District liable for fall on ice

The District of Summerland has been found liable for a injuries a woman sustained by slipping on a snow and ice covered sidewalk in the community.

Muriel Winona Scheck sued both the municipality and Parkdale Place Housing Society for a fall she took in front of her senior’s residence on Dec. 29, 2015.

In a decision earlier this month, Supreme Court justice Robert Johnston dismissed the claim against the housing society, but determined the District of Summerland had not been following its snow-clearing policies.

Summerland bylaw dictates sidewalks must be cleared by the owners of the property the walkways front onto. There is, however, a district policy that states the municipality will inspect its sidewalks for snow and ice and hand out tickets to violators.

The District of Summerland admitted that those inspections were not taking place “due to its limited budget and human resources.”

Justice Johnston found that was not a good enough argument to not follow policy.

“At best, it is an operational decision to ignore the policy adopted by the municipal council,” he wrote. “I conclude that the failure to inspect was a breach of the duty Summerland owed to Ms. Scheck.”

The judge ordered the District of Summerland to pay Scheck still-to-be-determined damages.


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