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The Ontario Superior Court of Justice articulates the industry best practice for an occupier for snow removal. Specifically, an occupier should (1) pre-salt the relevant area; or (2) salt during or immediately after plowing

Ontario

,

Canada

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice articulates the standard for snow removal in an occupier’s liability case Musa v. Carleton Condominium Corporation No. 255 et al., 2022 ONSC 1030 is a recent Superior Court case concerning a slip and fall at a condo building which provides some guidance for condominium corporations with regards to their winter maintenance obligations under the Occupiers Liability Act.Under s.26 of the Act, the corporation is considered an occupier and has a duty to take reasonable care of the safety of the people on the property. The local by-laws charged the Corporation with the responsibility of keeping the property free of snow or ice that might create a hazard. When the plaintiff slipped and fell on a plowed portion of the roadway that had not yet been treated with salt.The Court was asked to determine if the timeline for this particular plowing event was reasonable, given that the salt was applied an hour and a half after the contracted plowing personnel completed snow removal.The Court determined with the help of an expert witness that industry best practice in this area allowed for two options to meet the standard: they could have 1) pre-salted the roadway, or 2) salted while or immediately after plowing. The Contractor did neither and was deemed negligent.Luckily, the Corporation had established in their maintenance contract with the Contractor that the obligation to ensure the property was property plowed and salted was delegated to the Contractor, thereby alleviating the Corporation of liability for damages.The determination of the Court suggests that a reasonable timeline is to be followed to achieve the standard of care required.

April 14, 2022
Musa v. Carleton Condominium Corporation No. 255 et al, 2022 ONSC 1030