Hunter v. Anderson, 2010 BCSC 1037
July 28, 2010- The claim in this injury case is for injuries said to have resulted from slipping and falling on the front stairs to a rental accommodation in Port Coquitlam. The claimant received a rent reduction in exchange for her agreement to shovel and clear the outside staircase where she fell. The claimant had her son shovel snow the evening before the fall but not on the day of the fall.
The question is whether as between the landlord and the tenant , the tenant’s assumption of the obligation to shovel and clear the snow vitiates the potential fault of the landlord to her. The judge was unable to find any prior cases on point.
For an injury claimant to succeed under the Occupiers Liability Act, she must prove on the balance of probabilities that the landlady was an occupier of the premises where and when the accident occurred, that the landlady breached a duty of care owed to the claimant that the landlady ’s breach caused the claimant’s injury, and that the plaintiff suffered a loss.
The court found that the primary cause of the slip and fall was the residual ice and snow left on the stairs after the claimant and her son cleared them the previous evening. The footwear worn by the claimant and the way she wore them was found to be a contributing cause. In the result, although because of the landlord’s status as an occupier and as a landlady on whom an obligation rests to ensure the premises were reasonably safe for persons using them, the judge found the landlady at fault.
However the judge also found that the circumstances of this case compel a finding of contributory negligence. Weighing the parties’ respective fault the judge concluded there should be a finding that the injury claimant is 75% liable for the accident and the landlady is 25% liable. Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness
Issue: Should a renter that agrees to maintain a property be found at fault if their poor maintenence cause them an injury?