A person can suffer serious personal injury as a result of a slip and fall. There are many types of slips/trips and falls. A slip and fall might occur due to many types of hazardous or dangerous conditions. Dangerous conditions inside a building can include such things as torn carpeting, unsecured carpeting, changes in flooring levels, poor lighting, slippery tiles, narrow stairs, or a wet floor. Other instances of slip and fall incidents can also occur outside when people trip on broken or cracked public sidewalks, uneven surfaces, potholes, or fall due to slippery conditions as a result of rain, ice, or snow. There are many other situations which can lead to slip and falls and trip and falls.
Under the Occupier’s Liability Act in Ontario, an occupier and owner of a building must ensure their premises are reasonably safe. Section 3(1) of the Act states:
3. (1) An occupier of premises owes a duty to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that persons entering on the premises, and the property brought on the premises by those persons are reasonably safe while on the premises.
The case of Hughes v. Lloyd 1991 CarswellOnt 6024 is an interesting case on the subject of occupier’s liability. In the case, a landlord was found liable (negligent) for not having a stair railing in place even though the plaintiff’s fall did not originally have anything to do with the stairs. The female plaintiff took a misstep and then grabbed her husband, who was just ahead of her. The plaintiff’s husband then tried to “break the fall” but could not do so because there were no railings to reach out for and grab, only the bare walls of the stairwell. As a result, both plaintiffs fell down the stairs and the female plaintiff suffered serious personal injury. The Court ultimately found that the plaintiff fell due to her own lack of sufficient attention and the lack of a hand railing did not cause the fall. However, the Court also found that the plaintiff’s husband might have caught the railing if a railing had been in place, thereby stopping or minimizing their fall and therefore minimizing their damages. In the end, the Court found the landlord to be 50% to blame for failing to have proper railings in place, and the plaintiff 50% contributory negligent for her own inattention.
Now, with the winter weather upon us, we can expect to see many more slip and falls due to icy and snowy conditions.
Our Personal Injury Lawyers in Ottawa can help you with your Slip and Fall Claim.