What is my potential liability regarding a discharge from my sump pump?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What is my potential liability regarding a discharge from my sump pump?

I purchased my home about 2 years ago and the current basement sump pump system was in place at time of the home purchase. The sump pump discharges into the street. The water follows to the gutter pan across my neighbors drive way. Due to the record rain fall and how cold it has been, a sizable amount of ice has formed in the portion of the gutter pan that crosses the front of their driveway. According to the county code, discharge to the street is allowed. I wanted to know if I would be liable for any damages or if someone were to fall, etc.

Asked on February 3, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if the discharge ices up and someone falls and is injured due to that, you could be liable for their injuries. Whether or not something is legal, homeowners have a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent injuries from known conditions on or caused by their property. Just as you would have to de-ice your walkway or be liable if someone visting you slipped and fell, so would you have to take steps to remove the ice resulting from your sump pump.

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