Pavement incompetence does not relieve the owner of liability

This year, the Constitutional Court heard the case of a complainant who slipped on a sidewalk in 2017 and broke his ankle. In its ruling, the Constitutional Court stated that if a pedestrian suffered personal injury as a result of an uncleared, icy pavement, the liability of the road owner cannot be excluded with regard to the foreseeability of the situation.

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The plaintiff did not want to accept the injury caused, in his opinion, by the fault of the Technical Road Administration, which should have cleared the icy pavement and did not do so for several days. He claimed damages in the amount of CZK 22 000 through the courts. He succeeded in his claim in the first instance, but the Municipal Court in Prague subsequently dismissed his claim in its entirety. The case reached the Constitutional Court.

The Court stressed that in the above-mentioned case it is necessary to examine to what extent the pedestrian behaved in such a way as to prevent his injury. At the same time, it is also not possible to omit to assess to what extent the owner or manager of the pavement has complied with its duty to ensure that the road provides safe passage.

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In this regard, the Constitutional Court reiterated the district court’s finding that the complainant was wearing winter boots, could not have chosen a different route, and could not have anticipated that the sidewalk at the bus stop would be untreated. At that time, the pavement was icy and covered with snow, as it had last been cleaned more than two days earlier, which was the fault of the Technical Administration of Communications.

The case is now back before the Municipal Court in Prague and the pedestrian’s chances of compensation have increased again.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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