morning of the accident. The weather records showed that precipitation had stopped approximately eleven hours before the plaintiff fell, affording an ample opportunity for the defendant to have treated the ice. Thus the defendant violated its duty of reasonable care, a duty only recently applied to snow and ice cases and which replaces the former Massachusetts distinction between an unnatural and natural accumulation of snow or ice.

The plaintiff sustained a significant head injury but was back to work full time two months after the accident. His treatment concluded one and a half years after the accident.

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