225 Market Street, P.O. Box 1245 • Harrisburg, PA 17108-1245 • 717.233.6633
DANNY M. ALEXANDER V. CITY OF MEADVILLE &PATRONS MUTUAL BAR ASSOCIATION OF NORTHWESTERN PA2012 Pa. Super. LEXIS 4082(December 7, 2012)Attorney Robert G. Hanna, Jr.email@example.com
Around 1:20 a.m. on February 10, 2008, Alexander left a bar located on Market Street indowntown Meadville where he had consumed some beer and smoked some cigarettes. He beganwalking home. As he descended the sidewalk ramp located at the corner of Chestnut and MarketStreets he slipped and fell on a sidewalk covered by approximately 1 to 2 inches of snow.Previously the City had installed sidewalk ramps in Meadville pursuant to resolution of a lawsuit.The sidewalks that were retrofitted were installed with ramps that tapered from the street corner tothe street upon which dimpled mats were affixed to alert pedestrians to the change from sidewalk to street. The street corner where this accident occurred was retrofitted with such a ramp.Pennsylvania case law has established that a pedestrian walking on a public sidewalk is alicensee of the property owner. The property owner was a business named Patrons Mutual.Patrons Mutual could be found liable only if a) the company knew or had reason to know of thecondition and should have realized that it involved an unreasonable risk of harm to a licenseesuch as the plaintiff. It would further require an expectation that the licensee would not discover or realize the danger and, b) Patrons Mutual failed to exercise reasonable care to make thecondition safe or to warn the licensee of the condition and, c) the licensee did not know or havereason to know of the condition and the risk.The City has an ordinance requiring property owners within the City to maintain their sidewalks in a reasonably safe condition which includes keeping them clear of snow and iceaccumulations. The ordinance at issue specifically provides:Snow and ice shall be removed from all sidewalks within the City…
on the sameday that a fall of snow, freezing rain ceases or within the first 5 hours of daylight after the cessation of any such fall, whichever period is longer.
Patrons Mutual was open from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and closed onweekends. Our Plaintiff fell at 1:20 a.m. on Sunday, February 10, 2008. Given that PatronsMutual was closed for business during the particular snow fall, it had no actual notice of the