In what circumstances will the City be found prejudiced in its defence of failing to provide notice of a piece of debris?

Ontario, Canada


The following excerpt is from Patrick v. Middlesex (County), 2018 ONSC 7408 (CanLII):

In Delahaye v. Toronto (City), supra the plaintiff alleged that a piece of debris on a sidewalk caused him to slip, fall and injure himself. As here, the statutory notice was provided very late. In finding that the issue of prejudice was one requiring a trial, Lauwers J. (as he then was) wrote in part at paras. 22 and 23: This is not a case where the cause of the accident was stable…The plaintiff is not alleging that her injuries were caused by snow and ice left negligently on the sidewalk by the City, where the City’s ability to secure a record is more likely because its monitoring and recording systems are designed to deal with such typically Canadian hazards. This makes it more difficult, in my view, for the City to establish that it has in fact been prejudiced by the delay. When it comes to a piece of transient debris, what difference would it have made if the required notice had been served within 10 days? What could the City have done differently that would have helped with its defence? The item of transient debris would have been long gone.

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