owner is required to act with "reasonable care" in this amelioration process.
So what's the problem in this case? Simple. What happens if the property owner doesn't wait until the storm has ended, but goes out into the melee and clears snow and ice during the storm's progress? Does this make him more or less responsible for a slip and fall?
None of the above. "If a property owner has elected to clear a sidewalk during a storm in progress, the owner is required to act with reasonable care and may be liable it its efforts create a haz- ardous condition or exacerbate a natural hazard created by the storm." In other words-the rule is the same. "The mere failure of a defendant to remove all the snow and ice, without more, does not establish that the defendant increased the risk of harm."
In this case, Plaintiff failed to show how whatever interim procedures the property owner undertook while the storm raged on either "created or exacerbated" the icy condition in front of the property. The grant of SJ to Defendants is affirmed.
Some of you might wonder where the old shibboleth of "removing the snow from the sidewalk may have exposed a layer of bare ice beneath the snow" dis- appeared to. It didn't. Plaintiff here failed to prove that theory, supported by only "conjecture and speculation."
That may be true and it may not be, but it doesn't take AD2 to remind the best of us that while the SIP rule is annoyingly flexible, the "making matters worse" fact pattern is not. An expert is needed, unless, of course, the judge is a former postal carrier. Then, you're in like Flynn. Experentia omnia docet. Nothing teaches like experience, including slipping on ice.