Attorney Heather L. Pollock Successfully Moved For Summary Judgment In An Action Involving an Alleged Slip And Fall On Snow And Ice

The defendant was a snow and ice removal company. They contracted for the removal of snow and ice with the plaintiff’s employer.  Heather L. Pollock filed a motion for summary judgment seeking dismissal of the action on behalf of the defendant based upon the fact that the defendant did not owe a duty to the plaintiff.  The plaintiff unsuccessfully argued that she was a party to the contract between her employer and the defendant snow removal company.  However, applying the exceptions identified in the Espinal case, the Court granted defendant’s motion.  Where the snow removal contract only covered the time period of November 15 – April 30, did not provide guidelines as to when to spot salt or spot sand and had no provision for snow between two to four inches the Court found the contract was not so comprehensive so that it entirely displaced the owner’s obligation, and therefore the defendant did not owe a duty to the plaintiff.  The Court also found that a passive failure to salt or sand by the defendant did not constitute a “launching of an instrument of harm” and that the plaintiff was not a party to the snow removal contract.  Accordingly, the Court granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed the action.