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PA Supreme Court Virtually Eliminates Sidewalk Liability for Municipalities.

May 22, 2009

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In the case of <i>Reid v. City of Philadelphia</i>, the plaintiff slipped on snow and ice that had accumulated on a sidewalk adjacent to a Philadelphia police station. The plaintiff proved that the City was negligent in its removal of snow and ice, but in opposition the City argued that it was exempt from claims under 42 Pa.C.S. § 8541, the Political Subdivision and Tort Claims Act. Plaintiff argued that the 8542(b)(3) exemption (which holds that a municipality can be primarily liable for failure to maintain real propery) applied. The trial court and Commonwealth court agreed with plaintiff. The Supreme Court, however, disagreed, It held that the 8542(b)(3) exemption does not apply to sidewalks – only real property.
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