This Note discusses the 2010 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling, Papadopoulos v. Target Corp., which changed the standard of review for cases involving slip-and-falls on snow and ice, by abolishing the “natural accumulation” rule in favor of the duty of reasonable care. According to the Author, adopting the “storm-in-progress” rule, would appropriately balance the interests of the property owner and the general public, and avoid most of the complications that led to the downfall of the natural accumulation rule. Part I of this Note discusses the basic tenets and evolution of premises liability, along with the development and subsequent demise of the natural accumulation rule in Massachusetts. Part II discusses three different approaches to dealing with snow and ice in premises liability. Part III discusses the reasoning of Papadopoulos. Part IV analyzes the different standards and explains why the storm-in-progress rule is the best approach. The Author suggests that Massachusetts should take the next logical step and adopt the storm-in-progress rule.
Connor Fallon, PREMISES LIABILITY—BREAKING NEWS: IT SNOWS IN MASSACHUSETTS AND SNOW IS SLIPPERY. WHY MASSACHUSETTS SHOULD ADOPT THE STORM-IN-PROGRESS RULE, 34 W. New Eng. L. Rev. 579 (2012), http://digitalcommons.law.wne.edu/lawreview/vol34/iss2/11