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LAWSUIT REINSTATED

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A 1989 negligence ruling in a personal injury case applies to hazards caused by natural accumulations of such materials as ice and snow as well as to those created by humans, the Idaho Supreme Court says.

The court on Tuesday reinstated a personal injury lawsuit filed in Twin Falls County. Deborah Robertson claimed she was injured in a fall on the parking lot of Magic Valley Regional Medical Center.In a 4-1 decision, the Supreme Court overturned a summary judgment against the lawsuit by 5th District Judge Daniel Meehl. The majority sent the case back to Meehl's court for further consideration.

Prior to 1989, Idaho had an "open and obvious danger" rule in state law. It held that a property owner was not liable for injuries suffered by someone who should have been aware of an "open and obvious danger."

In 1989, the court vacated that rule and said property owners have an obligation to protect against hazards.

In Tuesday's decision, the Supreme Court said the 1989 ruling applied retroactively, and thus to Robertson's case, and applied to natural accumulations as well as negligence relating to human-created hazards.