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City Failed to use Best Efforts to Fix Hazard Liable for Injury

This was an appeal by the City of Salmon Arm from a finding of negligence for injuries suffered when the claimant tripped over the metal base of a broken traffic sign that was protruding from a sidewalk. The judge concluded the City breached the standard of care in not locating and repairing the sign before the incident.

The injury claimant tripped over the metal base of a sign protruding from the sidewalk near the intersection of 2nd Street and 5th Avenue in Salmon Arm. After the falling injury, City officials inspected the site, covered the metal with a cone temporarily and then replaced the sign that should have been there.

However, the judge concluded that the City official had used his best efforts when he first attempted to locate the base but after that made no efforts to fix the hazard until the trip and fall was reported. In denying the appeal of the City for this slip and fall injury the Court of Appeal had this to say,

[23]    What is engaged in this case is the City’s standard practice to use its best efforts to remediate immediate hazards when put on notice. I have not been persuaded the judge made any palpable and overriding errors in finding the facts. As such, deference is owed to the judge’s findings, including his conclusion that the City did not follow its standard practice, which implicitly he treated as defining the relevant standard of care, in dealing with the potential hazard that existed in this case.(Binette v. Salmon Arm (City),2018 BCCA 150)

Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B

Tags: liability, Negligence, occupier liability, Standard of Care

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