Property owners face new liabilities - Sentinel & Enterprise

There are 20 comments on the Sentinel & Enterprise story from Dec 13, 2010, titled Property owners face new liabilities - Sentinel & Enterprise. In it, Sentinel & Enterprise reports that:

This winter, property owners may be more liable for wintry falls thanks to the state Supreme Judicial Court's decision to overrule a longstanding legal precedent regarding accountability in removing snow and ice.

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JIm

Fitchburg, MA

#1 Dec 13, 2010
Just another way for someone to make money by suing, some people live law suit to law suit.
Home Owner

Gardner, MA

#2 Dec 13, 2010
Is this also going to apply for homeowners? A lot of people travel on foot up and down my street. Am I also responsible for the side walks infront of my house? If so, then the city is responsible for putting my street light back on in front of my house. Thats a safety hazard too!
Nope

Fitchburg, MA

#3 Dec 13, 2010
I lived in one his apartments. Not only was the place a wreck and you could never get him to come and fix anything or reimburse you for fixing something yourself, he wouldn't show up to address the snow or ice for days after the storm. We would end up doing it ourselves. I'm sure that was his plan all along.
matthew wyman

Prattsville, NY

#4 Dec 13, 2010
absolutely rediculous. some idiot falls in the winter on ice, then sues....what ever happened tp personal accountability. this state is so far to the left. absolute embarrasment. here is an idea get a job, then you won't be so sue happy. dirtbags.
Have Some Questions

Fitchburg, MA

#5 Dec 13, 2010
I'm responsible for the sidewalks in front of my home?
Isn't that city property?
Do I get reimbursed for the salt and sand I use all winter to keep it clear?
Is there a time frame within the storm I have to have my sidewalk cleared?
If I go away for work who's responsibility is it, my neighbor or a town official?
If my neighbor does it for us and gets hurt who's liable me or the town?
If a pedestrian gets hurt on the sidewalk in front of my house, who's liable?
If a town official or a neighbor clears the sidewalk because I'm unable and someone gets hurt who's liable?
The Insider

Marion, MA

#6 Dec 13, 2010
Have Some Questions wrote:
I'm responsible for the sidewalks in front of my home?
Isn't that city property?
Do I get reimbursed for the salt and sand I use all winter to keep it clear?
Is there a time frame within the storm I have to have my sidewalk cleared?
If I go away for work who's responsibility is it, my neighbor or a town official?
If my neighbor does it for us and gets hurt who's liable me or the town?
If a pedestrian gets hurt on the sidewalk in front of my house, who's liable?
If a town official or a neighbor clears the sidewalk because I'm unable and someone gets hurt who's liable?
All owners have always been responsible for clearing the city sidewalks in front of their home ! Our long gone elders must be turning in their graves now !
samehere

Fitchburg, MA

#7 Dec 13, 2010
Have Some Questions wrote:
I'm responsible for the sidewalks in front of my home?
Isn't that city property?
Do I get reimbursed for the salt and sand I use all winter to keep it clear?
Is there a time frame within the storm I have to have my sidewalk cleared?
If I go away for work who's responsibility is it, my neighbor or a town official?
If my neighbor does it for us and gets hurt who's liable me or the town?
If a pedestrian gets hurt on the sidewalk in front of my house, who's liable?
If a town official or a neighbor clears the sidewalk because I'm unable and someone gets hurt who's liable?
Good questions!
I presume you owner-occupy your property? We do too and we both feel that holding private citizens accountable for the general maintenance of city property is foolish. We'd like to know if we need a permit to maintain city sidewalks?
SurelyYouCantBeS erious

Fitchburg, MA

#8 Dec 13, 2010
What?!
You gotta be kidding me?!
Does this mean if someone takes a dive on the sidewalk in front of our property because the sidewalk is damaged, I am responsible?
If I have to take care of it during the winter do I have to maintain the sidewalk in the off-winter months?
Sounds like a slippery slope here.
SLC

Leominster, MA

#9 Dec 13, 2010
Home Owner wrote:
Is this also going to apply for homeowners? A lot of people travel on foot up and down my street. Am I also responsible for the side walks infront of my house? If so, then the city is responsible for putting my street light back on in front of my house. Thats a safety hazard too!
you can contact National Grid about the street light being out. You can do that right on their website. They will come out and take care of it.
Us Too

Fitchburg, MA

#10 Dec 13, 2010
The Insider wrote:
<quoted text>
All owners have always been responsible for clearing the city sidewalks in front of their home ! Our long gone elders must be turning in their graves now !
If that's been the case then why is this news?

We've always shoveled the sidewalks in front of our home so we could use them, but to be held responsible for maintaining town property seems a little dangerous.
zing

Santa Clara, CA

#11 Dec 13, 2010
SurelyYouCantBeSerious wrote:
What?!
You gotta be kidding me?!
Does this mean if someone takes a dive on the sidewalk in front of our property because the sidewalk is damaged, I am responsible?
If I have to take care of it during the winter do I have to maintain the sidewalk in the off-winter months?
Sounds like a slippery slope here.
Easy solution ... put up cones and red tape
Concerned Shoveler

Fitchburg, MA

#12 Dec 13, 2010
The Insider wrote:
<quoted text>
All owners have always been responsible for clearing the city sidewalks in front of their home ! Our long gone elders must be turning in their graves now !
Our elders? That's the best you can do? This is stupid. City property should be maintained by city officials. Period. Now, we can encourage a certain level of public participation and awareness, but to be held solely responsible for city property because it abuts your private property is unrealistic. If for no other reason than because the other 300+ days there isn't snow on them we can't do squat.

