Attention: Please take a moment to consider our terms and conditions before posting.
Options

Clearing the snow of the pavement.

Last winter I cleared the snow from my garden path and the area of pavement outside the front of my house. I did this partly for my own sake but also because I used to clear the pavement when I lived in Northern Germany where winter's like this are not uncommon. However, at least three people have told me to not clear the pavement as people could "sue" me.

Is this true? I find it difficult to believe that to be the case and if it is true what a sad and pathetic society we live in.
«1

Comments

  • Options
    Why would they sue you?
  • Options
    Because we live in a claims culture and the wet floor could be black ice
  • Options
    Yes, but not clearing the pavement leads to incredibly dangerous compacted snow. I cant walk to the end of my street without slipping all over the place. I always clear the pavement and throw some grit down, if we all did this there would be far fewer accidents.
  • Options
    [cite]Posted By: BigRedEvil[/cite]Why would they sue you?

    I think the argument goes like this:

    It's not his fault that the snow fell, so he wouldn't be to blame if someone slipped on the snow.

    Once he decided to clear the snow, he took responsibility for changing the natural phenomenon, so he took on board the risk associated with that change.

    I don't know if that's exactly what a lawyer would say, but it's what I think would be the argument

    I hope a judge would throw that garbage out, but you never know. I agree with you, VFR, but there you go.
  • Options
    [cite]Posted By: TEL[/cite]Ive been told that as well, not that Im going to even try this time, its too bloody deep
    bet you wish it was Tel in Oz
  • Options
    To the best of my knowledge IA is correct.

    In essence you are fine if you leave it in a "natural state" as it is deemed "act of God" but once you interfere with the natural state you leave yourself open.

    Sad but true.
  • Options
    Listened to a legal eagle on the radio. It's another urban myth, you can clear the paths, but if for example you heaped all the cleared snow onto your neighbours footpath, then this would not be a wise move. If you have left the footpaths in a clearer state than when you started, then that's all fine and dandy.
  • Options
    That's good news, stilladdicted.

    In places like Germany where it snows all the time, I think they change the blame around. Snow isn't an 'act of God', it's something that happens all the time, and it would be negligent not to clear it.
  • Options
    act of god is an urban myth allegedly
  • Options
    Good news SA! If we keep getting winters like this there should be a campaign to encourage people to look after their pavement. I'm off to clear some snow :-)
  • Sponsored links:


  • Options
    according to this link the occupier of a private property has a duty of care to prevent injury within the boundaries of his private property but effectively leaves himself open should he try and clear public roads and footpaths.

    The law differs elsewhere in the world but this appears to be the position in the UK (or England and Wales at least).

    http://ezinearticles.com/?Clearing-Snow-Outside-Your-Home-Could-Result-in-Compensation-Claims-For-Liability-Against-You&id=3542962
  • Options
    [cite]Posted By: razil[/cite]act of god is an urban myth allegedly

    Rural people are atheists?
  • Options
    Sounds like a Daily Mail story to me, i.e. Total shite.

    Anyone who slips over in the snow and ice and wants to sue anyone because of it should be locked up. FACT.
  • Options
    You are responsible for clearing and the maintenance of your property, to the boundary.

    The council or freeholder is responsible for the pathways, roads etc.

    The fact that councils like Bexley choose to ignore this fact, take a gamble that people will not take them to court if they slip/ have a fall.

    People have to take resonable care* ( whatever that means) but try walking around Rome and looking at the appauling state of the streets/pavements etc.

    I was there a couple of weeks ago with a mate who is in charge of highways for a leading council and he was amazed at the poor upkeep!

    So the sensible response is when in Rome,...... keep your eyes open, and accept some personnal responsability.

    If i fell over, and the council had made no attempt at all, to clear the main footpaths, I would issue a court action, unlike most I would pursue it....
  • Options
    edited December 2010
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8443745.stm

    This link effectively confirms what I've said above but makes the additional point that it could be difficult for any would be plaintiff to prove maliciousness or carelessness.

    However do you really want to take the risk of exposing yourself to legal action?

    My attitude to all this changed years ago when I saw an elderly neighbour waiting at a bus stop in the rain and offered her a lift which she accepted. Later in the journey a car drove into the back of me whilst I was stationary at a roundabout. The son of this lady wrote me two snotty letters threatening to sue ME for personal injury to his mother even though nobody else had suggested the accident was my fault.

    Doing a good turn caused me a lot of needless stress and I have some legal knowledge but would not profess to be an expert.

    I am no longer so willing to help people out after that experience and certainly would not clear my pavements as I have neighbours that are the type to "try it on."
  • Options
    My problem is I left my shovel somewhere in my back garden and can't find it until the snow's melted.......Don't you just love irony? ;-)
  • Options
    clear the pavement if you want, I do sometimes (not at the moment, too much snow!) - where will we end up if people stop doing good because of scare stories?
  • Options
    A pretty sad indictment Len, looking through that BBC article the question that springs to mind, should I slip on an uncleared pavement I could seek compensation from the council? What a shame.

    Remembering my time in Germany, the clearing of the street was like a community exercise, neighbours helped each other out.
  • Options
    clear the pavement if you want, I do sometimes (not at the moment, too much snow!) - where will we end up if people stop doing good because of scare stories?
    Here here!

    A couple of people thanked me, one person said well done while I was clearing the pavement.
  • Options
    Here's some sensible government advice.
    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Nl1/Newsroom/DG_191868

    So please ignore the scare stories. They're usually started by lawyers who don't know anything about Health & Safety.
  • Sponsored links:


  • Options
    [cite]Posted By: TEL[/cite]
    [cite]Posted By: Dazzler21[/cite]
    [cite]Posted By: TEL[/cite]Ive been told that as well, not that Im going to even try this time, its too bloody deep
    bet you wish it was Tel in Oz

    I was this time last week....
    I am right now :o)
  • Options
    It's an offence over here not to clear the pavement in front of your property of snow. You will be fined if you don 't clear it! Which is fun when it's -30 outside.

    Get shoveling or else!
  • Options
    so if the defence is an 'act of god', could i call god as a witness?
  • Options
    I reckon that's a brilliant idea Oakster. I mean, if the Canadians manage to do it with all the snow they get then we should be able to do it with our measly few inches once or twice a year.

    Having said that, have just been out clearing a path outside my front door and am now completely fucked. Mind you, I do live in a 10 bed mansion with a fifty foot drive!
  • Options
    edited December 2010
    [cite]Posted By: paulbaconsarnie[/cite]so if the defence is an 'act of god', could i call god as a witness?

    That would make a good story line for a film.
  • Options
    [cite]Posted By: guinnessaddick[/cite]
    [cite]Posted By: paulbaconsarnie[/cite]so if the defence is an 'act of god', could i call god as a witness?

    That would make a good story line for a film.

    Maybe Billy Connelly would like to be in it? ; )
  • Options
    I heard on the radio & have a friend who has experienced today that police have started giving fines & points to drivers who leave excess snow on their roofs when driving.  It is against the highway code & can apparently result in 3 points & a £60 fine if you're unlucky enough to cross a grumpy member of the plod!
     
    Make sure if you're driving tomorrow you brush off your roof & if you're walking make sure your bobble hat isn't packing a snow drift.
     
  • Options
    I am pleased that the police are doing this.
    Twice this week I have faced an avalanche from car roofs with over a foot of snow on them. Its been like a massive snowball hitting you at 30 plus mph
    The number of drivers who just clear the front windscreen is also worrying,
    Just how bone idle and selfish are some drivers?
Sign In or Register to comment.

Roland Out Forever!