Slip and fall liability: Policies for commercial occupiers

When an injury occurs on the property of a business, the business is frequently included as a defendant in the lawsuit. In the case of injuries relating to slip and falls, the business – as the commercial occupier of the premises – may be the only party named as a defendant. Accordingly, it is important for these organizations to take preventative steps to limit exposure to liability in these contexts.

Commercial occupiers’ liability

The Occupiers’ Liability Act, RSA 2000, c O-4 sets out the law in Alberta relating to the duty that an occupier of a premises owes to its visitors.

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Ontario Court hits the brakes on duties owed to intoxicated plaintiffs

The expansion of recognized duties of care owed to intoxicated persons recently met resistance from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. In Stewart et al. v. The Corporation of the Township of Douro-Dummer, 2018 ONSC 4009, the Plaintiff was one of four passengers in a taxi cab who was intoxicated and injured after the cab was involved in an accident. The cab driver was not at fault in the actual accident. The Plaintiff did not have his seat belt buckled up at the time of the accident, which resulted in more serious injuries. By the time the action got to trial, the only issue was whether the driver owed the Plaintiff a duty of care to ensure his seat belt was buckled on the basis that it was apparent to the driver that the Plaintiff was intoxicated and, therefore, vulnerable and unable to look after himself.
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