Slip and Fall in Icy Condominium Complex

    icy condominium complexThis case involves a slip and fall at a residential condo complex in Utah. The condo complex has over 100 units, one of which is owned by the plaintiff. The plaintiff was walking to his unit from his car during a snow storm. There was a section of ice in the driveway and as soon as he stepped on the section, he fell to the ground, breaking his wrist. The condo complex provides plowing to both roads and driveways but does not sand the driveway. The trustee of the complex claims they do not sand the area because it is considered “exclusive use” and not a common area. The plaintiff contends the owner has exclusive use of the easement of the driveway, but the owner cannot “sell” or “own” the driveway. He therefore considers it a common area.

     

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Please discuss your background in setting safety standards as it pertains to snow and the building management's responsibilities in clearing the snow in certain areas to ensure the safety of the residents.
    • 2. How do you determine exclusive use vs. common areas?

    Expert Witness Response E-008278

    I have 30 years of experience in professional property management and this case is within my expertise. The driveway is an area that all residents would have access to rendering it a “common area” and this is the responsibility of the property management team. It is surprising to me that they would not have taken precautions to prevent incidents such as the one in this case from occurring due to accumulation of snow and ice.

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