60-day notice period will bar legitimate slip-and-fall claims, says personal injury lawyer
In slip and falls at condos, there tends to be a lot of subjective evidence, he says. There can be conflicting reports about when the snow was cleared, not cleared, whether there was ice, the last time salt or sand was applied, for example. The 60-day notice allows parties to bring the most timely and accurate information to the tribunal, says Escayola.
Naimark says his experience acting for plaintiffs injured on municipal property lead him to doubt the changes will produce timely investigations.
“Since I’ve been practicing, whenever I have a slip and fall case against the city, they have almost never engaged in a timely investigation,” he says. “So whether we put them on notice or not, they have never investigated the matter until, usually, the statement of claim is issued.”
For those who are seriously injured or hospitalized, the amendments allow the court to let the plaintiff off the hook if they can provide a reasonable explanation as to why they missed the notice period. A similar provision in the Municipal Act has been interpreted liberally by the courts in Crinson v. Toronto (City), 2010 ONCA 44 and Azzeh v. Legendre, 2017 ONCA 385, says Naimark. Section 44.12 of the Act states failure to give notice is not a bar to the action if the municipality was not prejudiced and to bar the action would be unjust.
“And I think those provisions will be liberally construed as well,” says Naimark.