What are my mother’s rights if she badly injured her leg because ice in a store’s parking lot that was never salted?

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What are my mother’s rights if she badly injured her leg because ice in a store’s parking lot that was never salted?

My 64 year old mother drove to a national chain retail store and parked the car. While approaching the front entrance she slipped on the ice and broke her femur. The managers response was that he had requested his salt service 3 or 4 times but they had not arrived. My mom has had to have surgery to set her leg in place. She now has a steel plate and screws the length of her femur. She is forced into a rehab clinic because she needs daily rehab and she is required to be immobilized. She completed 3 weeks and has another 3 weeks to go. She will be on crutches/walker afterwards and faces a long rehab recovery time. Bills are already coming in whicbh she cannot afford. What are her legall options against the store? She is stressed about bills.

Asked on January 11, 2016 under Personal Injury, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

She can certainly try suing the store, but if the store can prove (e.g. with phone record, texts, emails, or credible witness testimony) that they had requested the salt service in a reasonable amount of time, the store will likely not be liable: when someone takes a reasonable step, in a timely manner, to alleviate a threat or risk, they did what they law requires them to do and are not generally liable if the harm still occured, since the law does not hold people to a "strict liability" standards but rather only requires reasonable precautions or efforts. 
It is worthwhile for your mother to speak with a personal injury attorney about the case, and it may be worthwhile to sue: but your mother should be preferred that *if* the store is telling the truth, they may have a defense. However, if they did not make an effort to have the ice removed or salted, then they would very possibly be liable, since it would be negligent, or unreasonably careless, to not take steps to correct the condition.


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