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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