They want our help. Ask for it, support it and don't penalize people for giving it to you.
Hmmmmm

Fitchburg, MA

#13 Dec 13, 2010
The Insider wrote:
<quoted text>
All owners have always been responsible for clearing the city sidewalks in front of their home ! Our long gone elders must be turning in their graves now !
I've been a property owner for over years. It has never been my responsibility to shovel the sidewalks in front of any of our homes. I have to maintain stairways and walkways at all egresses to ensure safe entry and exit for all tenants. Sidewalks are not part of my responsibilities. This is reinforced by the fact that the city drives up and down the street in small bobcat and clears the sidewalks themselves. Why? It'c city property! I think people used to do it by choice, but they weren't responsible.
Mike V

Fitchburg, MA

#14 Dec 13, 2010
The Insider wrote:
<quoted text>
All owners have always been responsible for clearing the city sidewalks in front of their home ! Our long gone elders must be turning in their graves now !
If my downspout pours water onto the sidewalk and it freezes, that's my duty to remove the ice. If it snows it is not my duty to remove the snow from city property. This court ruling is now putting property owners in a more vulnerable position by maintaining city sidewalks. Cities are just going to try and have citizens be held liable if someone gets hurt on sidewalks during the winter time now.

Wasn't the case before and for good reason.
Sidewalker

Fitchburg, MA

#15 Dec 13, 2010
I don't think it's a big deal to shovel the sidewalk in front of the house, unless I can get in trouble if people get hurt.

“I'm a Fitchburger and Proud ”

Since: Jan 08

Fitchburg ( of course)

#16 Dec 13, 2010
It's the absentee landlords that are the cause of most, by far, of the unkempt and dangerous pedestrian ways. Anyone who was raised in Fitchburg knows that municipal ordinance already states that the sidewalk adjacent to your property MUST be kept clear... Take it from someone who shoveled the sidewalks in front of our house til they were clear of all snow and ice as a matter of course (social responsibility and the Law)the absentees don't give a lick about our safety. All they are looking for is a way to make a quick buck at our expense!

Since the Time of Mylott the clearness of the pedestrian passways has become deplorable. I've been checking.

And don't blame Mayor Wong, Mylott gave her enough problems to deal with.

The SJC is absolutely correct and given that fact Fitchburg should be ticketing heavily (increased revenue and safer streets)!

Voter

Bedford, MA

#17 Dec 13, 2010
Clean your sidewalks. Don't force school kids and others to walk in the street.

“I'm a Fitchburger and Proud ”

Since: Jan 08

Fitchburg ( of course)

#18 Dec 13, 2010
Mike V wrote:
<quoted text>
If my downspout pours water onto the sidewalk and it freezes, that's my duty to remove the ice. If it snows it is not my duty to remove the snow from city property. This court ruling is now putting property owners in a more vulnerable position by maintaining city sidewalks. Cities are just going to try and have citizens be held liable if someone gets hurt on sidewalks during the winter time now.
Wasn't the case before and for good reason.
Local ordinance states very clearly that it is the responsibility of the owner to clear or make arrangements to have it cleared ASAP and hopefully someone won't slip and break their head in front of your property. NOW you will PAY!!! REPUBLISCAMS and TEA BAGGER CULTISTS always looking for someone else to blame!!!!

RECALL SCOTT BROWN FOR LEGISLATIVE WRONGDOINGS!!!!

DOWN WITH BROWN!!!!!!!!!!

“I'm a Fitchburger and Proud ”

Since: Jan 08

Fitchburg ( of course)

#19 Dec 13, 2010
Hmmmmm wrote:
<quoted text>
I've been a property owner for over years. It has never been my responsibility to shovel the sidewalks in front of any of our homes. I have to maintain stairways and walkways at all egresses to ensure safe entry and exit for all tenants. Sidewalks are not part of my responsibilities. This is reinforced by the fact that the city drives up and down the street in small bobcat and clears the sidewalks themselves. Why? It'c city property! I think people used to do it by choice, but they weren't responsible.
REPUBLISCAMS are all alike, SOMEONE ELSE HAS TO BE RESPONSIBLE for your property. SCOFFLAWS. " Why are your taxes so high???" because you expect someone else to pamper you and bath you and dress you and SHOVEL THE PEDESTRIAN PASSWAYS IN FRONT OF YOUR MANOR HOUSE.... Hey, create a job, hire someone to do it, lazy, irresponsible scofflaws...I hope you don't get sued :)!

“I'm a Fitchburger and Proud ”

Since: Jan 08

Fitchburg ( of course)

#20 Dec 13, 2010
Voter wrote:
Clean your sidewalks. Don't force school kids and others to walk in the street.
For once we agree!

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