Ice and injury at SCSU

Max Bickley – General Assignment Reporter

The typical New England Winter consists of three factors which makes it unbearable for most residents of the region: snow, cold and ice. However at the same time, the snow and ice give days off of work and school, and occasionally, if the circumstances are right, a lawsuit.

Falling on ice is one of those aspects of winter which seems almost a natural occurrence, a bizarre rite of passage for many here in New England. However, at the same time it is a dangerous aspect which has led to not only many accidents, but also serious injury in many cases.

However, while it is common to fall on ice, it is also possible in extenuating circumstances to cause a lawsuit. This is similar in practice to how a customer can sue a store if they don’t de-ice their walkway, or leaves a wet floor without a caution sign. It presents one with the opportunity to ask for legal reparations to compensate for any injuries they may have received.

As well, in the past, there has been a sort of stereotype that people will be willing to sue over anything. There have even been instances where people have sued companies and institutes for the strangest reasons, one simple example being only two years ago.

According to a news report from USA Today, in January of 2014, “a pimp filed a $100 million lawsuit against Nike for not providing a warning label that their shoes could be used as a dangerous weapon.”

When coupled with this idea that anyone will sue, and a college campus, the jokes have been made about college students. With tuition rates being so high, loan rates making the debt we take on as students even higher, there are jokes that college students are willing to take on an injury just to have a lawsuit so that they can pay their debts and tuition.

While that may be the case with jokes, the truth about Southern students is a little different than what might be expected. Such as the case with Senior Kerstin Moreau, who doesn’t think much of the possibility of lawsuits at all.

“I don’t really think I would do anything if I fell, like if the walkway in front of my dorm wasn’t de-iced enough,” Moreau said. “I mean, if I fell and broke my leg or hip, maybe, but if I just bruised myself no. What’d be the point?”

With Moreau, there’s no difference except in the severity of an injury, which when falling on ice there isn’t often much. The idea of college students not caring much about falling on ice, or something to this magnitude is only echoed in the thoughts of other students. Similar to Moreau, Junior John Marquis follows similar lines of thinking, but draws a line at inaction and action.

“So if I fell on ice here, it would depend on how bad it was. Like a normal fall on ice what happens? You bruise your butt, your friends laugh, you get up and move on,” said Marquis. “But, if it came to it where I was hurt, significantly hurt, I might seek some form of reparation for my medical bills. Only in those circumstances though.”

That being said, Marquis’ point along with Moreau’s indicated that students at Southern are more apt to laugh it off, and get to class. However, with this winter’s surprisingly lite snow and ice amounts, falling doesn’t seem too much a concern for now.

Photo Credit: Staff Photo


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