may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Crow Wing County District Court
File No. C996626
Stephen D. Gabrielson, Robert W. Holmen, 26 North Sixth Avenue, P.O. Box 745, St. Cloud, MN 56302-0745 (for appellant)
Hubert H. Humphrey III, Attorney General, P. Kenneth Kohnstamm, Assistant Attorney General, 445 Minnesota Street, Suite 1100, St. Paul, MN 55101-2128 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Huspeni, Presiding Judge, Amundson, Judge, and Thoreen, Judge.
Appellant challenges the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of respondent. We affirm.
The district court granted summary judgment for the state on two grounds: (1) the "mere slipperiness" rule barred the claim against the state; and (2) no duty on the state existed at the time of the injury. Appellant challenges summary judgment, arguing that a private landlord has a duty to remove accumulations of ice and snow, that the state should be held to the same duty as a private landlord, that common law immunity does not apply to cases against the state based on maintenance of steps abutting a state building, and that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether the condition of the steps constituted a "rough and slippery" surface. The state argues that the district court properly granted summary judgment, but that it erred in denying the state's motion to dismiss because it was prejudiced by appellant's four-year delay in bringing suit.
State by Cooper v. French, 460 N.W.2d 2, 4 (Minn. 1990); See Admiral Merchants v. O'Connor & Hannan, 494 N.W.2d 260, 265 (Minn. 1992). The reviewing court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the party against whom judgment was granted. Fabio v. Bellomo, 504 N.W.2d 758, 761 (Minn. 1993).
Appellant contends that the state breached its duty to maintain the steps leading up to Building 4 when the state's janitors failed to remove or make safe icy conditions present on the steps at the time appellant slipped and twisted her knee. We disagree.
Assuming a scenario most favorable to appellant in this case, i.e., that the state had the same duty as a private property owner to exercise reasonable care in the maintenance of its steps, that duty was as follows:
Absent extraordinary circumstances, * * * it is the general rule that a business establishment or other inviter may, without violating its duty to exercise reasonable care for the safety of business guests or invitees, await the end of the freezing rain or sleetstorm and a reasonable time thereafter before removing ice and snow from its outside entrance walks, platform, or steps. * * * Reasonable care only requires a landowner or possessor to remove ice and snow, or take other appropriate corrective action, within a reasonable time after the storm has abated.
Mattson v. St. Luke's Hosp. of St. Paul, 252 Minn. 230, 233, 89 N.W.2d 743, 745 (1958); Hedglin v. Church of St. Paul of Sauk Centre, 280 Minn. 119, 158 N.W.2d 269 (1968). The only evidence concerning the weather was appellant's own statement that there was a "[v]ery, very light snow" at the time of her accident. As the snow storm was still in progress at the time of the accident, the district court properly granted summary judgment in favor of the state.
It is not necessary, and we choose not to determine whether the "mere slipperiness" rule applies or whether the state was prejudiced by appellant's failure to file notice of her claim as required by statute.
[ ]* Retired judge of the district court, serving as judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.