The claimant slipped and fell on a sidewalk in Summerland, B.C. She slipped on a patch of ice and fell while using her four-wheeled walker. The fall injured the claimant.
The court found Summerland breached its own policy by failing to inspect its sidewalks for snow and ice (Scheck v. District of Summerland et al,2019 BCSC 48 ). Summerland had assumed the obligation to inspect its sidewalks for snow and ice daily during winter months under policy and it:
…”it deliberately decided not to conduct the inspections, I conclude that the failure to inspect was a breach of the duty Summerland owed to Ms. S. “
Summerland adopted a companion policy, No. 400.3, which required it to inspect for snow and ice on a daily basis during the winter months. The daily inspection policy due to a limited budget and human resources. The breach of the policy was a significant factor in slip and fall on the sidewalk.
However, in the face of the policy to inspect, the limited budget did not rise to the level of a policy immunity defence. “At best, it is an operational decision to ignore the policy adopted by the municipal council.” said the judge.
Put simply, Summerland breached its own policy by failing to inspect its sidewalks for snow and ice. Summerland must pay for her personal injuries resulting from the slip and fall on the sidewalk .
Learn more about slip and fall claims in BC.