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No Case Where Generally Slippery Conditions Prevail Without Hills and Ridges.

September 14th, 2017

In Neifert v. Speedway, LLC, 2017 WL 4052264, (Pa. Super. 9/14/17), the Superior Court affirmed the grant of summary judgment by the Berks County Court of Common Pleas.  (Berks CCP, 15-3929).  In this case, Plaintiff slipped and fell on ice in the parking lot of the Speedway gas station on December 7, 2012.  Small patches of black ice were found near where Plaintiff fell from a light misty precipitation.

Defendant’s employee then covered the patches with ice melt.  An EMS worker testified that “everything was icy” on the parking lot when he arrived.  Weather records showed that a light rain began to fall about a half hour before Plaintiff fell, and that temperatures were hovering around freezing.  The Superior Court articulated the “hills and ridges” doctrine, which protects possessors of land from liability from generally slippery conditions due to ice and snow unless the possessor allowed the ice and snow to unreasonably accumulate in ridges and elevations.

Here, the court found that generally icy conditions were prevailing in the community from light rainy, misty freezing conditions at the time of Plaintiff’s fall.  The court also found that Plaintiff failed to provide any evidence of hills or ridges.  Thus the Superior Court granted Defendant’s motion for summary judgment.

This was a non-precedential decision.  The case was argued before Moulton, Solano and Musmanno, JJ. Memorandum Opinion by Musmanno, J.

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