Chicago’s recent record-breaking cold temperatures presented associations with unique challenges and questions. Specifically, are associations liable for slip-and-fall cases that arise from accumulation of snow and ice?

The Illinois legislature passed the Snow and Ice Removal Act in 1979 to incentivize homeowners to remove ice and snow by providing associations with immunity from liability resulting from their efforts to remove snow or ice. However, recent case law has limited the scope and extent of the immunity. Therefore, it is important that associations understand the situations where the act does not provide immunity. They include:

  1. Slip-and-fall cases that were caused by defective conditions of the property, such as building defects.
  2. Slip-and-fall cases that were caused by negligent maintenance of the premises. The act does not provide immunity from omissions in the care of the premises.
  3. Associations will not be protected from liability for shoveling areas that are not municipal sidewalks that borders their property. In these cases, associations may be exposed to claims that the association’s efforts in removing the snow or ice were negligently performed.

The best course of action that associations can take is to be proactive regarding the condition of the property, as well with the maintenance of the premises.

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