On September 30, 2010, the Cuyahoga County Court of Appeals ruled on behalf of the injured party.
This case started when the city had received a complaint that a fire hydrant was leaking. After doing repairs and cutting into the road, an orange barrel was placed at the construction site and a flashing sign was allegedly placed at some distance west of the barrel.
The plaintiff attempted to changes lanes but could not due to a driver on the plaintiff's left side. The plaintiff then attempted to slow down in order to make the lane change but slid out on an unnatural accumulation of ice that had been caused by the leaky fire hydrant. The plaintiff crashed into a utility pole.
While the trial court granted summary judgment for the defendant city, the appellate court concluded that plaintiff had presented enough evidence to show that the road was free from ice and snow except in the area around the leaking hydrant. The appellate court that the precautions the city took could still result in governmental immunity but that a question still existed if enough had been done to prevent a nuisance on the roadway from the leaking hydrant. The plaintiff had also presented evidence that disputed the presence and location of any flashing warning sign.
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Simon W. Johnson