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Slippery Sidewalks Could Lead To Lawsuits

January 28, 2013, 6:03 PM by Brady Mallory

Slippery Sidewalks Could Lead To Lawsuits

Slick sidewalks could put you in a slippery situation - financially. 

In Sioux Falls, you have 48 hours to clear your sidewalks on your property of snow and ice. However, Leonard Gutnik quickly found out not everyone gets the job done.

"Sidewalks are pretty slippery. Pretty dangerous," Gutnik said, as he walked the streets Monday afternoon.

Gutnik said he almost fell a couple of times on his afternoon walk and was a bit surprised more people have not salted or sanded their sidewalks.

"We were salting ours. I think the rains were so difficult; the freezing rains yesterday. We didn't even leave the house, so I don't think people have gotten out to deal with that yet," Gutnik said.

You could have to deal with a lawsuit if you do not take care of the snow or ice in front of your home. City Attorney David Pfeifle said a person is able to sue you if he or she slips and falls and gets hurt on the sidewalk in front on your property. So far, it has been a quiet winter.   

"Pretty mild winter and very manageable from our aspect," Public Parking Facilities Manager Matt Nelson said.

Nelson said they have not had very many complaints about icy sidewalks this winter because someone usually takes care of them.

"You see a lot of that throughout town; neighbors helping neighbors," Nelson said.

Nelson said if you are not able to clear your sidewalks, there is a program that can help you out.  He said call 211 for information to see if you are eligible.

While on a walk with their 15-month-old son, Mason, Autumn Stead and Cole Shields said they were taking it nice and slow.

"Like penguins," Shields said. 

"I've been walking on the road and on the grass.  It's been so slippery I almost fell a bunch of times,"  Stead said.

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