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Woman Slips on Icy Church Stairs

Court rules that church can be sued for injuries.

Key point: A church may be responsible for injuries occurring on church premises due to snow accumulation if the snow was either accumulated in an unnatural manner or negligently removed.

• An Illinois appeals court ruled that a church could be sued for injuries sustained by a member who fell down snow and ice covered stairs on church premises. The victim went to her church at around 6:30 p.m. on a January evening to practice with her rock band, Romantic Fever, in the church basement. A member of the church board served as the band's manager. The building is reached by a number of wooden stairs. The stairs have a handrail down the middle, but not on the sides. The victim left the church at 10 p.m. following the band rehearsal. As she faced the bottom of the stairs looking down, she could see a mixture of ice and snow on the right side of the steps to a depth of between one-half ...

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  • September 1, 1994

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