Contents

Massachusetts Laws

Massachusetts Regulations

City and Town Bylaws

Selected Case Law

Web Sources

Print Sources


Massachusetts Laws

MGL c. 40, § 21 (2), (3), and (4)
Towns may create bylaws relative to snow and ice on buildings and sidewalks

MGL c. 84, § 15
A county, city, town, or person obliged to repair may be liable for injury or damage from defects on ways

MGL c. 84, § 17
A county, city, or town is not liable for injury or damage from snow or ice on a public way if the place where the accident happened was otherwise reasonably safe and convenient for travelers

MGL c. 84, §§ 18-20
A person must notify the county, city, or town of injury or damage from snow or ice on a public way within 30 days

MGL c. 84, § 21
A person must notify the owner of private property of injury or damage from snow or ice on their premises within 30 days

MGL c. 85, § 5
Cities by ordinance and towns may require removal of snow and ice from sidewalks : penalties

MGL c. 85, § 6
Towns may accept this section, remove snow and ice from its permanent sidewalks, and assess the whole or any part of the cost of removal to the abutters

MGL c. 85, § 7
Abutters may procure an exemption from an assessment by stipulating that they will remove snow and ice from the sidewalk, on which their estates abut, at such times and in such manner as the appropriate municipal officers shall direct

MGL c. 85, § 7A
Persons may not store chemicals used for the removal of snow or ice in such a manner or place as to subject a water supply or groundwater supply to the risk of contamination

Massachusetts Regulations

105 CMR 410.452 pdf format of 105 CMR 410 page 13
Safe Condition: Responsibility for clearing walk and stairs (Landlord-Tenant)
310 CMR 22.21(2) pdf format of 310 CMR 22.21(2) page 272
file size 2MB Regulating the storage of chemicals used for the removal of snow or ice
780 CMR 1001.3.1 pdf format of 10_means_of_egress.pdf
Maintenance of Exterior Stairs and Fire Escapes. All exterior stairways and fire escapes shall be kept free of snow and ice

City Ordinances and Town Bylaws

Massachusetts City and Town Bylaws

Selected Case Law

Papadopoulos v. Target Corp. , 457 Mass. 368 (2010)
Overruling the old rule which distinguished liability based upon natural and unnatural accumulations of snow and ice, the Court decided that the same obligation that a property owner owes to lawful visitors as to all other hazards will apply to hazards arising from snow and ice.  That is a duty to “act as a reasonable person under all of the circumstances including the likelihood of injury to others, the probable seriousness of such injuries, and the burden of reducing or avoiding the risk.”  The premises liability standard of reasonable care applies retroactively to injuries from slips and falls arising from accumulations of snow and ice.

Sheehan v. City of Lynn , 269 Mass. 571 (1930)
Where snow and ice combine with a defective condition to cause injury on a public way, an action may arise under MGL c. 84, § 15

Web Sources

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Last update: January 27, 2016

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