Ohio University to Pay Student’s Dental Bill After Fall
A student who broke two teeth after slipping and falling on ice on school property won her lawsuit against Ohio University.
Hannah Scolaro, of Akron, sued the school in the Ohio Court of Claims after she fell on the ice and damaged her front teeth. She claimed the school was negligent for failing to remove snow and ice on its sidewalks. She underwent two root canals after the fall and asked the court to make the school pay for her dental bill.
Ohio University investigated the incident and used Brinkman v. Ross (1993) to dispute Scolaro’s claim: “Everyone is assumed to appreciate the risks associated with natural accumulations of ice and snow and, therefore, everyone is responsible to protect himself or herself against the inherent risks presented by natural accumulations of ice and snow.”
The school stated that since she fell in February, Scolaro should have been aware of weather hazards and taken better precautions.
Scolaro disagreed with the investigation and said while winter conditions were expected, the school didn’t salt sidewalks at a university bus stop used to shuttle students. She said the school should’ve removed snow and ice at the highly traveled route and noted that other sidewalks across campus had been cleared.
The court yesterday agreed with Scolaro and in court documents stated there is an exception to Ross. It’s limited in cases where a municipality or local government has a law requiring snow and ice removal. Athens, where Ohio University is located, has such an ordinance.
“It is patently clear that the ordinance was passed to protect pedestrians like the plaintiff from the kind of harm she received when she slipped and fell on the ice. Finding therefore that OU was negligent per se in failing to remove the snow and ice which caused Plaintiff’s fall and subsequent injury and damages, the Court finds in this case for the Plaintiff.”
Ohio University will pay Scolaro $2,870 to cover her dental bill.
To access information on other cases, visit the Court of Claims website.
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