A Bill to amend the Occupiers’ Liability Act, has been proposed to limit the notice period for personal injury cases as a result of snow and ice.
Currently, if an accident takes place involving a municipality, then no legal action can be brought for recovery of damages unless the municipality is notified of the injury and incident within 10 days of its occurrence.
This requirement is now proposed to extend to an occupier, an independent contractor or a landlord with regard to incidents involving snow and ice:
No action shall be brought for the recovery of damages for personal injury caused by snow or ice against a person or persons listed in subsection (2) unless, within 10 days after the occurrence of the injury, written notice of the claim, including the date, time and location of the occurrence, has been served on one or more of the persons listed in subsection (2)
The proposed Bill does state that failure to give notice will not be a bar to the action if the judge can find that there is a reasonable excuse for the insufficiency of the notice.
The rationale behind the proposed notice period is that currently, under the Limitations Act, injured parties have up to two years to commence an action for a personal injury action, including those involving snow and ice. Many times, notice about the incident is provided well after the occurrence, and therefore, the alleged wrongdoers are disadvantaged in terms of their recollection of conditions, or any evidence regarding the incident, including preserving CCTV footage, etc.
We will advise if and when the Bill is passed.
If you have any questions, please contact Pallett Valo LLP to discuss.